When Normal Changes

My notes on Good Friday!

A lot has changed since Good Friday 2019 and today.

The kind of change we have never experienced before.

No church services, and it’s been that way for a long time.

No Holy Communion,

no church community gatherings for coffee after the service on Sundays!

A big part of our weekend routine and custom has been changed by a virus.

A virus that has descended on us out of the blue and struck us with fear, anxiety, and dread.

But, it has also opened our eyes to many things and set us thinking.

Introspecting on our past, our deeds, and greed as a human race;

our failings and our disregard for better sense and judgment. 

We turned away from God, and now we return to His mercy seat and beg for His grace and mercy.

My prayer for all – May God’s blessings be upon us and save us.

TTSP (this too shall pass).

May we come out of this wiser, humbler, kinder, more generous, and more considerate of others, and the earth.

Life is a gift. We cannot take it for granted.

The only similarity that day was… snow!

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The only similarity, of sorts, between Good Friday last year and this year:

We were heavily snowed under last year.  And this year, it snowed too, but unlike the previous year, it was a light snowfall. 

Thursday night, I was surprised to see it snowing when I peeked out the window.

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It didn’t appear heavy and I expected it to end before morning.

But it didn’t.

It was snowing in the morning too!

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The feeling of Spring; the grass beginning to turn green again, the weather warming up, has taken a step back.

It looked more like winter than Spring. 

I felt the cold, dark gloom of a Good Friday, ages ago.

The lockdown and social distancing irked more than it does daily and exacerbated the pall of gloom that had descended on me.

But hope springs, ever renewed.

Holy Saturday brought out the sun.

And then…

Easter dawned! Bright and beautiful.

Hallelujah!

The churches are empty, but so is the tomb!

I rest my hopes and prayers on Him,

who defeated death.

Thank God It’s Friday – and it’s ‘GOOD’!

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When I was a little girl, I never knew whether to be sad or happy on this day. The visuals and the story of the crucifixion did nothing to convince me it was a day to “rejoice” or to be happy. I was too young to comprehend ‘God’s love’ in connection with ‘sacrificing’ His son for a whole bunch of ‘sinners’ who would happily save a Barrabas and let an innocent, no less God’s son, hang on the cross.

So I would try to tone down my play and general joviality in keeping with the solemnity of death (and worse, a death that I too was somehow responsible for.) I just didn’t get it…any of it!

Then there was the three-hour-long church service I’d go through playing with things my mother would make with her handkerchief to keep me engaged. I loved the kerchief mouse a lot! I made it hop and pounce all over and crawl under benches to retrieve it! And the little kerchief purse came next. And when I’d be exhausted and bored with this, she’d have some snacks and orange juice ready for me, and I’d munch my way through thirty more minutes!

The next thing would be to curl up on the bench with my head in her lap and drop off to sleep. That was the spiritual part of my day.  And that’s how it remained until I turned eight. From the age of ten to fifteen, church-going became a sporadic exercise because we moved to the country and our church was about twenty-two miles away.

It was only after I began going to church regularly, at sixteen, having returned to the city once again, that I began to understand a lot in the service and sermons; things that had gone over my head earlier.

Now, many of my non-Christians friends or acquaintances ask me why we call it “Good Friday” when our Lord was so cruelly crucified. They listen to the simple explanation and nod their heads as if they understand, but I can see the confusion in their eyes. Their next question is, “Then why doesn’t He just punish everyone? He’s been doing that too!”

I’m can’t get into a deeper discussion. I’m not sound in Bible studies to elaborate the deeper, spiritual meanings. I’m not so learned in scripture.

They just don’t get it.

For me – It’s enormous! This love and sacrifice… and often I wonder – “How?”

I don’t see myself or the human race worthy of such a huge sacrifice. God’s own son sent to die on a cross for my sins! I’m just zapped by the ginormous love God has for us, rather unworthy humans! Every year, come Good Friday, it comes into greater focus – this love divine, this love sublime.

Thank God we have a Good Friday!

 

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The Rugged Cross

This writing was a result of my thoughts that went to the carpenter/s who were employed to make crosses. And I ventured to imagine how it would have been if a skilled carpenter, who was also a secret believer in Jesus, was commissioned to make the crosses.

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He chopped and sawed the logs of wood,

It didn’t need to be so good.

Just crosses would be made of these,

For Jesus and a couple of thieves.

It didn’t have to be so good,

He drove the nails into the wood.

Two crosses lay on the ground,

And then his heart in sorrow drowned.

He touched the last one’s roughened wood,

A criminal’s tree… his Lord so good!

Yet on this cross, Jesus would die,

He set to work with a deep sigh.

No will to go on, he would stop if he could,

The tears rolled down and soaked the wood.

He wished his hands could better serve,

Did He this awful pain deserve?

On Golgotha, these crosses stood,

The center with the Saviour so good.

” It is my cross,” in anguish he cried,

His Lord gave up the Ghost and died.

The third day dawned.

The third day dawned, and he understood.

Gone was his grief, as indeed it should,

“My Lord is risen, jubilation!

His sacrifice was for our salvation.”

The awful cross, the pain, and the gloom;

Death was vanquished said an empty tomb!

No more he moped as he daily would,

No more it hurt, that cross of wood.

He knelt and praised the Risen Lord

The Perfect Man, The Son of God!

by Joy Clarkson (2006)

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This poem was written in 2006, and published as a part of a writing exercise on a given topic on Faithwriters.com There’s no historical or Biblical backing to the carpenter’s part and it is purely imaginary! I have edited the original poem a teensy weensy bit.