Pastor’s Friday Comments (04.10.20)

Today is Good Friday, the day on which we commemorate the death of our Lord. Christ’s willingness to go to the cross eloquently showed God’s love for all humanity and made possible the demonstration of God’s power over death that we will celebrate on Easter Sunday.

There is a profound theological truth related to Christ’s death that many Christians fail to grasp. If Jesus truly experienced life as we do, choosing to empty himself of all divinity in order to depend upon God as we do, then his willingness to die was a commitment of faith, not certainty. He entered the tomb without any way of knowing that God would raise him from the dead. It was the ultimate act of trust.

As such, that trust sets the example for the way you and I are to live our lives. No matter what sacrifices we are called upon to make, whether great or small, they must be made in the belief that God will see us through to the other side. That becomes a practical reality for all of us right now as we face the threat from the unseen enemy, Covid-19.

For some of us the sacrifice is minor, as we shelter in place and practice social distancing. It is, however, the kind of sacrifice that every Christian should be willing to make because it means we are willing to forego personal convenience in order to avoid the possibility of infecting someone else. Christians who flout the recommendations of health professionals are not demonstrating faith nor are they being courageous in insisting on their right to worship. They are being callously indifferent to the needs of others. If there is any sacrifice involved in merely staying at home, it is the least that Christians can do.

For others the sacrifice is far greater. Because of their calling or through economic necessity, many are risking their lives for others. I cannot say enough about their courage, their compassion, their sacrifice. All I can say is, whether they know it or not, they are doing what Christ would want them to do, and I pray for their safety. I do that every day, but on the day when Christ gave his life for all, I pray especially that they will be able to trust God to the full extent that they need.

Yesterday you should have received an interactive worship service to be used in observing Good Friday at home. It combines elements from Jesus’ celebration of the Last Supper with his disciples and reflection on the crucifixion. My prayer is that through this service you may not only gain a greater appreciation for all that Christ has done for us, but would reaffirm your commitment to trust God with your life as well.