There is always Easter Sunday

Good Morning! ~ Wednesday, March 23, 2016

We have been travelling together through the final week of Jesus’ life and all that is left is Good Friday. Someone asked me once “Valerie, why do we call this Good Friday? There is nothing good about it.” I have often wondered this as well but have never really given it a great deal of thought beyond wondering. So this morning I asked Google the question and this is what I found:

From wikipedia – The etymology of the term “good” in the context of Good Friday is contested. Some sources claim “good” to simply mean pious or holy, [9] while others contend that it is a corruption of “God Friday”.[10] The Oxford English Dictionary supports the first etymology, giving “of a day or season observed as holy by the church” as an archaic sense of good (good, adj. 8c), and providing examples of good tide meaning “Christmas” or “Shrove Tuesday”, and Good Wednesday meaning the Wednesday in Holy Week.[11]
In German-speaking countries, the Good Friday is generally referred as Karfreitag (Kar from Old High German kara‚ “bewail”, “grieve”‚ “mourn”, Freitag for “Friday”); Mourning Friday. The Kar prefix is an ancestor of the English word care in the sense of cares and woes; it meant mourning. The day is also known as Stiller Freitag (“Silent Friday”) and Hoher Freitag (“High Friday, Holy Friday”).

So I guess the easy answer is that it has a varied history and evolved into what we know in this part of the world as Good Friday.

As we come closer to Friday though it is not the definition of its name that I really want to reflect on. The day that Jesus was crucified was one of the days in our history that humanity was shown at its worse. The crowds were incited by fear – fear of the unknown; fear of a different voice; fear of change – and in a mob mentality they cried that Jesus be crucified! For those in power, for those who did not want change, for those whose lives were ruled by fear, it provided the perfect opportunity to silence the one who questioned and acted in ways that existed outside the norm. It was a dark day but it was a day that, once lived through, would lead to something far more powerful than even his followers could have imagined!

There is something about Good Friday that has always touched my soul and filled me with such power that it can be overwhelming. Perhaps it is that I live through Good Friday in the shadow of Easter Sunday, already knowing that beyond the darkness there is light. This is indeed the message of Easter and is one that rests in my being, not only this week, but every day of my life. As I look back over the years I see that I have come through many good Friday’s in my own journey. Times when the darkness invades my life and I feel the sting of death – death of loved ones; death of a dream; death of a relationship. These are indeed days that most people experience at some point or another. However, what I also realize is that the thing that carries me through these times is the knowledge that after the darkness the sun will shine and Easter will be reality! Just knowing this is what has enabled me to have the strength to face the dark and live through it. It does not always happen in three days. Sometimes it is months or even years but little by little it happens and one day there is peace and freedom and indeed joy!

A few years ago, when I found myself in this place of uncertainty and darkness nearing Good Friday, I sat, as I often do, with pen in hand and I wrote this :

The darkness of Good Friday looms….
And I feel it deep within.
The darkness closes in
I am in a tunnel struggling…
Struggling to breathe
Struggling to see any sign of light.

But there is no light – not yet.

To find it, I must travel
Through the night
Through the anguish
Through the pain.

As I do, I cling to his words:
I am the light of the world
Father, forgive them
I am with you always

I cling and I hope
Knowing that tomorrow
There will be light!

Wherever you find yourself on the path, and particularly when you find yourself in the dark, my prayer is that you will know the truth that as the sun sets in the west and moves into darkness it is already preparing to rise again in the east. After Good Friday there is always Easter Sunday!!

Blessings, Valerie

Reminders of the Week.
Support your Youth!!! Tickets for Xtravaganza are still available. This will be a wonderful afternoon as you experience the talent and energy of the youth of this congregation!! Something you do not want to miss!!

Good Friday – 11am “ Beyond The Darkness” A 45-minute cantata called “Beyond the Darkness” which explores the last week of Jesus’ life in story and in song. Featuring the First United Church Choir and friends, with James Stewart on clarinet and whistle and John MacLeod on bass, this is a brand new work with narration from the point of view of Jesus’ mother Mary, and ten pieces of music for choir, with opportunities for the congregation to sing along.

Easter Sunday Morning 7am – At Riverfront Gazebo We join with our brothers and sisters from St. David’s, St. Andrews, Zion United Baptist and Brunswick Street United to gather at the empty tomb and celebrate the Rising!!

10:30am – Easter Communion

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