Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Friday thoughts

Today I participated in leading our community's ecumenical Good Friday service. Each year, the service focuses on the "Seven Last Words" of Jesus from the cross. It is not my favorite theme - I don't like the focus on these seven 'words' - I don't think they hit on what is most important about what is going on during this last day of Jesus' life on earth.

But that aside, one of the other pastors in the area, Mike Usborne, gave the message on the first word, "forgive them, for they don't know what they're doing." Mike's message particularly stuck out to me as meaningful - he said, "God will never use our past against us," and continued to say that when we use others' pasts against them we are showing we've failed to forgive. I like how he said it - it is not that we can't remember the past, that we forget. But to not use the past against someone - I think that has a different tone. He also said, "we can't settle others' accounts with God." Well said - aren't we always trying to do just that? Figure we can do better and get between God and others?

One of the other pastors, Betsye Mowry, talked about the word, "I thirst," and how thirsty Jesus was for human companionship in his last days, and how much that need was denied him on all fronts, by Peter, by Judas, by the others he asked to stay with him while we prayed. For me, that is the overwhelming emotion I see in Maundy Thursday and Good Friday - the abandonment of these days...
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