This year, my wife's birthday and Good Friday were the same day, providing for a unique balancing of emotions.
Lately, I have been grateful as I have contemplated the cross. The mystery of God bringing salvation and showing love through the ultimate sacrifice. I have not wanted to be assuming as I look at the cross, nor have not wanted to be a spoiled brat, "knowing" that Jesus died for me. I have wanted to be grateful, acknowledging my personal unworthiness, sinfulness, need for righteousness and inability to be right with God just by doing it myself. We need Christ's love. The cross is hard to consider, but we need it. And I am grateful that God acted upon our need.
Today, errands and commitments have taken me to and fro, forgetting that yesterday was a day remembering a cross, and not thinking too far ahead about resurrection.
I think one of the things that we miss the longer we are Christians is the total surprise of the resurrection. Today, we observe Good Friday, and we leave a service or prayer knowing we will go and remember the resurrection hours later. It wasn't like that the first time around.
On Friday, I talked about the great exchange. Christ's life for our sins. Christ's death for our life. Our life for eternal life. Good Friday also reminds me that Great is the mystery of our faith.
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.
We will affirm that classic creed tomorrow during Resurrection Sunday. A growing number of us will meet at Dilts Farm Park at 6:30. It is a gathering of 4 different congregations, and there was a wonderful sense of community last year, my first celebration with the group. We will then gather with the Stocktonites at 11am. I am grateful for such a loving congregation. They give witness to the grace and glory of Christ, and provide a wonderful model of a people trying to be the body of Christ.
God has sent a few surprises to our family lately. We were blessed before these surprises, but the surprises have reinforced God's goodness to us. I look forward to seeing the surprise of resurrection tomorrow and throughout the 7 weeks of Easter.