Tonight is our Good Friday gathering, an evening where we remember the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. This is the only time during 2015 that we will meet together on a day other than Sunday. So that means that this gathering is important and unfamiliar territory for us.
And because we don't meet regularly during the week and because we're focusing our entire attention on the cross of Christ, I want to help you get ready. So here is a simple way to prepare your head and heart before we see each other at 6:00.
Go About Your Business
In the not-too-distant past, Good Friday was a holiday of sorts. Schools and businesses closed. Most churches held gatherings around mid-day. It gave the day a different feel from the rest of the week.
And maybe it made it easier to get ready to remember the cross. But another way to prepare for our gathering tonight is to live your life. Go to work, go to class, run errands, hit the gym, shuttle kids around. In Galatians 6, Paul writes that we should boast - we should live our lives out loud - but our boasting should be the result of Jesus' work, not our own.
So don't be discouraged if you're coming straight from work tonight. Don't stay home because the day got away from you and you're not really feeling it. Live your life, feel your feelings, and bring everything about your day to the Foundry Building as a trophy of grace.
Take A Minute and Rest
If your day is like mine, there is no room for a nap before tonight. But there is a rest that is more accessible and just as crucial as the power nap that you and I are not gonna get today.
Sometime today, take ten minutes - just ten minutes! - to read Luke 23:26-49 and ask God to help you understand (from the text) why Jesus died. That's the question that I want to answer at tonight's gathering - why did Jesus die? Those ten minutes may do more for you than all the power naps you could stack together today.
And if you can get a nap today, by all means go for it!
Show Up Early and With Great Expectations
Tonight is the most challenging gathering of the year. Unlike Christmas services where there are weeks of reminders in the culture and in the church to get us ready, Good Friday just shows up unannounced on our door step. And unlike our Sunday gatherings, we're doing this on the back end of a week of days that are filled by life. Combine that with the fact that we're meeting in a different room around dinner time and...
Well, you and I have a choice, don't we? We can come in dragged in like a fish on the end of a hook, or we can come in anticipating that God will be there with us. We can show up at 5:45 so we're not running in late and stressed. We can show up believing that God isn't going through the motions for us, so we don't have to settle with going through the motions for him.
Do The Next Right Thing
Not only is this another day that God has made for us to enjoy, but this is a day where we get to zero in on the one thing that gives meaning to all of our joys and sorrows. So put your hand to what God has put in front of you today. Take a few minutes to stop and remember who God is and what He has done for you (Luke 22:26-49). And show up at 5:45 tonight carrying all of your hopes and all of your hurts with you.