A Good Friday Greeting

I have often wondered what the appropriate greeting for Good Friday should be.  You can’t say “Happy Good Friday” or even, “I hope you have a good Good Friday.”  Good Friday is a day to commemorate something that is definitely neither happy nor good… even when we know the rest of the story.

But I feel like there should be some kind of acknowledgement.  What does one say about Good Friday?

The answer – or at least an answer – came to me unexpectedly in the form of an email from a friend:  We should say about Good Friday the same thing we should do about Good Friday.

We should contemplate it.

So here is my Good Friday greeting to all of you:

P&C –

Peace and Contemplation –

A peaceful and contemplative Good Friday to you.

Lord, help us to remember what this day signifies.  Help us to experience your peace even as we contemplate the day that Jesus died.  What was I doing today at 9 a.m.?  At noontime?  At 3 p.m.?  Was I standing at your cross?  Was I recognizing that even here – because of here – there is peace?

It was nine in the morning when they crucified Him (Mark 15:25).

Free Hugs!

Yesterday as I was walking across campus I passed a small group of students dressed in red t-shirts with permanent black marker emblazoned across the front: FREE HUGS  =)

Photo of students with Free Hug Tshirts

Perhaps they were taking a page out of the book of the Purdue University Compliment Guys, or perhaps they were just trying to spread some cheer in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.  As I walked past them, one young man came bounding across the sidewalk with his arms opened wide.

“Hi, there.  How are you?” He asked.

“Fine,” I said.  And then, as he continued to stand in front of me, “Are you going to give me a hug?”

“May I?”

“Sure.”

So he gave me a quick hug and then skipped back to his compatriots.

“Have a good day,” I called.

Student giving free hug Students giving free hugs  Student giving free hug

I love college students.  You never know what crazy, whimsical, or insightful thing they will come up with next.  Like giving away free hugs.

Have you hugged a stranger today?

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted… (Ephesians 4:32)

Happy Thanksgiving!

May we all find something today worth giving thanks for… because indeed there are many things… no matter what we may be facing.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth, let us  sing

Power and majesty, praise to  the King

Mountains bow down  and the seas will roar

At the  sound of Your name

~ Darlene Zschech, Singer/Songwriter

(If you’ve never heard this song, you can get an unofficial sneak peek on YouTube.)

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever (1 Chronicles 16:34).

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Today’s Quote

Most of the time when I read stats about the condition of our world, the numbers are so incomprehensibly large that my eyes merely glaze over.  These stats, however, convicted me:

The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children, and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases, and the 8.5 million who work as child slaves, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions, and the 2.3 million who live with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children.  And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christians.

The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left.

~Katie Davis, Kisses from Katie (2011, p. 91-92)

Only 8 percent.  Eight percent!!  Suddenly, that is a number I can understand.  That is a number that even seems possible.

Here in the U.S. we’ve heard a lot in the past year about the wealthiest 1% versus the 99% of “ordinary Americans”.  Protestors rally carrying signs that proclaim “We are the 99.”  I’d like to propose a new question.  Not, are we part of the 99, but are we part of the 92?

Or are we part of that 8% that is following Jesus’ command to love our neighbor as ourselves?

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”  “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”  The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.  (John 21:15-17)

Thought of the Day

Paraphrase from Professor Timothy B. Shutt:

If we aren’t careful, we can make a god out of our idea of God.

Certainly made me stop and think.  Perhaps all those times God is not acting how we expect, He is simply smashing idols.

I am who I am… You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 3:14, 20:3)

Something More

My dog does not understand how I can sit for hours flipping pages in a book.  I hold it out to her, but she sniffs it disdainfully and walks away.  Where I see another whole world, she sees only ink and paper.  My book is utter foolishness to her who cannot read.

As I’m thinking about this, I am reminded of a similar sentiment Paul wrote to the Corinthians.  For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18).  Indeed, where some see only wood, others see so much more.

I am reminded of this again, when the tables are turned, and I am dragging my dog away from some ordinary clump of grass that she is sniffing intently.  It is only blades of grass to me, but it is clearly something more to her.  There is another whole world I cannot see, except to watch her enter into it.

I think of the book, and the grass, and the cross.  It is hard to imagine, but it is not impossible to believe: beyond what I know here, there could be something more.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18).