Archives For good friday

This may seem like an odd video to post on a day like Good Friday. But take a moment (or three) and watch it. As you watch the images that have been captured, remember this important truth:

The One who created all is the One who fulfilled the Father’s will and died in our place.

The Apostle Paul in Colossians 1 reminds us that it was Jesus who created all things. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him (v16). And in Colossians 1, and other places, we’re also reminded that all was reconciled to the Father through Christ and His blood that was shed on the cross.

Jesus wasn’t just a man who lived a perfect life. He was God in the flesh who came to earth to make a way for us to be reconciled to God in spite of our sin and to show us the way.

May we remember and give thanks. May we worship with humble gratitude the One who was obedient to death on a cross and who is now exalted to the highest place and whose name all will bow before. He is the One who died a horrible death in our place and paid the great penalty for our sin.

(If you would like to know more about the shooting of the video, be sure to click through to the actual Vimeo page the video appears on.)

According to the church calendar, as of March 9, 2011 (or Feb. 22 in 2012), we have entered into the season of Lent which leads to one of the most anticipated and celebrated holidays of Christians around the world – that of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, also known as Easter.

Are you curious about what these holidays are about? Maybe you’ve heard of them, but wonder how some of this related to the expression of evangelical and protestant faith. Maybe you’re a worship leader/pastor, and wondering how you can incorporate some of these things into the worship life of the church you serve.

Well, in order to provide a resource for you, and partially because of the season of transition I’m in I won’t be heavily involved in planning special times together this year, I’ve collected a number of links that I hope will be helpful. I know they have been helpful to me.

(These appear in no particular order of anything…)

What Every Christian Should Know about Ash Wednesday

Holy Days: Ash Wednesday and Lent
This article has lots of background information and practical suggestions.

TeamBuilder: Instrumental Worship and Lent

An example of a Good Friday Community Service

Why Ash Wednesday

Additionally, the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship website offers a number of examples of Ash Wednesday service orders. Head to their resource page, and type “Ash Wednesday” in the search box.

Lent 2009
A candid and personal discussion about the application of the Lent season.

The OpenSourcebook site offers a number of readings and adaptable service ideas appropriate for the various parts of the season:
Ash Wednesday
Lent
Holy Week
Palm Sunday
Good Friday
Easter Sunday

Here are a few posts I’ve done:
Exploring the Journey of Lent
Why Good Friday, Part 1
Why Good Friday, Part 2
Good Friday Service Ideas

Or maybe you would prefer a ink and paper book. I recommend the following two books, which cover the entire Christian year:
Living the Christian Year by Bobby Gross
Ancient Future Time by Robert Webber

Finally, if you’re involved with worship planning, this is worth reading:
Easter Planning – Things I’d Do Differently

Let me know of other links that should be a part of the list, and I will be sure to add them.

Update: 2012

The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 22, 2012.

The blog Cardiphonia offers a great collection of resources (articles, liturgies, and music) for the season of Lent.

Glenn Packiam offers a great overview of the value of Ash Wednesday, Lent, and the entire Christian year in a blog post at ChurchLeaders.com: 2 Compelling Reasons to Observe Lent

And a selection of additional articles (and a video) from fellow blogger Rob Still: Lent Resources Quick Guide

Good Friday Service Ideas

Chris  —  March 9, 2011 — 29 Comments

Over the years, I’ve done a few different kinds of things in planning for Good Friday Services. Good Friday is a great time to experiment and offer a different type of worship experience for people because of the content/subject matter and the fact that it is a “special” service. To be able to draw people into the experience of Good Friday so they can identify with and place themselves in the event is a great thing for many on their spiritual journey. It also helps to create a stronger distinction between the loss of Good Friday and the celebration of the Easter Sunday Resurrection.

You can read more about Good Friday here and here. Click through to check out some planning resources and ideas.

Continue Reading…

We again gathered in our “Do You Believe” series as we remembered Palm Sunday and began the journey through Holy Week that will bring us to the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. Today, we were in John 18 and began looking at the extensive injustices done to the One who is the rightful King of our lives and the world. The contrast between the celebration during Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey and the injustices done to Him by those same people is stark.

Part of wrestling with question of “do we believe Jesus is who He says He is” is also coming to grips with all that He went through and why He did it when He didn’t deserve it. An innocent man who proclaimed and revealed the Kingdom of God sentenced and punished.

We began our time together with welcome, announcement, greeting, and a reminder of upcoming opportunities to be involved with short term missions over the next months. Continue Reading…

Why Good Friday? Part 2

Chris  —  March 26, 2010 — 3 Comments

This is the second of a two-part post about Good Friday. Last week I talked about an experience I had many years ago on Good Friday, and this week I’ll be wrapping up with why I think it is so important for evangelical Christians to also take time for Good Friday. Check out the first post here.

Remembering Good Friday helps us reconnect with the roots of our faith. The first Good Friday was definitely not seen as “good” while it happened. It was as the early church began to organize its pattern and flow of worship that remembering these events gained importance. The y believed the principle that external rites can order internal experience. As we understand what was accomplished through the event of Jesus’ death, it definitely was a good day as the powers of darkness were defeated.

Good Friday is part of a grouping of days known as the Great Triduum that also include Maundy Thursday (when Christ established communion, washed His disciples feet, and gave the new commandment of love) and the Great Paschal Vigil of Saturday (when Christ’s body was lying in the tomb). These days that resolve in Easter Sunday and the resurrection are at the core of our relationship with Christ and our spirituality. The events commemorated in these days cannot be taken lightly as they are some of the most holy, solemn, and serious events at the center of our faith.

These days allow us to again remember God’s saving work in human history. Good Friday is the part that focuses on the death of our Lord and Savior so He could become our Lord and Savior. Without death, there is no resurrection. The connection of Good Friday and Easter Sunday allows us to experience vividly the contrast of suffering/loss and celebration. We cannot fully understand God’s love for us unless we grasp what He gave for us.

Even though we worship the resurrected Christ every day and live in Him because He is alive, this is the time of year when we again can gain a clearer focus on that fact. I am married every day, but taking time to remember and celebrate our anniversary only serves to increase the commitment and joy of our relationship. By taking time to remember and reflect on the events that led to the greatest event in history, we can only benefit as our understanding and love for all God has done grows and the depth of our relationship increases. As much as we may know about the events of Christ’s death and resurrection, there is much that is still a mystery.

This year, make it a priority to be present in the events the church offers to help remember and celebrate. Instead of just looking at the Easter season as a time for vacation or taking it easy, take time to reflect and mediate on Christ and what He did for us. Take time to prepare for the celebration that will happen on Easter Sunday.

May God remind us of how much was given so that we might have life.

Why Good Friday? Part 1

Chris  —  March 19, 2010

This is the first of a two-part post about Good Friday. This week I’ll be talking about an experience I had many years ago on Good Friday, and next week I’ll wrap up with why I think it is so important for evangelical Christians to also take time for Good Friday. (Part 2 link at bottom)

While I was serving at in my first pastoral position, there was a young man in the youth group who was Catholic. He came to services and events at our church and also attended mass at his Catholic church. There was always an open invitation to go to mass with him, and I wanted to be able to do that. But it was hard because I obviously had to by at my church on Sundays.

Growing up, the only exposure that I had to events such as Maundy Thursday or Good Friday was seeing them on the calendar, knowing what they represented, and understanding that mostly liturgical and catholic traditions highlighted them. We were focused (and rightly so) on the celebration of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. It was a huge deal, but the preceding events weren’t as emphasized.

The only way we could figure out how to attend mass with this young man was to go to a special non-Sunday mass. The first opportunity that came was Good Friday. So, off we go to Good Friday mass. I didn’t really know what to expect since I had never attended a Catholic service before.

Being there was a moving experience. While the rituals and such were different than what I had previously experienced, I was drawn into the somber mood and reflection on the death of Christ. There wasn’t a need to tidy things up at the end and remind people of what was to come. I was able to see and comprehend the significance of the death and sacrifice of Jesus – His body broken for ours – in a new way. I was also surprised to discover that the Gospel was fully present, even though most of the people there probably were not hearing the depth of God’s love for us.

I left very moved and reflective upon what I had experience and, more importantly, what Christ had experienced for me. The effect of that was most evident a few days later as I led the congregation in worship on Easter Sunday. I had a fresh and renewed desire to fully celebrate the resurrection because I had come face to face with Christ’s death in a much more significant way than before.

I walked away from that Easter season with a new understanding of the importance of focusing on the entirety of the Easter season, and not just Easter Sunday. Taking time for Good Friday should be just as important for us as coming to church on Easter Sunday.

Come back next Friday to read part two of this topic. Thanks for stopping by.