Three Gatherings: Three perspectives (Good Friday 2014)
I love engaging with other church services of various Christian traditions. Being a pastor I don’t get the opportunity to head on over to a local congregation to celebrate Jesus with them because we all meet at the same times. But being Holy Week we have lots of different services going on this week in our small community. So with the local paper in hand (they still highlight gathering times in our town) I planned out a day to attend a couple Good Friday services.
At one pm I attended the service at the United Methodist church. This was a joint afternoon gathering with the Congregational Church. Pastor Rebecca is a great lady whom I have grown to respect deeply these last three years. She loves her people and this community deeply and I love how she ordered the service and guided us through it. Pastor Chris from the Congregational church gave a great message about how pain doesn’t always mean it’s bad and how we need to have patience to get through. The direct link to the pain of the Cross and how good came out of it for those that waited. The cool thing about this service was that two ladies from Immanuel Lutheran church sat by me. So there were at least four (not just two) churches that gathered.
At five pm I went, with a lady from our church, to Nativity of our Lord Catholic church and was lead through the Stations of the Cross by Deacon Bill Miller. We gathered with many in our community to reflect and ponder the last moments of Christ’s life before He was place on the cross. Yes I know a couple of the stations don’t have direct links to Biblical stories, but I don’t get bent out of shape on that. This was a deeply moving time for me as we turned and focused on Jesus in a non-hyped manner.
Lastly I spent the evening at church Grace Foursquare as the youth of our church led us in readings, drama and worship to seal the day for me. There is nothing like leaving the church in silence late at night in the dark as we contemplate what Jesus did for us. I am very much opposed to church hopping or shopping but on days like this I think it is great to check a few out and see how Jesus can speak to you!