Thoughts on Good Friday

I can still remember Good Fridays where I would wait. I was very young and be outside before it happened. Sometimes, I sat on the porch of my house or ride my swings in the backyard. My Mom and especially my Aunt would share the story of Good Friday. Good Friday was a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It was a day for many to fast and go to church services.

But I had to keep watch as a child and, amazingly, what I watched for always came true. I was told that regardless of where you lived, how warm or cold it was outside, how sunny or cloudy the sky was, at 12 noon the sky would darken until about 3pm, sometimes storm, and then the sun would shine. This would be the time that God was angry because of Jesus’s pain on the cross but then when he dies, God begins to rejoice. And, of course, on Easter, Jesus has arisen from the tomb for all to see.

During my childhood, there was never a Good Friday where the skies would not become dark and storms threatened the horizon. I can’t say that as an adult. Many of my Good Friday afternoons have had a cloud show up here or there.

Maybe it was just my imagination growing up but how many of you experienced the same? It was amazing how God loved his son that he would change the weather every year.

As an adult, most Good Fridays were filled with sadness remembering the pain that Jesus suffered for us. Generally, attending a Good Friday service was on my menu to better understand how Jesus’s love is so strong that he is willing to sacrifice himself. How God does allow suffering in this world. And how we must forgive. We must forgive those that have hurt us and how we need to be less absorbed in our own problems. That is what Good Friday means to me.

It is Good Friday right now as I finish my thoughts. Where I live in the Midwest outside of Chicago, it is the Central time zone and it is 8:30 in the morning. As I pour another cup of coffee, I open the drapes and it looks like it may rain. Cloudy, gloomy and quiet.  I check the weather online. Mostly cloudy with a high of 49. And I open up the hourly forecast for the afternoon. Mostly Cloudy with no precipitation.

I will wait a few more hours and I will watch. It is 10 am and the sun is now shining brightly. So much for the weather online. However, now it is about noon and clouds are slowly beginning to come in from the West. They don’t last because the sun shines with distinction all afternoon…….then again?

Whether the sun, sky or earth changes between the hours of 12 pm and 3pm, Good Friday will always keep me balanced on what is important. Living especially for him and grateful for what I have right at this very moment.

Have a blessed Good Friday!

Come join us this week!

From Senior Pastor Scott Oberle

I have had so many people this year come to me feeling very discouraged. The nation seems divided. Politics are so ugly; front and center. So many people seem angry and choosing sides; friendships have been strained. “It’s hard for me to be on social media anymore.” one friend told me.

Any of this sound familiar? Perhaps, it all reminds us of how broken human relationships can become and how messy life together can be. But there is another truth. One which professes that light is greater than any darkness, hope more powerful than any despair, and that the love of God is more compelling and powerful than any hate or violence we might spill out upon one another.

There is Good News that you won’t find on any television news cast or twitter feed…. It is the news that Jesus Christ has come to bring us closer to God forever; that deeper more meaningful and life altering LIFE is available today in the resurrected Christ.

Come join us to reconnect with God and be with a community that believes that faith is more than a religion or an hour on Sunday, but a life that is changed in how we live and see the world around us because of the love of God in Christ.

EASTER SCHEDULE:

Maundy Thursday: March 29th -6pm Simple Supper provided by Congregational Care Ministries.

Maundy Thursday worship: 7:30pm

Good Friday Tenebrae worship service: 7:30pm

Easter Sunday 

6:00am Sunrise Service

9:00am Traditional Easter Service

10:47am Blended Contemporary Easter Service

Come Change the World with us! United in Love, Faith, Service and Community….United in Christ

First Congregational United Church of Christ of Downers Grove where no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here. If you are traveling or home bound, you can see all of our services online at uccfn.org