Thursday, December 2, 2010

Good Friday all year round

Our church just asked us all to write a devotional message for printing in a little Christmas advent devotional guide.  Here's what I came up with:

At Christmas we celebrate the Savior’s birth, at Easter, His resurrection.  In between them, though, is an important day we overlook as Christians.  Good Friday is the day our Lord was brutally murdered.  I feel that we push this day to the side because it reminds us of our need for someone to die for us.  We just don’t want to be reminded of our own personal giant bailout, let alone tell others about it.  Worse yet, our avoidance of Good Friday and the crucifixion, I believe, is symbolic of how we tend to live our lives in American culture.  We are entitled to a “good life” here in America and feel spurned by God if we don’t get our due.  We spend most of our energies, monies, and conversations trying to feel as good as or better than others.   We constantly give ourselves grace instead of holding ourselves to a higher standard, when the Bible clearly says, “Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy” (Romans 6:19b). New life in Christ insists on a radical new way of living: Forgiving others, loving our enemies, building others up instead of ourselves and self-discipline in a country that gives us every freedom in the world.  Death is not a subject we like or are comfortable with, but is one that Christians, of all people, should know well.   In this world that does everything opposite of how God intended, it only makes sense that our lives in Him, would begin with death.   Neglecting the price paid for this precious gift of salvation demeans it, doesn’t make it attractive to others or help them know how they can have it too.   

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. 
Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 
Don’t look out only for your own interests, 
      but take an interest in others, too.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

 Though he was God,
      he did not think of equality with God
      as something to cling to.
 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
      he took the humble position of a slave
      and was born as a human being.
   When he appeared in human form,
      he humbled himself in obedience to God
      and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
      and gave him the name above all other names,
 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2:3-11

1 comment:

Judith said...

Great post. I love it.