Reflection on Good Friday & Preparing Children for Easter
Am I a stone, and not a sheep,
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,
To number drop by drop Thy Blood’s slow loss,
And yet not weep?
Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;
Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon-
I, only I.
Yet give not o’er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more.
“For Good Friday,” by Christina Rossetti
“The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me’….” (I Cor. 11:23-24)
On the very same night He was betrayed, Jesus shared this last meal with those he loved and then chose to lay down his life for them – and for me. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Oh, what love! Lord, smite this rock today that I may feel and know your love poured out for me.
“Good Friday is the day when you can do nothing. Bewailing and lamenting your manifold sins does not in itself make up for them. Scouring your soul in a frenzy of spring cleaning only sterilizes it; it does not give it life. On Good Friday, finally, we are all, mourners and mockers alike, reduced to the same impotence. Someone else is doing the terrible work that gives life to the world.”
Virginia Stem Owens, Bread and Wine, p. 244
My first step of faith:
I can do nothing to save myself; by grace, God has done everything for me through Christ. I cannot DO anything but rest on what Christ has already DONE. When I cease doing, God can begin….
As I reflected on that this morning, an image of a drowning person came to mind. The more one struggles, the more helpless one becomes and the more difficult rescue turns out to be. So rest today; let go; learn to “float,” to trust God completely.
Into your arms, loving Lord, let me “freefall,”
upheld by your goodness and mercy.
Secure in your embrace,
show me how to love without effort,
trust without fear,
and live with abandon.
Sam Hamilton-Poore, Earth Gospel, page 106.
See Pilgrim Walk by the Sea, “Floating,” page 50