Some 30 years ago I came to know Jesus as Savior. It was on Palm Sunday when I told my mom that I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart. Later that week, we attended Maundy Thursday service and Good Friday. My life was changed as the weight of my confession of Jesus began to make sense. I was overwhelmed as a 6 year old. I cried as the little choir sang the old hymn, "Were You There." There were no special effects. There were no fog machines. There were no church people dressed up in bath robes, no actor's portraying Jesus on a cross. There was no trickery. Just the Holy Spirit taking hold of my little heart. I wasn't afraid of hell. I wasn't trying to be like my parents. I just knew I wanted to know this Jesus that died for me.
This Friday I am hoping that some of your children will be sitting with you. We're going to come together to reflect on the Cross of Jesus. The night will be full of music both celebratory and dark. Between each song we will ask a question from the Cross. We will move through the Scriptural account of Jesus betrayal, trial, death and burial. This Good Friday is appropriate for all people of all ages.
I hope, as a church, that we approach the Cross in awe, thanksgiving, confession, repentance, tears, joy, and that we are confronted with the questions God asks of us as his Son hangs on a tree.
There are other things you could be doing on Friday night. I don't mean to Jesus Juke you. There are movies to see, people to hang with, dinner dates to keep. But as a pastor, I want to encourage you to be there. When like minds and hearts join together to make much about Jesus, something special happens. We moved the service to 7:15pm so that families could have plenty of time to prepare themsleves and their hearts to join with the rest of their family this Friday.
I also want to encourage you to invite your friends and family. Go out to dinner with them before or afterward. Take them out for dessert. Meet them at the doors. Introduce them to the grace that you have experienced because Jesus went to the depths. He embraced the Cross so that you could embrace God. This is worth the step in faith it might take to be missional.
See you on Friday.