07 April 2012

Experiencing Good Friday

In the community on Good Friday, we remembered Jesus' death on the cross at noon instead of at the expected time of three in the afternoon (the ninth hour). It wasn't so much intentional as a number of different misunderstandings.

And I was totally flabbergasted and confused. I came with the flowers to be used to adorn the cross only a few minutes before the noon service began. And I was reprimanded for not having them there earlier - "but I thought they were for the next service - the one at three." We began the service with the liturgy for the ninth hour - except it was the only the sixth hour. But was I sure? I mean, it'd been a year since I'd honoured Good Friday so maybe I had it wrong. And I don't know how to tell Jewish time all that well - we'd also mentioned something about the sixth hour at the earlier chapel service, so maybe I had it wrong - or it'd been planned that we'd be a little different with timing, so that people could still be present in their own churches. But shouldn't someone have warned me then so I could make sure everything was ready with the flowers? And maybe I had it wrong - maybe it was three o'clock when Jesus gave up his spirit or we buried him - what were we supposed to remember next?!? But then why did we need to lay the flowers by his cross, if we were just remembering his being placed on it? There were all these other people in the chapel and nobody else seemed to be confused or bother about what was going on, so I must be wrong. The whole service (a half hour long), I sat dumbfounded and overwhelmed - feeling that something was wrong - weren't we crucifying Jesus at the wrong time?!?!?

I came home and called Matthijs - I needed to talk to someone to let go of my sense that something had gone gravely wrong.

A day later, it dawned on me. My feelings of being overwhelmed from our mistakenly remembering Jesus' death at the wrong time are only a small fraction of how those following Jesus must have felt when they saw him on the cross so long ago.

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