When my wife was a little girl, she had to lay quietly on her bunk on Good Friday afternoon. When I was a kid, I didn’t even know there was a Good Friday.
In our tradition, Palm Sunday and Good Friday went largely unnoticed, although as I grew older Sunrise services on Easter morning were becoming more popular.
As a Baptist of a certain sort, we steered clear of anything that felt Catholic. And such observances seemed contrary to Scripture: Paul told the church in Galatia that the observance of “days and months and seasons and years” was a return “to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world (4:9-10)”
For some Presbyterian organizations, their liturgy didn’t even mention the church year until well into the 20th century. And Baptists prided ourselves on not even having a liturgy. We did, of course. We just never wrote it down, although Sunday after Sunday followed the same unchanging order.
As an adult I do observe Good Friday, although I don’t think it earns me any points. It is, however, a reminder of what Christ did. Our congregation gathers today at 1:00 p.m. and I’ve already seen the order of service. Things change.
But other things don’t, like the importance of what we remember: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day pin accordance with the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
Whatever you do today, consider that.
Because it’s really good news.
[What was Good Friday like for you as a kid? How has it changed, in meaning or practice?]