Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday--Old School Style

I have been thinking about the Good Fridays of my childhood. I think it is because thunderstorms are predicted for today: my father told me that it always rains on Good Friday, in honor of what happened on that day. Sure enough, there have been just a handful of sunny-all-day Good Fridays in my memory.

Back-in-the-day, almost everything was closed from 12noon to 3 pm. All the stores closed. All the factories shut down for three hours. Almost everybody was in church. After church, we could play quietly or read, but we had to stay at home, and the tv and radio had to be off.

Contrast that with today. Johnny Tremain (our resident public-school teacher) says that this is the last school-year that public schools will even be closed on Good Friday. Stores are having last-minute Easter sales. Well, you know how it is today, I don't have to explain it to you.

We have been watching the seven-hour made-for-tv miniseries Jesus of Nazareth this week for school. At the time it came out (1977), there was a brouhaha about the possibility of the network sponsors pulling their advertising, because of the religious content of the miniseries. However, it was a smash hit, showing in two parts on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday nights.

Watching it over four days this week, I have been steeped in the Life of Christ. Seeing an actor saying the familiar words of the gospels has put them in my mind in a more vivid way. Some of the familiar sayings of our Lord got a new "punch" seeing them in the context of the scenery and people in the film.

We'll be going to our church service, and I'll pick up a few forgotten things for the weekend at the store (but Not between 12 and 3!). My kids will complain about having to be home for three hours With The Tv Off. But we will think about the Lamb without blemish, provided by our heavenly Father so that He could reconcile us to Himself. It is too, too awe-some to think about.

Hope you are thinking about it today, too!

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