Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday?

Is it a bad thing that I don’t want to attend our Good Friday chapel service? To be honest, I would rather stay in my office and plow through a stack of papers or at least steal away a few quiet moments for some sorely neglected reading. Does this make me a bad person? After all, what could be more important than an hour of reflection on the death of Jesus? This is quintessential self-abnegation and the very core of my salvation. I should welcome the opportunity to bring my world to a grinding halt and eagerly embrace this community remembrance. So why don’t I? Perhaps it is because I cringe at artificial reconstructions of emotional experiences (I'm not saying our staff will do this; but if anyone does I would prefer to be the one on stage to ensure that the manipulation is genuine). Perhaps it is because I am emotionally spent this week and I just don’t have it in me to consider the deepest of spiritual truths. Perhaps (oh how I hate to admit this), I don’t want to be reminded that Jesus’ death is everything and my petty scamperings and daily ‘to-do’ lists are trivial in light of the magnitude of Divine Self-Abnegation. That is too frightening a thought. . . . I’ll see some of you there.


Blogger Gregory Fish said...


I really appreciate your honesty, and perhaps it is just stemming from a tiresome week. I think all devoted ministers of any sort tend to have a hard time (at times) being off the stage and in the seats. Automactically, we begin to critique and think of how we'd do it differently, and struggle to turn off this function in our brain, etc. What we need is a time to be filled, so we must remember that God is big enough to fill us (through whatever means). I got to experience this the other day at an outdoor concert and message at the Spanish Christian Radio. They brought in quality people, so it was easy to recieve and not be distracted (again our problem not God's). Then last night we performed a Living Last Supper. Apart from translating the program for the screen, I was doubting Thomas. This artificial reconstruction was a blessing to many-- us actors included! I would have liked to sit out there and soak that in. I don't know what went on in Good Friday Chapel, but I'm sure it was good too. While I understand the struggle, I realize the importance of filling our tanks too, so we can in turn fill others with God's qualities. Anyway, I hope that inspite of the turmoil of "to-do's" the chapel was indeed a much needed blessing.
I now have to go sing at my own Good Friday Service. A combined service of Spanish Churches, where 7 different pastors will spend 10 min. each (yeah right!) on the last 7 words of Jesus. I'll be on my best behavior (for my own sake)!! Blessings!

April 14, 2006 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger nick said...

It has been a repeated truth for me, that some of my best experiances with the Lord have come from places and events that I absolutely didnt want to go to or attend. Only to arrive and be marvled or moved by what happened there. So while it is still hard to make myself do it sometimes, I take comfort in the fact that sacrifice brings about something wonderful. peace be with you my brothers

April 14, 2006 at 6:55 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

I agree with Nick's observation. That is true for me as well.
Speaking after the service, I greatly enjoyed the experience. I was worried that the horror of the event would be missed in the reproduction. They did very well. In fact, this post is a public "hats-off" to Dr. Tom Lawson. His poem was amazing. I am so thankful we have his creative mind in the Kingdom.

April 14, 2006 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Thom Stark said...



I had a conversation with Tom Lawson today and it made me realize how totally depraved I am.


I'll do more exegesis in my papers if you do less palm pilot stuff during chapel. Deal?


April 15, 2006 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger Gregory Fish said...

Yeah, like I thought, the Hispanic ministers did NOT respect the 10 min. they were each given. I had to do a concert at another church at 7 pm, and the other started at 3 pm, I thought there'd be no rush between the two. I was wrong! But fortunately it all went through without a hitch, and indeed I was blessed through it.

April 15, 2006 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Mark Moore said...

I did go to the service and, like Jay, walked away with a deep appreciation of Tom Lawson as a brother of deep creativity who uses his gift to help the rest of us connect with God. I did appreciate the service itself but even more meaningful was the time afterwards I spent in quiet meditation. The chapel became for me a place of sacred space where I could be with God in stillness thinking about things too deep for me.

April 17, 2006 at 7:29 AM  
Blogger michael defazio said...

you guys make me miss being there... I'm proud to be associated with all of you. peace and love

April 17, 2006 at 11:02 AM  

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