Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday rest from the 'Rest-Fest'

Well, today is that day known (in the western world, at least) as "Good Friday".   For my family, it means the start of the Easter school holidays, and a welcome slowdown, for a little while.

Josh's "Part 2" on Biblical rest was tentatively planned for today, but we'd both forgotten this would be Easter weekend.  I think I'll give him the day off ;)

So...  back to "Good Friday".  Not being one to really make much of special days (of any sort) I wasn't planning to do anything in particular.  I did buy some hot cross buns as a sort of afterthought, yesterday at the supermarket.  (my kids do love them - and it makes a holiday seem more like a holiday if you mark it with something special)

As far as the so-called "Christian Calendar" goes, though, I have mixed feelings about Easter (and all the other "holy days", for that matter).

Don't get me wrong - I'm not against marking days, or having celebrations (hey, who doesn't love a celebration!!)  I'm a fan of Christmas!  We always have so much fun - & it is wonderful to get together with extended family (which we will also do this Sunday) and just hang together with people I love.  And the food!!  My mum is a wonderful cook, so we get REALLY spoiled!!

But I digress.

The more I immerse myself in the "way of Christ", the more I am realising that it is NOT about religious observance, rituals, or even the "right" way of thinking about things.  It is a way of being.  An embrace of life that embraces others.  A loss of self-identity in which I find myself part of a life and identity that is so much larger.

This is not something that is brought about by remembering particular days, or any kind of outward observance at all.  It is something I must live into, always.  To embrace the way of Christ, is to live into his death and resurrection, as a way of life.  Every day. 

So are religious festivals simply missing the point?

Well, often I think they do a great job of helping us miss it!  But not necessarily.  They can provide a intentional time to reflect and re-focus.  It is good to have reminders of what it is really all about. 

So today, in spite of my dismissive attitude towards religious holidays in general, I'm going to remind myself of some things.

I'm going to remind myself that in participating in our human suffering and death, Jesus demonstrated that he truly was "God WITH us" - not distant - not above - not even beside, but truly WITH. 

I'm going to meditate a little on the incredible joy I find in connecting with others - warts and all, and more and more often, on their  terms. 

I'm going to wonder, in the awestruck and quiet sense of that word, at the deep sense of shared humanity I find, when I manage to connect with others in their worlds, and in their places.  Sharing another's joy or pain.  Participating in the inner world of another.  Seeing the world through their eyes. And at the way in which learning to let go, somewhat, of my own identity as white, middle-class, educated, female, christian....  has opened me up to something so much larger.

And maybe I'll even share some of these thoughts with my kids this morning... over crusty hot cross buns, of course!


  1. Most people here just like the day off to go fishing.

    1. Haha, Stu - this is true. So are you fishing, today? Or just taking it easy?? (or, horror of horrors, are you participating in some religious observance???)

  2. All three. Well I wish I was fishing. As a confused human, my thoughts for good Friday are..... I hope there is something smarter than us in the universe, because we aren't that bright.


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