Saturday, April 07, 2007

His Final Week on Earth – Saturday

Good Friday wasn’t so good.

It was a fabulous day in Western Washington—almost 80 degrees at my house. The yard work and dahlias are making great progress. By almost all accounts, a great day.

Except…

Dodger, our Chesapeake Bay retriever of 13+ years, had to be “put down.” He had lived a good life and his health was failing. Yesterday morning while I was up at the office (on my day off, please don’t tell my Elders) he started having difficulty breathing. By the time I got him to the vets office he could barely walk. We had our “good byes” and the vet gave him something to stop his suffering.

Typically on the Saturday of Easter weekend, I rationally think about Christ’s death and what the disciples must have been going through--the death of their friend, rabbi and Lord. The disciples thought that the tomb was final, even though Jesus had spoken of his rising from the dead. They must have had a horrible day. Today, all rationality gets stripped away. Death is very real.

Christian churches today move to quickly from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. We don’t like to think about Jesus’ death and what it meant to Peter, James, John, Mary, Mary the mother of Jesus and the rest of the group. We must take time focus of Christ’s death or there is the risk of grace becoming cheap.

Each weekend Evergreen has Saturday night worship and Sunday morning worship. The services have the same message—the music and ambience of the services are very different. Tonight, we will not be having the “normal” music—we will be singing At the Foot of the Cross (by Kathryn Scott), Your Blood Says Everything (by Billy Somerville) and How Deep the Father’s Love for Us (by Stuart Townsend). Tonight, we will not be having an Easter message. We will look at what was happening in the lives of the disciples and what was happening in Jerusalem. We will also use the Apostle’s Creed and look at the phrase, “He descended into hell…”

The service tonight will be quiet and contemplative. We will keep Christ in the tomb, thinking of his sacrifice.

Today I think of death—the death of my dog, Dodger—the death of my Lord, Jesus.

1 Comments:

At 9:05 PM , Blogger Presbyterian Gal said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your dog. And your ability to put this loss in such perspective is the greatest tribute you can bear.

I don't think many folks think about "He descended into Hell" much and what that might have meant.

 

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