Friday, March 21, 2008

My "God Pill." It started working...

Before I begin, I will post another silly quiz for "Friday Fun." I just have to say a few things first:
Today is Good Friday. Yesterday through Sunday, Easter Weekend, are probably the most important holidays in Christiandom. Even more important than Christmas. I'm not kidding. I read Daily Mantra's blog, Religion is the New Prozac a while ago. It led me to think about my experiences growing up, the Easter season, and everything going on in my life.

As a kid, we went to almost all of the Lent services. It gave me a great appreciation for how solemn yesterday and today are as far as Christian holidays go. The solemnity started Yesterday with Maundy Thursday. That service. It's hard to describe. In the church I went to as a kid, the service was normal until communion. After communion, there was the readings. Then the altar was stripped and we would go home. No fellowship, no hand shaking, no benediction or closing prayer and hymn. Just DARKNESS. and SILENCE. Because, Maundy Thursday is the day that commemorates the Last Supper, the night that Jesus was betrayed, sealing His fate that He was to be crucified. (Our service order was much like this one.)

Good Friday, of course is today. Today is the commemoration of His death and crucifixion. Today is the MOST important holiday as far as most Christians are (or should be ) concerned. Today is the day that Jesus died. Today is the day He descended into Hell. I grew up speaking the words of the Apostles Prayer in Church, which tells us all how "...[He] was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into Hell. On the third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty..." Knowing this, that's what makes Maundy Thursday so powerful to me. Knowing that Jesus DIED and went to HELL for three days to pay for our sins. We all complain (myself included) about hell on earth, and how bad our lives are, but I'm pretty sure we're exaggerating. We don't know half of it.

Easter is a happy day. Because, after Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, it can only get better, right? Our Saviour comes back to life. "... On the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty..." That's why we celebrate Easter. Because our Saviour just finished his sentence of three days in Hell. Three days of Hell for all of us. I love Easter. It's light, it's colors, it reminds me of the hope that there is a place somewhere where it doesn't matter how much money you made, what possessions you owned, or what people thought of you. The only thing that matters is that you made the choice to believe that Jesus died for you. And as a reward, you get His neverending Love. Sounds nice, huh?

We all get caught up in our day to day lives. We all worry about gas prices rising, and all of the terrible things that can and do happen here on Earth. Lately, I've been worrying about our country. The recession, the depression that is coming. That if things get bad enough, our military (including my husband) may stop being paid. They are still expected to pay their bills and show up to work, but their paychecks are held until the government can pay. I am worried about the Presidential election. Which one of the candidates is going to make our country worse? Our whole world seems to be crumbling under the weight of oppression, racism, hate and greed. Our country is so jaded that we actually believe that we are 'hurting.' We have NO idea what the people are going through in Darfur, and many other similar countries. In China, the country regularly censures everything. They can't even read 2/3 of the internets because of the "Great Firewall of China." I worry that something terrible is going to happen to my child, and he will be 'broken' forever. Basically, I have been WORRIED. ABOUT. EVERYTHING. With all of this worrying, I have been a little miserable inside, and have had trouble sleeping.

Last night, though, when I realized it was Maundy Thursday, I said a prayer. I asked for forgiveness, because I haven't been doing my job as a Christian as well as I should be. I haven't been a good example of what a Christian should be. The further away I get from God, the more I worry about things I can't control. The further away I get from His Love, the more powerless I feel. I'm not depressed, I don't need help in that manner, I just need to realize that there are some things out there that I can't control. I need to be able to realize that I can put my fears and worries into His hands, and let Him help me through them. I need reassurance that Someone is out there, watching us and keeping us out of most danger. I need reassurance that if the stuff really does hit the fan, it isn't really over, that we're not here for nothing.

I know that this Easter I can start over. I can be a better Christian, I will be forgiven. I can give these worries to our Lord, and He will take them from me. He will help me cope. That is why Easter is such a happy, bright holiday. It reminds me that even when I think everything is wrong with the world, there is still a bright light for me in Jesus.

So, maybe there is something about that whole God Pill after all.


Lisa said...

Thanks for this post. I grew up Baptist and they don't really go into all of the holy week ceremonies (at least my church didn't). My husband and I have recently joined a Methodist church and they really celebrate the holy week. Since my daughter goes to preschool at our church I often feel like she knows more about it all then I do. I have certainly been learning a lot from my 4 year old this week.

I have struggled a LOT this year with giving my worries up to God. I still have to work on it everyday, but I sure am trying.

Sorry this became a book. :)

Elisabeth said...

Thank you. I needed to read this. I really appreciate all that you said and definately needed the reminder.