Friday, April 18, 2014

So today is Good Friday

It's Good Friday.  One o' them high holy days.  I have a weird relationship with Good Friday.  I'll explain.

I was raised Lutheran.  My father listens to the Prairie Home Companion and laughs like a loon at the church stories.  Every family gathering involved Jell-0 with stuff in it.  There's a whole other tangent I could go off on about the Jell-0 at family Christmas.

While Lutherans are known to be low key, unfussy and somewhat quiet in their services, Good Friday was an exception to that rule.  The service would start in the evening.  There would be the expected sermon about the sacrifice Jesus made for the world.  Then the choir would sing the Bible verses of the crucifixion and after each verse one light would turn off until the whole church was dark except for the eternal light, a candle in a red, lantern holder hung over the altar. 

Then everyone would go outside.  The doors to the church would be slammed shut, to symbolize the stone being rolled into place and everyone would go home without talking to each other to meditate upon the sins that caused the sacrifice. 

I understand that the church used to have a living diorama of the crucifixion.  One year, my uncle was chosen to be Jesus and hung on the cross for a while.  He had the Calling at an early age and is a Lutheran minister now. 

When I was 10 or 11, we went to the Good Friday service at the church my godparents were attending.  It was held in an industrial building, the first time I'd seen a church service happening not in a church.  I remember the sermon, the minister was a very good speaker.  He said that the root of sin was found in the middle of the word, the "I".  When a person focuses on the "I", sin follows.  Thinking of the self. leads to acts that hurt others. 

Anyway, we're sitting there and then the lights go down and a big movie screen, not as big as the actual movies but big, starts to show a slide show of the crucifixion.  Crown of thorns, whipping, nailing, darts, all of it.  There was a close up of a mummified Christ, still nailed up on the cross, leaning forward with the mouth hanging open.  The eyes were gone, I'm assuming it was crows.  I had friggin' nightmares about that picture.  I sat there scared to death, but didn't want to cover my eyes because, well, we were in church.

When I'm invited by friends to attend Good Friday services, I always hesitate and ask what kind of service it will be. 

I know, intellectually, that Good Friday is a day to realize that there is something in everyone that is worth saving.  But then I get stuck on that zombie movie and my inner child makes a horrified face. 

But, I have today off.  I'll be cleaning up downstairs and then I have some fun things planned for the day.  If you live in my neighborhood you'll be getting a message from me about it. 

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  You can use the white, inside of an orange peel to buff your nails.

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