Nearly two thousand years ago, two men journeyed toward a village nearby Jerusalem. Their hearts were heavy as they discussed the shocking crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. A stranger then joins them, asking what things they discussed. They stop walking, and look at the stranger, their faces looking surprised and sad as they say,
“Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.”
The stranger reminds them of various scriptures about the Christ, this one to redeem Israel, before joining them for an evening meal. With bread in hand, he blesses and breaks it, and then gives it to the two men. They are breathless, as this stranger’s actions make for a shocking moment of clarity: this is Jesus, and He is alive!
This account from Luke 24:13-35 serves as a helpful story for what to expect for our services this upcoming weekend.
As the men pondered over the shock and sadness of the crucifixion of Jesus, so it is fitting for us to do so. We can shortcut too quickly to the end of the story, and in so doing, miss the significance of Good Friday as well as Easter. There is a beauty in the contrast of the journeyers’ shattered hope to their revived hope!
To help us grow in our joy and appreciation of the resurrection, we’re hosting contrasting services on Friday and Sunday.
At our Good Friday service as we recall the events of the crucifixion, we’re going to sit in the uncomfortable feeling. Not just metaphorically, but literally sit in discomfort as we sit on the floor of our gym. The service will include intentional reflection on how Christ’s broken body gives hope to all of us sinners with broken-down bodies. Non-traditional for us (a very social church family), we’ll end the service in silence, keeping the gym a quiet place for further reflection. When done reflecting, if you want to chat with others, please do so outside of the building to preserve the quiet reflection space inside.
To make the most of this opportunity:
- Come a few minutes early to get settled before the service starts at 6:30 p.m.
- Bring a blanket or rug for you/your crew to sit on (chairs available for those unable to sit on the ground)
- Young families bring items to engage your kids (to foster a quiet/reflective setting)
- Consider utilizing the nursery room (unstaffed) if your kids need a louder space
In contrast, come on Easter morning wearing your lively colors as we return to gathering in the auditorium. We’ll celebrate not only the shockingly good news that Jesus is risen indeed, but also the joyful hope of one day receiving glorified, resurrected bodies like His!
I can’t wait to take this journey toward seeing the risen Christ alongside you, Summitview family! Everyone is welcome to join. So who are you going to invite to discover hope with us?
– John Larsen