No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to shake the guilt. . .
My family and I were driving home from Indiana after spending a few days visiting relatives. We also had gone to Turkey Run State Park to hike and just reconnect with God, each other, and created world.
I had intended to get on the road early enough to make it back to Elgin in time for the community wide Good Friday service at 7pm. But with a late start and construction traffic, I was slowly coming to the realization that we were not going to make it.
So here I was. . .a Pastor. . . sitting, not in church, but in traffic. . . on one of the most important days of the year.
I tried to think of the last time I WASN’T in church on Good Friday. I couldn’t. Which made the guilt even worst!
So I sat there. . . starring at the bumper of the car in front of me.
But as I did, I began to reflect back on the events of the last week:
- The dinner Tuesday night at my mom and dad’s. A house full of Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. The joy of children opening Easter baskets. The laughter at the funny stories told around the table.
- The time at Turkey Run. The conversations on the trails. The early morning time in God’s Word. The excitement at seeing a groundhog lumber up to the bird feeder at the nature center. The laughter at brunch as we talked about the humanity of Jesus and all the ‘grossness’ that would have entailed (insert bathroom humor here- not exactly moms favorite moment :).
With all of these images flooding passed me, a Scripture passage came to mind:
“God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. . . and he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Cor. 5
It was then, God’s voice broke through my feelings of guilt. It said, “This is what Good Friday is all about. This is why I died. . . to make these moments possible. I died to reconcile you back to me, to each other, and to the creation. What better way could you think to celebrate??!!”
And even though I still missed the time spend in community with my brothers and sisters . .at that moment, the guilt began to lift. . . as I learned there is more than one way to celebrate the wondrous message of the Cross!!
See you Sunday,