Monday, April 9, 2012

A Good Friday

Writer's Note: I did, in fact, start this post on Friday.  And then I was distracted by the Peanut, as you might imagine can happen with a two-week old.  And then I was distracted on Saturday.  And Sunday.  And so I am just now, on Monday afternoon, getting to post this.  But at least it's getting posted.

Today, so far, has been a good Friday, on this Good Friday.  We had a rough night's sleep, but the Peanut (okay, Will) has had a great morning, and Husband came home early and is getting to see the side of his son that he hasn't been able to see this week - the sweet, still-deep blue eyes looking up at him and around at the world, his peaceful, non-crying sleep.  It makes my heart happy, because it's hard that most of the time Husband is home are the hours when Will fusses more or when our sleep is incredibly interrupted.    Right now they're cuddling on the couch as Husband watches a movie.  Happy heart, yes.

I opened up Facebook this morning, still groggy from the night's "sleep," and began to see my believing friends' posts about Good Friday.  "Oh yes," I thought.  "It's Good Friday.  I nearly forgot."  (Easter has really snuck up on us - the last few months were all about getting to the end of my working and getting to the birth of the Peanut.)  I'd realized in the last few days that, no matter how busy, how tired, I needed to get back into my regular quiet times.  What better day than today to start?

First, I'd love for you to read this post on when I first really began to appreciate Good Friday.  Growing up in a Christian home, you'd think I would have cared earlier, but it really wasn't until I was a Junior in college that it clicked.  If you have time, read it, please.  You'll understand me better.
This morning I opened up my Bible to Luke as I continue to make my way through the New Testament.  It was fitting, I thought, that as I held my nearly two-week old son in my arms, I read about Jesus' birth, rather than his death, on this day.  The shepherds were heralded in the fields by angels, told of the baby's birth.  Mary put her baby to sleep in a manger in a strange place, not in her home.  And Jesus, a tiny baby, was already the Messiah.  He didn't grow up to become the Messiah, he was Messiah.

My first thought was "May I be even half the woman that Mary was."  I'd already read earlier in Luke Mary's interaction with the angel as he foretold that she would be the mother of the Messiah. 

"Good morning!
You're beautiful with God's beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you."

the angel greeted Mary (via the Message).  Would that I be called beautiful, inside and out, with God's beauty.  And Mary, after a brief moment of questioning, responds:

"Yes, I see it all now:
I'm the Lord's maid, ready to serve.
Let it be with me
just as you say."

Mary is just awesome.  And here, at the birth of her son, the Messiah, I know she must have felt some of the same things I feel when I look at my son.  He's tiny, helpless, depenedent on me.  Yet at the same time, she knew he was the Messiah, the Savior.   And she was responsible for his life and his well-being.  He was a baby, not a saint.  I can't imagine he didn't cry and eat and poop just the like the rest of the babies.... and Mary was his mom.  Wow.

May I be even half the woman she was.

Then I wondered why God chose to send himself, his son, as a baby, and a baby to a carpenter, instead of a king.  So small, so humiliating.  No, wait, that's not the right word.  Not humiliating, I realized, but humbling. 

The Lord God, the Almighty, the Great I Am, humbled himself to come to be with us, and what less auspicious way to do so then to come as a baby, the most humble of beings? 

And then it struck me. 

When I consider his death, today, too, I realize he did it again.  To die on a cross, like a common criminal, between two common criminals, was humiliating.  No, not humiliating.  Humbling. 

The Lord God, the Almight, the Great I Am, humbled himself to die for us, to atone for the sins that we hadn't even yet committed, and he died in the most awful of ways. 

We believe in a God, we serve a God, we have been saved by a God who cared enough about us to completely humble Himself from the beginning to the end of His time here.

How then, can I, can we, still refuse to do the same?  How can we so stubbornly cling to our pride, our selfishness, our own desires and wishes? 

May this Easter season be one where I let go of those things I so ridiculously hold onto, and may I instead follow the example that has been set before me and humble myself, just as He did.

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