April 10, 2020

We are blessed to have a number of retired pastors who worship in our congregation. For Holy Week, we asked them to each write a blog post on a different day of Holy Week. Up today is Bill Kettenring for Good Friday

Well, this has been the most challenging Lenten season I’ve ever known. That whole personal-sacrifice-for-the-common-good has taken on a more mature meaning. I’m never going to hear about giving-up-chocolate-for-Lent in quite the same way, again.

Good Friday is like that. Where Easter Sunday gets top billing for resurrection and celebration, it’d be just “back to work like usual,” if there was no victory over cruxifixion and death. “Turn the other cheek”and “go the extra mile” are but simple quotables, and even only ancient muttering without “enduring the cross, despising the shame” as evidence of Jesus’ integrity and reliability:  He did (and does) what He called us to do.

Good Friday is our day of At-One-Ment. We remember that, as dark as it was, how unfair, inconvenient, frightening, Jesus went through it. He did feel abandoned by God, but never so much as to stop crying out to God. In spite of the hatefulness below him; he asked God to forgive them.  And he finshed his work and he knew it. 

And all I’ve been asked to do today is, love God, love my neighbor as myself (in times like these!) and, uh, to stay home.

Rev. Bill Kettenring was just getting his legs under him, what with all the Men’s breakfasts, occasional luncheons, sleeping in and general meddling he was doing after retiring from almost 30 years in Child Welfare.  Then the pandemic hit and he had to start retirement all over. Bill is ordained as a Free Methodist Elder, but the Presbyterians at CKPC have been nurturing, tending, prodding, feeding and praying for him since 1994. There are signs it’s working.

7 Responses

  1. Bill, thank you for this Good Friday message. Yes, this is a Lenton Season and Holy Week that will long remain in our memory. May we never forget to confess and remember all that Christ gave up for us so that because of Him we now “Live” in Him.

  2. Thank you for this Good Friday reminder of what today means. May we never forget what Christ did for us. Hopefully we will be thankful every day, not just at this time of year. Because of His sacrifice we will one day see Him face to face. What a glorious day that will be! “I Can Only Imagine”. . .

  3. THANKS REV. BILL, I always find your perspective meaningful. Your sentence, “In spite of the hatefulness below Him, He asked God to forgive them.” Brought to my mind’s eye the view from the Cross on Good Friday. Jesus could hear and see the hatefullness of the scoffers and soldiers. Jesus also saw hopefulness as John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, comforted Mary, His mother. With His view from Golgotha, Jesus could see helpless, BUT NOT HOPELESS sinners, like me…

  4. Thanks Bill for these important thoughts on perspective. Has our wilderness experience lasted 40 days yet?

  5. Thank you, Bill. All of our pastors at CKPC, retired and currently serving, have blessed us this Holy week more than ever. I have been continually inspired and grateful. We needed this reinforcement of God’s promises more than ever, right now.

  6. Feeling abandoned does not mean being alone….He knew his Father loved Him. Beneath the agony and torture He experienced was the deep love of God for His only son. I’m certain God felt it all……and cried.

  7. Thank you, Bill! Good Friday is most often observed by a worship service in somewhat darkness with a black cloth draped over the Cross as our focal point. I missed that symbolism this Holy Week. But we still confess our betrayals of Jesus in many ways and almost daily. Thank your for pointing out the platitudes we often say to comfort one another. They sometimes lose their meaning. Being quarantined this Good Friday was different than those times of gathering together to worship, while having that sense of being alone, even when there are crowds around us. I am sure that Jesus felt alone as well.

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