Today is Good Friday – the day that Christ condemned to death, is crucified, and buried by his faithful. It is a heartbreaking and solemn day, except for this one thing: he rises again. Christ knew there would be earthly pain, he knew there would be earthly death… and he knew he would return.
If you’re like me, and a little light on the story to timeline connection, Church Pop did a fabulous info-graphic, that has really helped me follow along this week (since I’ve been catching up on my readings, I’ve been close to real time reading Christ’s journey).
So this morning, Christ is on the Cross. And later today he will die, and the Joseph and Rabbis will secure the burial site. The women will faithfully observe Sabbath, and Christ will rise.
Whenever I read the story of Holy Week, I think of the women of faith. It is a difficult thing to be faithful in hard times, it is hard to do what you need to do for your spirit (and the Holy Spirit) in these modern and busy seasons of life. That’s how our whole team has fallen behind in our reading – Bible reading is one of the first things to go when faced with overtime at work, and deadlines at school, feeding our families, and getting out of the door on time for our worldly obligations. The worlds needs are loud, and so it is easy to hear them first – but God planted the seed of faith into those faithful women of Jerusalem, and they listened to it.
Today’s reading has a passage that speaks to the power of the seed of faith:
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
-Luke 17.5-6 (NIV)
Our faith is this tiny thing inside us, that remains through all the noise of the world. And when called upon, it moves great works. The faithful women, who had followed Christ from Galilee were certainly distressed by the worldly grief of losing Christ – they had known him, and served with the Apostles alongside Christ, and I suspect he was more than a leader but also a friend to these women. But they had faith in him as Son of God, and even if they did not understand that he would rise again (the Apostle’s didn’t – Luke 18.34), they understood his commandments for Sabbath- so they prepared and observed. These women turned to that seed of faith, deep in their hearts when the noise of the world got too loud and they did what they had been called upon to do.
This weekend, we celebrate the Easter holiday – the death of a worldly man and the rebirth of our God and our salvation. Many of us exit lent with no direct goals for our faith in the spring (finally eating donuts and chocolate again is not a goal BTW). I challenge you to do this – find something that will hearten your seed of faith – bible reading, service to your home Church, whatever it may be – and do that thing. Christ doesn’t need to grow our faith – he planted the seed, and we get to grow it and command it. That is a gift as great as our salvation.