I was at CLA this morning for the "Church of Langley" Good Friday service. Different church's were responsible for different aspects of the morning... one contributed the worship team, another one handled the ushering, one pastor lead us through communion, another one delivered the sermon.
The part that "got" to me?
Right at the end.
It was the benediction. The heavily-accented pastor, called all the other pastors in the house to come down to the front (there was a about 20 of them) ; and there they stood, side by side, with their hands outstretched over us, their "flock", as this was read in a loud, authorative voice:
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
and it gave me goosebumps as tears filled my eyes and then the service was over. I ended up standing outside with people I knew from Killarney Park, Fraser Heights, North Langley, Southgate and Murrayville Churches, and my heart totally agreed with Sue when she predicted that heaven would be just like this.
From Grace for the Moment:
The final prayer of Jesus was about you. His final pain was for you. His final passion was for you. Before he went to the cross, Jesus went to the garden. And when he spoke with his Father, you were in his prayers ...
And God couldn't turn his back on you. He couldn't because he saw you, and one look at you was all it took to convince him. Right there in the middle of a world which isn't fair. He saw you betrayed by those you love. He saw you with a body which gets sick and a heart that grows weak...
On the eve of the cross, Jesus made his decision. He would rather go to hell for you than go to heaven without you.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. He died for me.
2. And for you.
3. Sunday comes after Friday.