I should be thinking about Jesus’ life and death every day, not just on Good Friday or Lent or Easter or Christmas, this is true. But I get lost in my daily life and forget often. I confess that many days I do my routines without prayer or Jesus’ Words in my ears…my humanness comes out often. It’s a battle and I am weak. I set special reminders on our calendar because I need it…long for it.
Today is Friday, the day that my Lord died. Remember what Jesus said after they finished the Passover meal last night and walked into the garden? “Watch with me.” The disciples wanted to obey and tried, but they were weary and human…just like me. I sleepily go through my day without realizing what important thing God is doing and he wants me along.
It’s not a normal day. God is getting ready to do what he promised to Eve.
I don’t want to do my normal routine today and that be all. I don’t want to forget this day. So how to keep the mind engaged throughout the day? How do I go through my regular routines with an ever present reminder? Some people fast from something. They could choose all food or a food so that when their stomach’s rumble or crave they are reminded and stop to think and pray often. Some say no to an activity that is part of their daily rhythm so that when they reach for it, they remember. Maybe a sticky note on a window or mirror would work for some.
My kids are remembering by going through their day with the lights off. It’s a different day with the lights off. Doing something different is how you break up the normal monotony of a day. The ideas are endless and will depend on the person. I like the picture of the lights off because it flows right into the picture of the light and darkness we’ve been looking at for the last 6 weeks. It is even more fitting that the last of our seven candles is snuffed out tonight.
The Snake and the Snake Crusher are doing battle. The final blows are nearing. The Light of the world has fallen, his life snuffed out, and it seems like darkness has won. It’s black. Black for the darkness of this sinful world and red for the blood that was shed on this day. The red is still over our door and on the cross. I’ve pulled out a black tablecloth to eat on tonight. The candles are on the table too, we eat and then wait for it to get dark outside. This time we listen to the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and snuff out the last candle when he dies. The Gospel Song is sung and we pray and thank God for the blood. I hate the blood but thank you, God, for the blood.
The candles are a part of our family’s rhythm now. But If I did not do the seven candle holder for Lent, it would be just as vivid to eat Friday night dinner with the lights out and some candles lit on the table. At the end of the meal we would talk about Jesus’ death and blow out the candles. Then I would light the candles again on Easter. My heart in sharing all these ideas is to help think of ways to set up reminders. The point is not what you are doing…but remembering.