For Christmas and Resurrection Sunday (Easter) I often like to switch it up a little bit and attend sunrise service (on Resurrection Sunday) and a candlelight service Christmas Eve. Jesus being the light of the world especially pierces my heart and causes it to flood with emotion during those events. Have you ever felt love so amazing you feel as though your heart, soul, and body are going to burst because you cannot contain it...it's too big and powerful? There are moments of my vapor of a life when I believe I have felt that...and it always involves God and Jesus.
This year, I had the pleasure of attending a Praetorium on Good Friday. I definitely hope they perform it again next year. It was breath taking, heart pounding, awe inspiring, humbling, glorifying, beautiful. One of those things you do not want to end. An hour was gone in a blink and the Praetorium over before I was ready for it to be finished. Though I knew each actor, they were silhouettes behind a white curtain. But as easy as it would have been to leave it at that, the pastor, Sean, and one of the deacons, Richard, went above and beyond with the soundtrack and stage lighting. I believe it is safe to say a lot of time and effort went into this production. I have been to MANY shows of all different calibers and I rank this one among the best.
If a recording of it is posted on the Internet (though my words and a video scarcely do it justice) I will place a link to it on my blog. It is my hope, though, that you will be able to witness it live next year! Admission is free. It is appropriate for all audiences. Come as you are.
This was the darkest day in history. The Son of God himself was killed by people who weren’t satisfied simply to reject him; they couldn’t stand to have him exist. They thought they could put God out of existence.
And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him.
“You stiff-necked people . . . you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”
“Hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know. This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.”
[Snuff the last candle. Do not light again until Easter.]
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
(Taken from Mark 15:22-24; Acts 7:51-53; Isaiah 53:4-6) (By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org. http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/lenten-lights)