Day of Sacrifice

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 9, 2007

In the hushed, peaceful sanctuary of Saint Thomas Episcopal Church, the faithful gathered on Friday to celebrate the reason for the season.

It was Good Friday, and the Greenville Ministerial Association held the last in its series of community-wide Lenten services at noon.

Father Fred Lindstrom of St. Thomas and members of the GMA led a service recalling the Gospel of the Passion of Christ through responsive readings, scripture and song.

&#8220Most of us love the joy of Easter, but few of us want to go through Good Friday,” Lindstrom told the congregation.

&#8220We call it Good Friday because it is the day Jesus sacrificed his life for us. It's a mistake to think it was the Jews and Romans who crucified Jesus. It was the world that crucified him . . . our pride, arrogance and greed.”

Lindstrom pointed out one of the church's Station of the Cross painted by parishioner Frances Frakes shows Jesus facing &#8220us, and not just Pilate as traditionally seen.”

&#8220Frances and I talked about it, and we agreed - Jesus was standing trial before all of us,” Lindstrom said.

As Jesus faced the angry mob, carried his cross, was nailed to the cross and mocked before his tortuous death, Lindstrom said he is certain &#8220Jesus did it all with his will.”

&#8220Scriptures show Jesus could have called on angels at any time He wanted them to deliver him. But He knew the whole world needed to be saved,” Lindstrom said.

The priest encouraged those in attendance who had not viewed the film to see Mel Gibson's &#8220The Passion of the Christ.”

&#8220You will not enjoy it, but it will make a strong impression on you.”

Lindstrom reminded those present of the might and power of God's love for mankind, and of His willingness to become &#8220one of us” in order to give us eternal life.

While God loves us deeply, people often feel unlovable, Lindstrom said, and find themselves haunted by old memories, mistakes and past sins.

&#8220We must remember we are made in God's image, and embraced by God's love. He restores us by dying for us,” Lindstrom said.

&#8220Remember, if there was no Good Friday, there would be no Easter. When you look upon the cross, give thanks for the life you have now, and for the eternal life you already have one foot in because of His sacrifice.”