'Good Friday' is not what it was. Once upon a time this was a well received day off for unbelievers and a day to commemorate Christ's crucifixion for believers. Today it is almost a normal day.
At eight this morning I heard lots of banging and thumping going on downstairs. At first I thought it was a local shopkeeper working on the neighbours garden as he was doing this the day before but no it is the men fixing new PVC windows into the downstairs flat. On Good Friday I ask?
Not only a walk around the town shows the churches with doors open, a parade of witness soon to start, and while I expected some shops to be open to grasp every penny available I was surprised at how many are open at normal times. The museum is open as usual also as it was last year, very strange I say but there will be events going on and folks will come in. Two nearby building sites are working, JCB digger breaking new ground over the road to disturb us all.
People are out and about but not in massive droves,not yet anyway. For so many it is a day off, I believe factories have closed, surely they would to save money, for many however it appears double time payments (if they are available) are more important.
I joined the redeemed sinners for a contemplative hour this afternoon. A few readings, a song or two, and imagined opinions from Pontius Pilate and others thrown in to try and understand their point of view. I read the Caiaphas part. He was the somewhat pretentious Sadducee who was High Priest that year. The 'elite' wished to keep their position and Jesus threatened that and he was not best pleased. I played his words like a high handed councillor defending his position, a position he did not seem to consider wrong. Quite what he thought when the disciples continued to follow the man Jesus he thought dead I don't know but it must have worried him at some time, there again possibly not. The Centurion, Pilate, Caiaphas all had seen Crucifixion before, though the Jews never used it just the Romans, the Jews preferred to stone people but time was short and the Passover under way so Roman death it was. Each knew something was different about Jesus, Pilate of course did not like nor trust the leading men, indeed I think they got him transferred some time later, the Centurion was used to deaths and recognised something in the manner Jesus took his death, Caiaphas was just too busy gloating over his victory to think straight.
I was glad I did not get the last part to read, it was quite long and contained the imagined words of Judas! This was a part I would not have been happy with. Being typecast as a pretentious, self important, proud, smug Sadducee is OK, but not Judas.
The group broke up quickly and quietly afterwards. Some lost in thought, some unsure what to do now, and so we drifted of home. A different approach to Easter, it makes me wonder what will be on offer on Sunday morning! One thing is sure I will avoid the church tomorrow as 'Messy Church' takes pace, a time when kids play around, create things and get in a mess, I will stay well away.