The “Spirit” of Good Friday and Easter
Traditionally a day of fasting and penance, Good Friday is the associated sacred Friday before Easter in the Christian Faith. It celebrates the sacred sacrifice made by Jesus in Christian belief, and is accordingly one of the most sacred of days for Christians the world over. As such, that in itself is a reason to honor it; its annual memorialization of God by a significant percentage of Humanity.
But what does it mean to others who don’t, necessarily, identify with religious Christianity? Is it just another Holiday to take off work early and prepare for a special dinner two days later while watching sports on TV? Or is it irrelevant to people who identify with some other Religion, or no Religion at all?
What about the “Spirit” of these two Holidays for all people: Religious Christians or not?
Perhaps one perspective on how it may be viewed is through a more internal, personal way than merely as a religious holiday. After all, as it is often treated, it is essentially a day to honor an historical event sacred to believers in Christ. That is wonderful! Any holiday that gets people to drop their normal routine in favor of remembering sacred human events are good holidays simply for the reason of bringing people into alignment (if only for a weekend) about something bigger than the mortgage, the kids, the failing relationship, the job problems, money worries, political vitriol, etc..
But what if we consider Good Friday and Easter through a different lens of meaning, in addition to its traditional meaning for people?
What are these two holidays about? They are about events in one man’s life who lived 2 millennia ago named Jesus of Nazareth. He did a lot of incredible things with his short life, and according to the beliefs of Christians, died for mankind’s sins on the cross to provide a new beginning. He did so out of Love, Faith, Selflessness, and Forgiveness in the spirit of overcoming the judgements and prejudices of the time.
So, in a sense, what is being celebrated on these two sacred days are those things…the things you and I can focus on and choose to practice every day…and especially today through Sunday.
If we were to elevate our honoring of these two Holy-Days to something personally sacred in addition to our traditional relationship with them, what might change over these 3 days of Good Friday through Easter? What if, instead of settling for merely treating them as a couple of days to spend with family as just another Holiday, maybe with a trip to Church thrown in for good measure, we decided that we are personalize these days in a new, more powerful and more meaningful way?
What if, just for today through Easter, you and I BECAME Love, BECAME Faith, BECAME Selflessness, and BECAME Forgiveness…..for everyone and everything we think about, intend toward, act toward, or interacted with? Because, in the end, isn’t that what we are ultimately celebrating in the figure of Christ? His embodiment of these Values that we, too, have the power to invoke…if we choose to anyway?
So I offer you the perspective that today is more than just another Holiday, even a Holiday celebrating something so significant as what it celebrates…..
Today can be the day you choose to personify the very things these two sacred days celebrate, to the best of your ability, mindfully, consistently….and completely….to the best of your ability.
Perhaps, in doing so, you not only demonstrate your “Level 4” Self, rather than your everyday “Level 3” Self….but perhaps you even do something more significant than that…
Perhaps you BECOME the spirit of Good Friday and Easter…and in doing so….honor this sacred time in an even more meaningful way than typically recognized.
And in that Spirit, may I say I send nothing but Love, Faith, Hope, and Encouragement for you to truly reflect what Christ embodied with this day…and the days before us.
Love and Blessings, Al