Today a multitude of people on the planet will recognise the death of Jesus Christ and the Easter story. Here is how a couple of Baptist churches in New Zealand are recognising Good Friday:

Today at Wilson Street Baptist Church, Timaru

With pastor Andrew Maude:

We are excited to be sharing Good Friday as a jointly planned combined event with the majority of other churches & denominations in Timaru. As an added blessing, Wilson Street Baptist Church has been asked to lead the worship, so I am grateful for our awesome team of musicians who have stepped up for this task. What a blessing for the Body of Christ to be united in this way!

Today at Ponsonby Baptist Church, Auckland

With pastor Jody Kilpatrick:

Nothing is happening.

We have teenagers at Easter Camp, and we’re praying for them, but our Easter started with a Tenebrae service as night fell yesterday. And so today is a day of quiet for our church building and community; holding the searing sorrow of the night before, and anticipating the regathering of Sunday morning. The empty space can be as significant as the activity that surrounds it.

At Tenebrae we sat in darkness under the cross, while the street lamps outside made beautiful tree shadows on our windows. The readers carried us into the hard, harsh story of Jesus’ last days and death, and the singers helped us meditate on sorrow and pain. In our darkness there is no darkness with you O Lord, the deepest night is clear as the day. 

On Sunday we’ll return with flowers and food, miracles of gardens and early morning generosity, so we can flower the cross, and feast, and celebrate tenacious-audacious-resurrection-life together.

Our Easter follows this pattern of heartbreak and hope each year, and the pattern becomes a part of us.

 

Photo credit: Mike Crudge, photo of child reading The Easter Story book by Brian Wildsmith (1993).

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