EDITORIAL: Let it be well this day with our souls
Today, Good?Friday, will just about bring to an end the Lenten practices of fast and abstinence for hundreds of Christians.
The moderations of the season, day by day, will have prepared many spiritually for Easter this Sunday, the most important day on the Christian calendar. The fast and abstinence will give way then to triumphal jubilation, reawakening and feasting.
The Lord Jesus Christ is risen.
Many of us will recall when fasting and abstinence during Lent were much more rigorous, and remembering the suffering of Jesus for a sinful world was a commitment by way of the Anglican Church’s annual Stations Of The Cross.
There are those among us who must recall when every Friday of Lent we followed the priest and his entourage from picture to picture of bloody suffering on the church walls, ever mindful of our own frailty and spiritual lack, but buoyed up by the belief in the salvation Jesus’ death promised us.
Regrettably for many a Christian today, Jesus’ surrender of life for the salvation of the world is taken for granted. The forfeiture has become for several of the more erudite an abstract argument over why at all, how, what if, what if not.
The debaters would squeeze life itself out of the holiness and import of spiritual growth in Christ.
But at the heart of today’s message, after reflection on the Saviour’s sacrifice, will be the preparation for Easter joy, reparation for our sins, the gift of forgiveness in our lives and reconciliation with the Almighty.
And with it all too must be an appreciation of our good fortune, notwithstanding rising prices, higher than usual unemployment and the apparent timidity in political leadership.
We can take time out today to be sufficiently cognizant of the fact that while we may have been able to fuss over what we might have abstained from, or not, there are people who would not have had any choice over what they might or might not have given up at Lent – or at any other time in their lives.
The truth is too many people the world over have nary a thing to give up.
Our very own acts of sacrifice could yet be a gesture of penance on behalf also of the very impoverished – those severely disadvantaged by circumstances much beyond their control.