Good Friday, The Way of the Cross. Today I chose to do something completely different than what I have done every year for Good Friday. Instead of attending a Worship Service at my Church, I chose to take the walk of the Stations of the Cross. I was joined on the journey by my husband and my 13 year old. I had let others know I was going to do this today and offered up 2 seats in my vehicle. No one took me up on my offer.
It was a beautiful day with intermittent sunshine and clouds. We drove an hour and a half to St. John, Indiana to the Shrine of Christ’s Passion. It was a good day to spend time with a couple of my boys. We don’t get to do this enough. I would have loved to have shared this time with others as well, but no one took me up on my offer.
For me, this was the place to be on this Good Friday, in fellowship with some of my family and fresh air. Everyone has their own idea of what this Good Friday journey should or shouldn’t be. Not everyone I know is a Christian, religious or attender of Church buildings. I consider myself fairly faithful in Church attendance. My mother brought me to my home Church, a Lutheran Church, when I was 3 or 4 years old. My husband grew up Catholic and joined this Church when I was pregnant with our second child. I was confirmed, married and raised my children at this Church. I will watch my last child be Confirmed here next month. My mother’s funeral was held at our Church. It has been a huge part of my family all these many years, my second home.
Lately I have struggled, not with my faith, but with this, my Spiritual home. I have lost a little of my passion. I have felt a bit of disconnect. Our Church is in the midst of change. Change can be good, its not necessarily bad.
I have considered the last four regular Pastors we have had over the years my friends. Everyone of them has been there for me or my family in time of need, for different reasons. Each a unique personality and a different way of dealing with the life of the Church. Each one of them has been needed for different situations in our lives. I chose to let each of them into my life. I have been grief stricken with each one’s journey away from us to other Churches or into retirement. I have not always agreed with any of them 100%. I am quite different from all of them, but I could find things I liked about them. I have loved each and everyone of them, even in spite of differences. We have laughed, cried and prayed together. They were all truly my friends, we love and support our friends.
While having a “shepherd” to lead the flock has its importance I have always said it is not the Pastor who makes the Church. I’m reminded of the little children’s hand game, “Here is the Church and here is the steeple, open the doors and see all the people.” ALL THE PEOPLE, we are who make the Church. Pastors come and go, and it is our job to make this Church our home and to make everyone there feel loved. it’s not always easy is it?
Right now we have two amazingly wonderful, Interim Pastors. They too will leave and someone will take their place. I like them both and I’m pretty sure many others are content with either of these temporary Shepherds. But this Good Friday I needed time away from that Church going family. I needed time in the light, in the fresh air, taking my own Good Friday journey, in my own heart and not the journey of the building. Go do something new!