GOSHEN — A few dozen people gathered at noon Friday, March 29, to pray and reflect as a part of the Goshen Ministerial Association’s annual Good Friday service.
They remembered the biblical story of Jesus’ crucifixion through prayer, song and readings during the service at the First Presbyterian Church in Goshen.
The Rev. Anna Parkinson of First Presbyterian called on those at the service to “take a few minutes to settle into Good Friday.”
“Holy Week sure is a roller coaster, isn’t it?” she asked.
Last weekend, Christians celebrated Palm Sunday, a day that excited many Jews in Jesus’ time because of his fulfilling prophecies of a coming Messiah, Parkinson said. Then, on Thursday night, Christians remembered Jesus’ arrest, and on Good Friday, his death. On Sunday, Christians will celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus.
With the celebration and excitement of the two Sunday events, Parkinson asked the congregation to take time to “pause” and fully realize Good Friday’s significance.
She explained how the Jews had been living in exile or foreign occupation in their own land for centuries, so that many saw Jesus as the leader of coming freedom. Good Friday then, she said, was “the day that hope died.”
Because “we know the rest of the story” of Jesus’ resurrection, celebrated on Easter, “we now know the truth about hope.” But at the time, the people felt lost, she said.
Parkinson urged the group to look for the people in their own lives who have lost hope. Those are the people who most need to hear of the “resurrection of hope,” she explained.
Throughout the service, local pastors from different churches led prayers and read scripture and other readings.
At the bottom of the service’s order of worship, a note stated that the day’s service continues Easter morning “at congregations throughout the city and around the world as the whole Church joins in celebrating Christ’s resurrection.”