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Where has Good Friday gone?

At the risk of being viewed as politically incorrect I need to ask the question. Where has Good Friday gone? For Christians in America this week is considered to be very special and Good Friday is one of the most important days of the year.

Growing up in a Syrian Orthodox home, this was a very special week. Our church had a different service each night of the week, where the priest, deacons and alter boys would act out the scenes from Jesus’ last week with his disciples and His journey to the cross. Starting with Palm Sunday, then to the last supper, the washing of the disciples feet (my favorite), to the carrying of the cross and crucifixion on Good Friday.

The Saturday midnight service was where the Easter celebration would begin. On Sunday we would all get dressed up and congregate at my grandparents’ apartment in the South End of Boston. All the aunts and uncles, along with the 17 grandchildren would be there. We would eat together in shifts; grandchildren first, then the adults. The kids would go off after the Easter meal to eat candy and participate in the annual egg cracking contest. You had to eat your egg each time you lost. Sorry to say some of the older cousins would cheat by coating their egg tips with wax to add a layer of protection.

These were wonderful memories, celebrating with our family. Remembering Jesus’ saving grace, His triumph and conquest over death and His resurrection.

Many years later, I live outside of Portland Oregon, and it doesn’t appear that many people treat this week or Good Friday with any reverence. More importantly, Good Friday as a holiday has changed. When I was a boy, Good Friday was not only a school holiday but also a business holiday. Everything was shut down for the day.  When and why did this change? More people today think it is unusual when I close Iron Coaching early in observance of Good Friday or that our family goes to church that day.

From a Christian perspective Good Friday is a bigger holiday than Christmas.  However, many people today don’t consider it a special day.  I do find it interesting that Wall Street and the markets close for the day.

If you are a person inclined to pray and fast, may I encourage you to participate in these activities this Friday. Pray for our country, for our political and business leaders. Pray that we ourselves would be better business leaders and that we would continue to lead and conduct business with integrity.

To quote Jesus, we should love our God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love our neighbor as we would ourselves. If we can do that, we could make this a special day to those who matter most…our family, friends and those in our spheres of influence.

Regardless of your faith, may you all have a Good Friday!

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