Grace Church Connections

Grace Church Connections

Relationship, not Religion.

You can scroll the shelf using and keys

Give God One Day

April 1, 2017

 

Good Friday Challenge

As part of our 50/50 Prayer Campaign,

I am calling Grace Church to a Day of Prayer & Fasting

on Good Friday, March 30.

I challenge you to Give God One Day.

The purpose of Give God One Day is to call us into a deeper relationship with our Lord as we share in His suffering by deliberately walking through Good Friday on our way to Easter Morning. We should expect God to reveal Himself to us more fully as we more fully dedicate ourselves to Him. We should expect God to reveal more of ourselves to us, as well.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. – Mt 7:7-8

This is a challenge. It won’t be easy. But it will be worth it. The Good Friday Challenge is comprised of six separate, yet related, areas of spiritual discipline. They are:

  1. Day Off
  2. Prayer
  3. Fasting
  4. Scripture
  5. Worship
  6. Devotion

#1 – Take the day off from work, school, and housework.

Take a personal day. Take a vacation day. Call in sick if you have to, but take the day off and give it to God. This may not be possible for everyone, I get that, but take a chance and stretch yourself. Whether you work outside of the home, or work from home, attend school, or stay at home your work will still be there on Monday. Here’s some suggestions:

  • Plan ahead – any work due on Friday or Saturday needs to be done by Thursday
  • Students – make a plan for when you will do your homework (but let’s be honest, it’s not like you were going to do any homework on a Friday anyway).
  • Don’t check your email – make sure your workplace can get in touch with you in case of an emergency, but don’t check your email. You’ll just get sucked into the black hole of busy-ness.
  • Stay-at-home moms & dads and people who work from home – This will be harder for you than for people who work outside of the home. Those folks go to work, so they can avoid work by not going to the workplace. You don’t have that luxury. You live in your workplace. It becomes even more important for you to prepare ahead of time, or you will find yourself distracted by all the things you can see need to be done.
    • Do your house chores Mon-Thur
    • Stay out of your home office

#2 – Spend Time in Prayer

Spend some time in prayer, more time than usual. Use your own books or online resources and devotionals. Or make up your own prayers. Use the 50/50 prayers from the Grace Connections blog – www.gcsa.me/5050prayer. Or walk the stations of the cross at GraceLand.  We have 7 series of prayers for the stations of the cross available for you. All you need to do is click and download the .pdf documents from the website.

Find the prayers at : www.gracechurchsa.org/worship/prayer-trail or www.gcsa.me/pray.

The prayer series are:

  1. Stations of the Cross
  2. Prayers for Good Friday
  3. Prayers for Those in Need
  4. Prayers for Those We Love
  5. Prayers for Others
  6. Prayers for an Individual
  7. Prayers of Thanksgiving

#3 – Day of Fasting

The 1979 Book of Common Prayer lists only two days in the whole year as days of fasting: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Though we have largely forgotten fasting as a spiritual discipline, it is still a practice recommended for all Christians.

Because this is new to us at Grace, I am providing several different types and levels of fasting for us to choose from.  There is a fast for children, and one for teens. There are several fasts for adults, and even some alternative fasts. I encourage you to begin slowly if you have never fasted before.

Click here to choose your fast: www.gcsa.me/fast

1“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven…. 16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. – Mt 6:1, 16-18

#4 – Read Scripture

Read Ch 26, “The Hour of Darkness” in The Story.

Or read the crucifixion narratives in each of the four gospels

#5 – Attend Worship

Attend one of the Good Friday worship services in All Saints Chapel. Service times are 12:00 and 7:00 pm.

Good Friday Worship

Good Friday worship is characterized by prayer and silence. It is simple, yet powerful. There is no music. We neither celebrate nor serve communion. We dim the lights and forego the use of technology. It is a chance for each of us to kneel at the foot of the cross. We do not have childcare during the Good Friday services.

About the Liturgy
The Friday before Easter Day, on which the church commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. It is a day of fasting and special acts of discipline and self-denial. The liturgy of the day includes John’s account of the Passion gospel, a solemn form of intercession known as the solemn collects (dating from ancient Rome), and optional devotions before the cross (commonly known as the veneration of the cross). The eucharist is not celebrated in the Episcopal Church on Good Friday.

#6 – Acts of Special Devotion

This sounds pretty religious. But it’s really just finding a different way to connect with God. Be creative. Use your environment. Use your gifts & talents. Here are some suggestions:

  • Movies – watch a film that makes you think about God, whether or not it is an overtly Christian film
    • The Passion of the Christ (not recommended for children)
    • Episodes 8 & 9 of The Bible mini-series
    • Facing the Giants (Kinda’ cheesy, but not horrible. Jay has several copies. It’s not available to stream on Netflix, only on DVD)
    • The War – featuring Kevin Costner & Elijah Wood (contains some graphic language)
    • Remember the Titans – starring Denzel Washington
    • The Prince of Egypt – animated story of Moses, excellent for children
  • Service
    • Call your local animal shelter. Ask how you can volunteer on Friday.
    • Call the food bank. Ask how you can volunteer on Friday.
  • Activities
    • Walk the Prayer Trail at GraceLand.
      • Bring your Story Group. Bring your family. Or come on your own.
    • Go on a hike with your family. Thank God for His creation.
  • Spiritual Reading
    • Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
    • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
    • The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
    • Jesus with Dirty Feet by Don Everts

What do you think?

Please keep your comments polite and on-topic.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

comments

Download the Pray As You Go App and listen to Good Friday!!!

Kerry Green

April 14, 2017

%d bloggers like this: