This afternoon I’ll preach at a Good Friday service. It’s not at the Georgia Dome. No one is selling tickets to it. No Grammy winners will be there. But there’s is a very strong chance that a lot of the people there have been called Grammy a time or two in their lives.
This Good Friday service will be at the nursing home in the community where I live and work. There will be people singing off key. To be fair, I’ll be one of them. There will be people there who can’t hear or see very well. There will be strange requests for strange songs I’ve never heard of before. But, like the other years that I have been a part of this service, I’m really going to like it.
Being at that nursing home on Good Friday reminds me that Jesus didn’t just die for me. He didn’t just die for the younger generation. The cross wasn’t exclusively for church kids. Jesus didn’t die only for the young, fit and popular crowd. He also died for the old, the feeble and the dying.
He died for the lady struggling to play the role of mother for her aging mother.
He died for nurses and administrators who refuse to cut corners, even if no one else would notice, because they do their work as unto the Lord.
He died for his Church and some of the people who belong to his Church spend a lot of their days in a nursing home. Some because that’s their place of employment. Others because it’s where illness has left them.
But Jesus didn’t just die for his Church. He rose again for it. And that gives us a living hope, no matter how dire our circumstances are here on earth.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5 (ESV)
I’m guessing that five minutes or so after I’m done speaking to this group, most of them will forget what I said.
Their memory isn’t what it used to be.
They have seen better days.
But because of the grace of God and an empty Middle Eastern tomb, the folks in that nursing home who belong to Jesus have not yet seen the best days.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4 (ESV)