Reflection for Good Friday

It is vast, and ageless. Eternal, and that is the most striking feature. Through the centuries there have been these people, seeming fools, that join the crusade, and fight. Some have solid proof for joining forces, others leap straight into it, and may discover their reason for joining along the way, or just as they perish in the fight. I’ve never bothered to understand it, I just oppose their forces. An mortal army fighting for an immortal cause few fully grasp, against my immortal and fearsome forces. Yet, it is I that trembles as their battle cry resounds.

One battle mattered more than any of the others, as it was the one that brought my defeat, and I’ll never forget the words of their Leader, “It is finished.” My forces shook more in that moment than His earthquake, and a pall cast over us darker than His clouds and thunder. Whenever possible, we take no prisoners, although we gladly accept all who defect.

Even now, in their idea of time, their army is taking hits from all sides, even within as their defectors cross back into His camp. Yet, there is a solid core and the newcomers and young ones, make it so difficult for us to continue our rampage. Few, but strong headed and claiming righteous anger, their generals are granting them permission. The Wind is blowing and their sails are unfurled; their weaponry forever loaded and ready. Marching, crying, the wholeness shakes, and I cringe at what is to come. And has already come.

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A couple weeks ago, I can’t exactly recall all the details, but I read something that said the Devil does not see the Church (all Christians) as we see it, right here and now, but across the whole span of time. It sees the Church as a vast and spiritually immortal army, against which the Devil’s gates will not prevail. Since then, I have heard messages on Christian radio that echoes the sentiment. Later, an image came to mind during prayer, one of a vast army full of saints and sinners all claiming faith in Christ, the whole of Christianity from the beginning through now, perhaps even beyond. Different races, ages, types of dress, etc. And the whole vast army was marching, and it was a great and terrible sight to behold.

It wasn’t my imagination, I can’t drum it up again now writing it, and its distant and imperfect like a memory.

Satan does not see you and I as separate entities, but as a whole Eternal army under the direction of God the Father and Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit saecula saeculorum.

Good Friday, 2008

Remember, O LORD, what has befallen us, look, and see our disgrace:
Our inherited lands have been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners.
We have become orphans, fatherless; widowed are our mothers.
The water we drink we must buy, for our own wood we must pay.
On our necks is the yoke of those who drive us; we are worn out, but allowed no rest.
To Egypt we submitted, and to Assyria, to fill our need of bread.
Our fathers, who sinned, are no more; but we bear their guilt.
Slaves rule over us; there is no one to rescue us from their hands.
At the peril of our lives we bring in our sustenance, in the face of the desert heat;
Our skin is shriveled up, as though by a furnace, with the searing blasts of famine.
The wives in Zion were ravished by the enemy, the maidens in the cities of Judah;
Princes were gibbeted by them, elders shown no respect.
The youths carry the millstones, boys stagger under their loads of wood;
The old men have abandoned the gate, the young men their music.
The joy of our hearts has ceased, our dance has turned into mourning;
The garlands have fallen from our heads: woe to us, for we have sinned!
Over this our hearts are sick, at this our eyes grow dim:
That Mount Zion should be desolate, with jackals roaming there!
You, O LORD, are enthroned forever; your throne stands from age to age.
Why, then, should you forget us, abandon us so long a time?
Lead us back to you, O LORD, that we may be restored: give us anew such days as we had of old.
For now you have indeed rejected us, and in full measure turned your wrath against us.

For us, Christ was obedient unto death, even death on a cross

Faithful cross! above all other,
One and only noble tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
None in fruit thy peer may be:
Sweet the wood, and sweet the iron,
And thy load, most sweet is he.
Bend, O lofty tree, thy branches,
Thy too rigid sinews bend;
And awhile the stubborn hardness,
Which thy birth bestowed, suspend;
And the limbs of heaven’s high Monarch
Gently on thine arms extend.
Thou alone was counted worthy
This world’s ransom to sustain,
That a shipwrecked race for ever
Might a port of refuge gain,
With the sacred blood annointed
Of the Lamb for sinners slain.
Praise and honor to the Father,
Praise and honor to the Son,
Praise and honor to the Spirit,
Ever Three and ever One:
One in might and one in glory
While eternal ages run.