Easter Makes Friday Good

It seemed to be in vogue this year to challenge the title “Good” in Good Friday. I saw blog posts like; “Good News for Bad Friday” or “Bad Friday” and the like. It makes sense. Something horrible happened that we commemorate on the day we call Good Friday. A man, who by all historical counts had done nothing illegal, was brutally executed. It seems that this man was tortured and killed because he challenged the religious and political system of his time. He challenged the prevailing view of right and wrong. He challenged a system that created a religious hierarchy that determined who was “in” and who was “out.” For challenging their authority, the religious and political leaders had him killed in the most horrible, painful way humankind has ever devised. It was a horrible, sad day.

But, Good Friday is a good day. Something amazingly spectacular happened that day. The man, Jesus, who was brutally executed on a Roman cross was more than a good man who challenged the status quo. Jesus was/is God. Jesus wasn’t just challenging the status quo of first century Roman ruled Palestine. Jesus challenged a metaphysical system that kept humanity trapped in sin and separate from God.

In place, before Jesus, was a system that kept people trapped in their sin and away from God. The only way to approach God was with a sacrifice to cover over the sins we had committed. This is the system that Jesus came to challenge. Jesus came to overcome the evil, the sin, the kept humanity separate from God.

He did it by living a live without any evil. He committed no sin. Then he willingly went to the cross and died. Jesus wasn’t executed by some power greater than himself. He sacrificed himself for your good; for my good; for the good of all humanity. He covered our sin with his sacrifice and made a way to reunite us with God.

Easter is the proof that he was successful. On Easter Jesus rose from the dead. It is evidence that he defeated sin and death. He now lives, and lives forever because he is God and was the perfect sacrifice to overcome the power of sin in the world.

Something amazingly, awesomely good happened 2000 years ago on the day we commemorate on Good Friday. Jesus overcame the system of sin and death and set us free. Free from sin. Free from death. Free to be with God. And Easter proves he was successful.

Easter makes Friday good.

Prayers for the City

If you truly believe there is an all-powerful God, one of the most natural actions of all actions is to talk to Him. Essentially, that’s what prayer is; talking to and listening to God. Today during our Agape Community Gathering we had the opportunity to talk to God about this city that we love. We went on a prayer walk around the our neighborhood.

A prayer walk is basically taking a walk with God and talking to Him, just like you would if you were taking a walk with any other friend. You talk to God about what’s on your mind and the things you see around you. You also listen to what God might be saying to You about what’s going on around You.

It was a great experience. We prayed for the families in the houses around us, asking God to bless them. We prayed for a family that is selling their house asking God to help them sell it quickly for a good price. We prayed for the family that will move into that house asking God to bless them. Our group even came across Brenda’s (my daughter) fifth-grade-buddy. Brenda prayed for her to do well in school this year and to have a great time on Spring Break.

There are three essential element to an Agape Community Gathering. These elements provide a framework to help ensure that we are experiencing and expressing God’s love. The first is connecting with each other. We usually do this around a meal. The second is connecting with God. This is done by opening up the Bible and talking about what we read in it. The third is connecting with our community. Today we did that through the prayer walk. Other times it may be through service projects or just hanging out in the community. All three, however, are essential to what it means to be Agape Ann Arbor.

We’d love for you to join us at our next Agape Community Gathering. Contact us for more information.