What are God’s Dreams for the World?

This is a question that we posed to the 7th and 8th grade Confirmation students recently. I was extremely impressed with their answers:

  • That we live in harmony and peace
  • That we love God
  • That we love others
  • That no one goes hungry
  • That we use the gifts that God has given us to do meaningful things
  • That we are happy
  • That we take care of this world that God has entrusted to us

The Confirmation students are studying the Biblical Narrative this year and spent the day at church on Good Friday. Thank you to the kids for assisting with the Good Friday Family Service and serving as the clean-up crew for the grilled cheese lunch. They got their hands dirty as they created a model of the empty tomb for Easter Sunday worship.

In addition, we dug deeper into the story of Holy Week. How the Hosannas that were jubilantly shouted on Palm Sunday actually means “save us.” And how poignant that seems when on Good Friday, so many people say to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, save yourself!”

The question we wrestled with the most was “What makes Good Friday good?” “There isn’t anything good about it.” “It is a terrible day.” “People like us killed Jesus.”

What makes Good Friday good? One of the kids at the Family Good Friday Service explained it as Good Friday is like a portal, something you have to go through, to get to the really good stuff on the other side.

Good Friday itself is not inherently good. The killing of an innocent man through a long and painful process is horrible. God sent his son into the world and he was treated inhumanely. It is a gruesome scene. And yet this innocent man does this out of love for us. It is Jesus hanging on the cross that day for the forgiveness of our sins. We are not hanging on the cross. We do not have to suffer and endure that. God is keeping God’s promise to us. And the good news of Good Friday is that Jesus does not stay dead! Evil and death do not have the last word! Experiencing Good Friday helps us to put the miracle of Easter and resurrection into perspective. God is breaking into our world. God, through Jesus, loves and cares for us more than we can ever know!

Our last session of Confirmation for the spring is May 5 where we will be looking at the early church, welcoming the 6th graders who will be entering Confirmation in the fall, and recapping the stories we have been studying in a fun way.