What Will We Tell the Children?
It was a Good Friday service I will never forget.
I was perhaps eight or nine years old and since children in my church rarely joined the adults in the sanctuary for any part of worship, my going to worship on Good Friday was a very big deal for me. I wanted to see everything that went on in this place, so I shuffled my stacking chair out into the aisle as much as my Mom would allow and then I craned my neck the remaining few inches around the man in front of me to watch all that was going on.
Our minister stood high up on the platform at the front of the auditorium describing in vivid detail the specifics of crucifixion to all of the worshippers in attendance. In his hand he held a rusty railroad spike, pumping it in the air to give emphasis to his words. As he finished declaring that we, like the scribes and the Pharisees, were responsible for Jesus’ death he cast the iron spike with great gusto down the cement centre aisle of our sacred space where it ultimately landed under my chair with a resounding clatter and then heavy silence. For a minute or so I sat frozen in my seat, and then with a cry I ran out of the sanctuary and into the hallway where I collapsed in tears. I felt responsible. If I had not been so bad, Jesus would never have had to die. It was all my fault and until that moment I hadn’t known I had done such a horrid thing.(more…)