Today is the day when Christians remember Jesus' trial and death on the cross.
The churches in our town commemorate this event by a Walk of Witness - a walk through town, with people taking it in turns to carry a large wooden cross and the rest of the congregation following; stopping in places to read from the Bible about Jesus' last hours and praying; followed by a joint service in the town square.
I have always found the Walk of Witness very powerful.
Firstly, it really is a witness of our faith! Walking around with a wooden cross certainly does raise a few eyebrows in this day and age. People stop and stare, and we are noticed!
Secondly, it is one of those opportunities when people from different churches and denominations lay aside their differences and join in the same thing which as members of the Body of Christ all hold dear - following Jesus!
Thirdly, we are reminded that Jesus called us to take up our own cross and to follow him. We should not just watch from afar, but we should get in there and get to work!
Every year I am struck by how difficult it is for us the comprehend how terrible this day must have been 2000 years ago.
We observe Good Friday with the knowledge that Easter Sunday is not far behind, and that there will be joy and hope and the promise of eternal life.
How different it must have been for the disciples!
All must have seemed lost.
Jesus arrested and condemned to death.
Gone! The end!
What about the promise of the new kingdom? The claim of being the way to the Father?
Why can he not save himself?
Was he lying?
Have we been deceived?
Where do we go now?
Perhaps, if we cannot fully comprehend this time of darkness, hopelessness and despair, we cannot really appreciate the miracle and wonder which Easter Sunday brings?
Most of the disciples disappear or watch the crucifixion from a safe distance. Hide. Deny ever having known Jesus.
I wonder where I would be?
Standing at the foot of the cross? Or running away, fearing for my own safety?