Good Friday. The darkest day of the Christian year. Both dark and light. The darkness of Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion and the light of knowing Sunday is on the way, that the grave could not conceal Him. I often wonder about Peter and John, who did not know what was coming.
In our church, it is customary that throughout the service, the lights gradually dim to darkness. When it was my time, I settled in at the piano to lead “Were You There?” with only the light of a flickering candle on the altar. Then all the lights were out. I had one more piece to sing. I located middle C by shear accident and fumbled through the song. I gained a greater appreciation for Ray Charles that night.
I had entered the church feeling prepared, but I found that I was not. When Jesus was in the garden, Peter said he was prepared to die with Him. He was not truly prepared for what was to come because when the time came to stand, he denied that he knew Jesus. Oh, how often have I done the same, only to hear the rooster crow, then to run out and weep bitterly because of my failure.
I wondered why my musical offering ended up in the dark. Our pianist did a masterful job playing, in full light with music scattered from side to side. I had to play by heart. Maybe that was the point.
There have been days when I sang in church and stumbled back to my pew, completely spent, like I spilled my life-blood across the keys, exhausted from spending just a few minutes at the feet of Jesus. Tonight, I knelt at the foot of the cross and somehow, His precious blood intermingled with my own, across a collection of alternating ebony and ivory, light and dark. The burdens that I had carried were left behind in the darkness of an empty sanctuary, just like Jesus left my sins behind in the grave. Hallelujah.
Upon reflection, it seemed that the tempo of one of the earlier songs was a bit too upbeat for the feel of the evening. I played my music slowly and softly and the congregation left in somber silence.
I had opened myself up, not to what I had prepared to do, but to what God needed of me. Jesus bled in the darkness that Friday and I was asked to figuratively do the same.
I pray that my meager talent was what God needed it to be.
And that we would be
Blessed in Great Measure