Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Good Friday and Earth Day!

Today seems like a very busy day! April 22 marks the celebration of both Good Friday and Earth Day. As a friend put it, a day the Christians and hippies can both celebrate. It got me thinking...what are the celebrations even about? I mean I've heard about these two events all my life, but what do they really mean? And how do they affect us and our way of thinking?

It's time to wake up and celebrate! 

These two days do not often fall on the same day. Usually Good Friday and Easter seem to come sooner while Earth Day is always on April 22. My first thought was they are two very different celebrations. Earth day is to respect our home, the Earth, while Good Friday celebrates the death of our Saviour. Wait a minute...isn't Jesus our home too? Maybe these two celebrations aren't as alien to each other as I originally thought.

Happy Good Friday!
(Picture: The Fellowship at Bend, no association.)

I will start with Good Friday. It marks the end of the Holy Week that often coincides with the Jewish Passover. It is the Friday (two days) before Easter; the day in which Jesus (likely) died on the cross at Calvary. (Friday is believed to be the day of the week Jesus died because it was the day of preparation for the Sabbath, this one being especially special because it was Passover. See John 19:31 and John 19:42.) During this day Christians celebrate the passion (Jesus' suffering and sacrifice) as well as his physical death. It seems strange that the day is called Good Friday, since it marks the day Jesus died. But I believe it is meant to be a victory because the results of His death are very good and saved the souls of those who believe in Him.

So what does this mean? What am I suppose to take away from this celebration? I think it is a day that is labeled to remember the sacrifices that Jesus made for us as His people. A friend put it this way...Nails did not hold Jesus to the cross, love for His people kept him there. Jesus didn't have to die on the cross for our sins. He could have sent a windstorm to kill every enemy on Calvary, He could have floated back to heaven with His Father, or He could have hidden away, but He didn't. Jesus chose to die for us because He loved us so much. He made a path so all of His people could follow Him to Heaven. That's what I think Good Friday is about and why it is a celebration. Why, even in death, there is reason to celebrate. The day Jesus died is a day to celebrate his LIFE not his death. It is a day to celebrate His LOVE for all of us.

Happy Earth Day!
(Picture: Buisness Pundit, no association)

Compared to that Earth Day just doesn't seem as exciting, but it is! And though not can quite compare to Jesus' love, it is still very important. Earth Day is a day to inspire appreciation for Earth's beauty and promote awareness to preserve Earth's natural environment. April 22 was commissioned as Earth Day in 1970 by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson. Earth Day is associated with a birthday, where keeping the Earth clean and protected is celebrated world-wide.

So again, what does this really mean? To me Earth Day a reminder to keep our planet clean. It should be a reminder to clean up after yourself everyday. It is a day to promote recycling, renewable resources and reducing waste. However, these are things we should do everyday. I think Earth Day is a day to connect with Mother Earth. God has given us this wonderful place to live that has everything we need to survive and make our lives good. It is our choice to respect the Earth in which we live. I think it is a very important idea to remember that what we put into the Earth comes back. If we put trash and waste into our Earth, she will eventually give us trash back. However, if we put love and nurturing into our Earth, then she will bless us with beauty and aplenty.

By looking at these two celebrations, I have decided that today I am celebrating LIFE! Jesus' life, my life, my family and friends' lives and the life and nature around me.

Today it was raining. All day it was raining. We couldn't even go play outside today because it was all wet. But I stopped to think that it was fitting to be raining (and storming too). I was thinking there was a storm at the crucifixion. I was close...there was a darkness until 3 o'clock when Jesus took his final breaths (see Matthew 27:45-46). Today about 2-2:30pm it started raining harder. A little after 3pm the rain stopped and the sun began to come out. Interesting. God is amazing! I'm also thinking that my garden (and nature in general) is getting some really good rain to grow.

It's been a good day. We get to celebrate and remember Jesus' life, our wonderful Earth and well, it's Friday, that's always a cause to celebrate in my opinion!

By the way, I loved this cartoon..
Comic: Savage Chickens, no association)

Hope you had a great day! Did you do anything to celebrate or remember this day?

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