I hope you are having a good Good Friday. Maybe you’re singing about the Good Good Father on this good Good Friday.
Here’s six more timely topics. Thank you for reading!
1. Excellent Remembrance Ceremony
It’s interesting that, on this Good Friday, it is also the 24th anniversary of the bombing of the Murrah Building in downtown Oklahoma City.
In a later topic, I discuss the crucifixion of Christ, which the world remembers on Good Friday, and the estimated times of the events that happened on the day Jesus was crucified. The crucifixion itself was believed to have started at 9 a.m. The bombing of the Murrah Building happened at 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995.
Both were dreadful occurrences in history, but we know the redemption that happens on Easter.
This morning, at the Memorial, people gathered for the annual ceremony of remembering the 168 people who died in the bombing. I watched on Facebook Live and was impressed with the program. They observed 168 seconds of silence, and different people read from a podium all 168 names of those who died.
Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, Governor Kevin Stitt and Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Lankford spoke at the ceremony, and all three speeches were great. I appreciated what Holt said in signifying the number 24.
He said, for many in the world, the 24th anniversary is not significant. But he pointed out how a day makes up 24 hours, and the day after the bombing, Oklahomans realized their lives would never be the same. Holt also said that in the following two years, or 24 months, people were preparing to build the Memorial where the ceremony took place.
I also admired Lankford’s speech, as he pointed out many still struggle with what happened 24 years ago. He said many can’t even return to the Memorial site. “We continue to walk with them,” Lankford said, “and we’ll walk with them as long as it takes.”
What I remember most from Lankford’s address is his opening. He said what happened on that day was meant to tear us apart, but instead, Oklahomans demonstrated unity and support for each other.
2. Reflections of Maundy Thursday
Yesterday was a significant part of Holy Week, as many observed Maundy Thursday, as “Maundy” comes from Latin to mean “commandment.” At my church last night, our pastor discussed four different ways we were to observe Maundy Thursday:
- Look back—what happened with Jesus and His disciples when they met to observe Passover or the Last Supper.
- Look forward—at that meal, Jesus said in Matt. 26:29 that He “will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” We will one day partake of this meal with Jesus in heaven.
- Look inward—search our hearts and confess any sins we may have.
- Look outward—share the Gospel of Jesus with others and demonstrate love to one another (John 13:34-35).
My pastor’s sermon reminded me of what I read earlier this week in Erik Raymond’s article “What should I think about during the Lord’s Supper?”
3. Chronology of Good Friday
There seems to be some confusion on when the events of Jesus’ trial, crucifixion and death occurred. I found two helpful reads that address this confusion.
First, check out Justin Taylor’s article “What hour was Jesus crucified? Resolving an apparent Bible contradiction.” The circle chart Taylor shares is insightful.
Second, Russ Ramsey offers a time breakdown in his article from two years ago titled “Good Friday in Real Time.” This was a great read for my understanding of when events happened according to the Gospel narratives. If you’re reading this on Good Friday, I hope you find it as meaningful as I did.
4. Wax on Next Generation
Not many DHDs are written without me mentioning two of my favorite writers/speakers. First, I mention Trevin Wax. I appreciate what he wrote and said about different generations:
“No generation is the greatest or last hope for Christianity, because generations aren’t where we put our hope anyway. The God of the Gospel is our hope. The resurrection power of Jesus is our hope. The indwelling of the Spirit is our hope.”
Check out Wax’s talk on “Signs of Hope for the Next Generation.”
Now I share about Albert Mohler and his daily podcast The Briefing. Dr. Mohler had some great episodes this week. I could probably fill up two DHDs highlighting what he discussed the past five days. There is some great content about current issues.
His Monday commentary on Julian Assange getting arrested was superb. I loved it when Mohler called Assange a “real jerk” and “a horrible guest.”
On Tuesday he covered the Notre Dame cathedral fire—again, excellent commentary—as well as Pope Benedict coming out of hiding to offer his take on the sex abuse in the Catholic Church and the liberal theology reflected by current church leadership. Mohler called Pope Benedict’s lengthy article a “blockbuster.”
Mohler takes on Planned Parenthood in his Wednesday podcast. One of my favorite lines: “…Planned Parenthood is worried about its image. We should note, it should be.”
Probably my favorite “Briefing” of the week is the Thursday edition. Mohler gives great analysis of the media reporting about Tiger Woods’ Master’s victory and calling it a redemption story. But then his next two topics are powerful.
Mohler responds to a Louisville newspaper reporter claiming that Jesus was silent on homosexuality.
“Jesus is silent on the issue, is he? Well, what becomes very clear is that Jesus, referring to the Old Testament law, including, let’s just point out, the law that says that a man shall not lay with another man as with a woman. Jesus said of that law that not one jot or one tittle would pass away until all has been fulfilled. He said, ‘I have not come to abolish the law, but that the law may be fulfilled.’ At no point did Jesus in his public ministry point to the Old Testament law and dismiss it saying, well, that was then, but this is now. Instead, he actually made it even more intense saying, it’s not enough not to kill someone. If you have murder in your heart, you already are moving towards murdering them.”
Then he takes on The Guardian attacking religious teaching on gender.
“A secular society will not be satisfied until you or your church or denomination or institution are fully, totally unquestionably secular. It’s at least healthy to understand what the secular world is really demanding.”
I’m already going long or else I’d discuss Mohler talking Mueller, as in the Mueller Report, which he covers in his Friday Briefing.
6. Congrats to BGCO Communications Group!
I conclude with celebratory remarks about my friends and coworkers in the Communications Group at the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
Last week, at the Baptist Communicators Association conference, awards were announced, and the BGCO took home six certificates.
Braden East won first place in Logo Design. Hannah Hanzel won first, second and third honors. She took first place in Hand-Drawn Typography and second and third place in cover design for the Baptist Messenger.
Doyle’s Half Dozen finished second to Emily Howsden’s Millennial Monday for blog series, which means two WordSlingers weekly blogs were honored this year by the BCA.
It was a good year for my BGCO buds!