Good Friday

Happy Good Friday to all!  Tonight I will be packing up the family & heading to church for a wonderful time of reflection.  Being a pastor's wife I particularly enjoy Good Friday because I get to go to church & enjoy it.  I don't have to get all my monkeys dressed up by myself in the early morning hours & drive everyone into town by which time they are ready for naps just in time to start a few hours of church.  Don't get me wrong, we all love going to church & enjoy worshiping the Lord & seeing our friends.  But for a pastor's wife Sundays are a little different than the average Joe.  They are definitely our busiest day of the week.  And by the time we make it home, usually around 3:30pm, we are all exhausted.  Therefore, a Friday night service that is more casual is a breath of fresh air.  My regular church duties will not be required of me, which means I get to just walk in & sit down & enjoy the service.  I do not need to dress my kids up, which means a lot less tears & yelling.  And I don't have to wake up at 6am & spend three hours trying to get everyone out the door, which means lower blood pressure for all.  I'm looking forward to tonights service for those practical reasons.  But mostly because of what we are honoring.
Having majored in Art I have seen many, many pieces depicting the crucifixion.  But for some reason this one has always spoke to me.  I can vividly see it in my minds eye & still remember the day my professor spoke on it in my Art History class.  Being a Northern Renaissance art piece the people were not painted all glamorous & perfect.  I like that the artist tried to make it as real as he could.  This painting is also full of iconography... too much to explain.  But if you look carefully I'm sure you'll see it.  For example the lamb with the cross and cradling the cup.  The artist wasn't just a crazy man, these all have very specific meanings.  But my most favorite part is over there on the right.  See that funny looking guy holding the Bible?  That's John the Baptist.  Look above his right arm, can you see the faint writing in red?  That's the part that gets me every time, those words.  Every time I see this painting & read those words I get emotional.  That small red script still speaks to it's viewers 500 years later.  It reads: Illum oportet crescere, me autem minui in Latin.  Translated it says, He must increase, but I must decrease.  And that's what it is all about. 

*read more about this art piece here