James: Today is Good Friday Joanna! And it's an opportunity for us to give some encouragement to everyone listening and to say that maybe today is a day to take your head space out of being in work mode and remember why you do the job that you're doing and that this is a time to remember what Christ dying on the cross is all about and that this is a huge opportunity to meet new people coming into your building.
Joanna: For a lot of us who work in church, I know James you don't work at the church you work for churches you work in churches but you don't have those Friday and Sunday Easter work times like I do and so something that I have come to really love in my own Easter experience because I don't want to miss it myself and I hope that you listening are feeling the same way that you don't want to miss it yourself. What I do is there is an Anglican church that is near my house. And on Thursday evenings so not so before Good Friday services before I enter into the whole thing with my own church I've become a person who makes this a tradition. It happens on Thursday night they have this very moving service at this church that includes communion and they have this whole choir and it's all about the last night like the Last Supper and they focus on the Last Supper with Jesus and the disciples and the night that he was betrayed and then by the end of the service because it's a very liturgical kind of a church. The choir singing and the choir comes out off the stage and then surrounds the whole congregation and there's like a thousand people there. And so this choir surrounds us singing the same lines over and over. "Stay with me, wait with me, watch and pray" like that of lines that Jesus said to the disciples and that they failed at doing they fell asleep when he needed them the most. And then as this has happening in the room the priests the pastors are stripping all of the pomp and circumstance that would be part of Anglican church off the stage. So they're taking down the candles and the curtains and the colors and the all the beauty is being removed in preparation for Good Friday and like the death of Jesus that we marked. So all to say the first time I went to a service like this I was blown away. It was so visually and creatively stimulating for me as a creative person but yet it wasn't using like all the high tech media stuff that I'm used to. But it was so deeply moving. And the first year I when I realized it was a time that I didn't have to lead in church I could just go and enjoy participating. And so I know not everybody has a chance to do what I just described to go to another Church's services but there is a way to make time. We have to make time to feel the weight of the the hard news and the good news of Good Friday and then Easter Sunday in our own lives. And that's my encouragement to you day. Would you take some time to go for a walk and pray. Would you take some time to maybe come early and pray in the front of that the altar of your own church. Or maybe there's just a way that you in your own worship could really enter in and make it not about your job but make it about Jesus and focus on him. That's my my hope for you today, that is my prayer for everyone listening.