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Good Friday

By January 10, 2022Blog

– April 10, 2020 –

On this Good Friday, we pause to remember this “most important day in human history,” as historian Jon Meacham [1] stated so well. It was on this day that Jesus went to the cross as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. My pastor has encouraged us to read Psalm 22 today, to get a glimpse of the suffering Jesus went through on our behalf, a powerful focus for this day. I second that recommendation.

Psalm 22 is always powerful for Good Friday, but perhaps more so this year 2020 than any other in memory. Because in addition to our unusual pause for Easter this year, we are also in the midst of a disruption affecting health and economic stability. It is an uncertain time! Perhaps we wonder also if we have been abandoned by God.

But the Psalm doesn’t end in suffering! Meacham shows us that it speaks into the other side of our own disruption, even into our work. Starting in v. 22, the Psalm takes a turn and goes on in vv. 25-26 to say,

    “From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows. The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the LORD will praise him — may your hearts live forever!”

Because of the cross, there is hope on the other side of the pain and suffering. Christ’s work on the cross provides for our eternal well-being and also brings hope to our present calling in the work God has given us to do. Note the economic recovery when “the poor will eat and be satisfied.”

What does this look like practically, for those in business today? Consider the words of Marion Wade, founder of the ServiceMaster company, after he realized he wanted to integrate his faith into the work of his small company in 1944:

    “I was not asking God for personal success as an individual or merely material success as a corporation. I do not equate this kind of success with Christianity. Whatever God wants is what I want. But I did try to build a business that would live longer than I would in the marketplace, that would witness to Jesus Christ in the way the business was conducted.” [2]

In the midst of uncertainty today, may this message of Good Friday and Easter bring a new kind of hope for you.

Al Erisman

[1] Jon Meacham talked about this in a Today Show interview on April 10. This short segment is here

[2] The ServiceMaster Story: Navigating Tension between People and Profit, Albert Erisman, Hendrickson Publishers, 2020, p. 34

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