In Gambia and currently with out a formal schedule it is easy to loose track of what day it is. For this reason (and the fact Gambia is 90%+ Islamic) I am not too ashamed of not realizing today was Good Friday - it went pretty much unnoticed until mid afternoon.
This said today was quite a good Friday. (Some productive meetings around scholarships, speghitti for lunch, successful Market shopping using only Fula and some beach time)
This got me thinking about Good Friday. What makes it good and how does my personal 'good Friday' relate (if it is at all related) to the Good Friday celebrated today.
My thoughts gravitated to my definition of 'The Gospel' or 'good news' and how my understanding of it has developed over the past 15 years of my life.
For those who choose to live from a faith perspective at some point we decide how and why does the somewhat routine grusom murder (and a soon there after resurrection) of a Jewish man who identified himself as the son of God (crazy talk?) constitute 'good news' for all the people of the world in all momments of time.
I will make an attempt at describing my progression without writing a theology textbook.
The Gospel I used to understand and put my faith in had a narrow and yet blurred focus:
Good News! 'all people have the opportunity to beleive in Jesus so they can get past God's judgement and go to heaven'
In this type of Gospel my Good Friday time spent playing frisbee on a sandy beach with a few Wolof teens has little value, nor would meeting around children going to school or even enjoying a good cup of tea. It was the apparent devaluation of these things that prompted a re-evaluation of what I believed to be the Gospel.
Over the years I have come to know the Gospel in a far wider sense now believing God is up to a far greater saving work.
"Jesus is king has come to show that evil and death can and will be one day completed defeated. Heaven is joining with the earth and will restore all that is has been broken through faith, hope and love. Come and be part of it!"
I believe that from this perspective of this gospel much that transpired this Friday was important and valuable - indeed making it a good Friday.