I've been contemplating tomorrow-- Good Friday, the day we remember the death of Jesus on our behalf. Tomorrow we will think of His death and in some ways hold our thoughts there until Sunday when we celebrate the resurrection. We will ponder pain and suffering in a different light. We'll be reminded of our sin and that the only acceptable payment for sin is death. We deserved death: Jesus died. Sobering. (And yet, Sunday is so close! Easter is nearly upon us, and we do know the end of the story!)
Here in Canada, Easter is so different than what we experienced the last years in the Philippines. In fact, there isn't very much to remind us of Good Friday or Easter at all. I haven't seen a "station of the cross" or noticed people on pilgrimages. Nobody is beating themselves while they walk along the road. Our friends are not making arrangements to climb nearby hills to sit at the foot of a cross. I haven't talked to anybody who is staying home on tomorrow because it is the day God is literally dead. I've seen Easter candy and a few baskets for sale (ok, I don't shop much, maybe there's tons of stuff out there).
This is a time of year that always brought to the forefront of my mind why we were in the Philippines-- the bondage of many people to suffering for their own sins. And this year, I am reminded of why we are involved in mission aviation-- to free people from that bondage. I am also reminded of how easy it is to take freedom for granted and hardly even celebrate it: may we not fall prey to complacency in this country of abundance!