Dan Maas (right), senior pastor, First UB Church (Findlay, Ohio)
First UB celebrated Good Friday with three separate services.
8:30 am: Totally Alone. Remembering the people who left Jesus to the authorities, and the forgiveness of Jesus towards those who left him behind.
Noon: Totally Abandoned. Remembering the dimming of the sun as the Father turned away from Jesus. We had a gradually dimming sanctuary eventually illuminated by only a small spotlight in the middle of the cross. A heartbeat in the dark commemorated the final pulses of hope in the world on that cross. The main theme was the determination of Jesus to finish the work of the cross through his death.
6:30 pm: Totally Accomplished. Celebrating the wonderful final words of Jesus on the cross, “It is finished!” Our freedom from sin was accomplished with that holy sacrifice of the Perfect Lamb! This service was special for the lighted atmosphere, two pieces of special music, and many visitors to the church. We asked Dr. John Noble, from Huntington University, to provide us a Hebrew reading of Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12. We played the recording and then had a responsive reading by Craig and Becky Kupferberg. It was amazing to hear and experience what Jesus might have heard in the synagogue!
Easter Sunday continued the theme with two services: Totally Alive (Sunrise) and Totally Accepted (Christ welcoming the disciples on the beach in Galilee with breakfast). The children celebrated with a special presentation, the worship team shared a meaningful piece, and others found different ways to bring the new life in Jesus into focus.