How are you supposed to feel on Good Friday? I've often wondered as I've sat through an hour, or sometimes three hours, in church reflecting on the Passion. Am I meant to feel penitent, or in agony, or sorrowful? Sometimes what passes for godly sorrow is no more than a sentimental 'Oh, poor Jesus. How unkind of people to kill you.' Actually, I've never been able to FEEL a share in the agonising suffering of Jesus - maybe because I haven't suffered enough. But there you are - you can't invent feelings you don't have. In the end, if I feel anything, it's just a great sense of gratefulness for what Jesus did in his life and his death. Thankfulness also for his resurrection and the knowledge that what he did 2000 years ago is still effective today.
I think, that like many clergy, I'm a bit like a chef - perhaps more like a mum that's always feeding her hungry family. When I've been 'preparing' and 'cooking' sermons and services I'm not always in the best place to appreciate the message that I'm trying to convey. But later, in some quiet moment, I know I'll enjoy what I've prepared. Today, with my two clergy colleagues, I spoke about the transforming love of God on the cross. I was blessed by what they said, but it was only in the greenhouse later while I was planting out my tomato seedlings that I had the peace and quiet to really reflect and be thankful to God.