The Goodest Friday.

Today is Good Friday. This is the day we remember a Friday two-thousand years ago when Jesus was crucified. For the first times in a few years, I get the day off work. We slept in this morning and will head down to Lexington to see the in-laws.

There's a Cincinnati tradition called "praying the steps" outside the Holy Cross-Immaculata Church on Good Friday. For those unfamiliar with the topography and geography, the "Church of the Steps" is located just outside of downtown Cincy on the top of Mount Adams. There's a stairway of a couple hundred steps at the bottom the hill that lead up to the church. Every year for almost 150 years, Catholics have shown up to the church on Good Friday to say a prayer on every step until they reach the top.

Now many of us Protestant-type folk hear stuff like this and want to make fun of them. "It makes no difference where we pray," we scoff. "Why go out in the freezing rain for that?" And there's the ever popular, "Jesus died to free hollow traditions, not so that we could become slaves to more traditions," I know these statements well because I made them for years. There's something about NOT growing up Catholic in Cincinnati that tends to make you bitter and biting towards Catholics. I think I'll write more about that topic in a later posting, because many of you know what I'm talking about.

But here's the truth: I now find myself kinda jealous. How cool is it to have a spiritual legacy, like praying the steps, that runs deep? There are people who have been doing this thing fifty years. I even know a couple of people from my church who decided that they were going to pray the steps this year- yes, well educated Protestant, evangelical Christians. I don't know, but maybe the Catholics are getting this one better than we. Criticize all you want, but what are you doing this year to remember that Jesus died for you? What are our churches doing to remember the day? Chances are we'll zip through the day and not give it a second thought, treating it like President's Day or Labor Day. It's so like me to attempt to surgically remove dust from other's eyes while somewhat distracted by a Lowe's 2x4 in my own eye.

Why is this Friday good? Because for Jesus it was so bad. I'm gonna do my best to remember why I'm off work today.

*An article about this tradition was in yesterday's Enquirer: