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Bulletin – Friday, April 10, 2020

Friday, April 10, 2020
Good Friday

Call to Worship

Today is one of the grey areas of the Christian year: a day when the lights are dimmed and the sky feels overcast even if it isn’t: a day when theologians and poets feel as if a heavy veil is drawn over heart and mind. An inexplicably sad day.
We come to be with you, not really wanting to face the reality of this day.

We resist the grey areas, prefer to see everything in black and white, look for cloudless, sunny skies, try not to read between the lines; throw in a bright colour or two to try and enliven the scene.
We come to be with you, not really wanting to face the reality of this day.

In the grey light of early morning – after a night in the ecclesiastical high court, and denial by one of his own circle – Jesus found himself at the gates of the reluctant Pilate, who promptly tried to hand him back to the Jews.
We come to be with you, not really wanting to face the reality of this day.

We are invited to accompany Jesus through this grey day: to be witnesses to his suffering, to keep silence before his cry of dereliction. In our imaginations, let us trudge through Jerusalem, until we come to the place of the Cross: and then, let us not turn our faces away.
We come to be with you, not really wanting to face the reality of this day.

In this grey day lie all the sorrows and failings of a humanity that strives for high success, yet comes up against human limitations, and falls to the ground in despair. A humanity whose peace plans give way to guns, and whose political promises become papers in filing cabinets.
We come to be with you, not really wanting to face the reality of this day.

Here is a day marked by the brokenness of the world. But it is not a day to wallow in misery, or to indulge in morbid thoughts about the crucifixion. It is simply a somber, dignified day when we remember how it was for Jesus, and find at the foot of the cross a place to lay down ours and the world’s sorrow.
We come to be with you, not really wanting to face the reality of this day.

On grey days it is hard to see clearly, difficult to understand things that aren’t clear. Yet all we are asked to do today is to be present to the sacred story as it is retold, and to the inexplicable, mysterious, wondrous transaction that was, and still is taking place.
We come to be with you, not really wanting to face the reality of this day. Yet, here we are walking throughout the night with you, Emmanuel, God with us, Love Incarnate.

Music – VU #135 – “Beneath the Cross of Jesus”

Scripture Reading: John 18:1-11

Judas speaks

Music – VU #134 – “Shadows Gather, Deep and Cold”

Scripture Reading: John 18:12-27

Peter speaks

Music – “Peter Wept a Bitter Tear”

Scripture Reading: John 18:28-40

Barabbas speaks

Music – MV #73 verses 1, 5 – “O God, Why are You Silent?”

Scripture Reading: John 19:1-16

Pilate speaks

Music – VU #133 verse 2 – “See Him at the Judgement Hall”

Scripture Reading: John 19:17-27

Mary speaks

Music – MV #120 – “My Soul Cries Out”

Scripture Reading: John 19:29-42

Joseph speaks

Music – VU #144 – “Were You There?”

Going Forth Prayer

God of mystery and wonder, because we know the ending of the story, it’s tempting for us to ignore the darkness of this day. It’s tempting for us to go about our business as usual. It’s tempting for us to move too quickly to the dawn of light on Easter morning.

But give us courage and strength on this day to live for a while in the darkness, to set aside comfort and pleasure, to feel the darkness in which so many of your children dwell, the darkness into which your son Jesus entered.

As we reflect on the frailty of Christ, remind us of the frailty of all life. As we cringe at the suffering of Christ, make us mindful of suffering throughout the world. As we witness the death of Christ, bring us back full circle to the beginning of Lent, to the wisdom of Ash Wednesday; the awareness that each one of us was created in love through your creation.

Gracious God, deep in the human heart is an unquenchable trust that life does not end with death.

Like a seed which is buried in order to bring forth life, Christ goes to the tomb to usher in new life. We trust that we too will be raised to new life, in this world, here and now, and in the mystery of what lies beyond physical death. We trust that the whole world will be born anew, that your kingdom is coming as a new heaven and a new earth. On this day of darkness, it is for this kingdom that we boldly pray.

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Music – “Where Joy and Sorrow Meet”

Categories: General News, Sunday Bulletin and Announcements, Worship