Good Friday Worship Bulletin – 4/10/20

Good Friday Worship Bulletin – 4/10/20

Friday, April 10, 2020

Good Friday – A Day to Remember

Greeting | Edited – M Dobson, M Morwood, Thich Nhat Hanh
We gather here on Good Friday to remember a man. A man who…
had dreams,
had those dreams shattered,
needed time to think and pray,
knew he was likely to die for what he believed…
A man – of extraordinary religious insight.
A man – who died – a cruel death.

On this day we look at the cross, and we remember…
the betrayal of friendship and its consequences, the casual cruelty of Roman authority and execution,
and how unreliable others proved to be in a crisis.

On this day may we also remember
that religious bigotry, cruelty and unreliability are still a part of our everyday lives.

On this day, may we learn some new principles for living…
do not avoid contact with suffering, or close your eyes before suffering;
do not maintain anger or hatred;
do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest, or to impress people;
do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature… On this day we remember a man – on this
day, we remember – Jesus.

Reading 1 | Luke 23:1-32  
The elders of the people and the chief priests and scribes rose, and they brought Jesus before Pilate.
They began their accusation by saying,
“We found this man inciting our people to revolt, opposing payment of tribute to Caesar, and
claiming to be Christ, a king.”
Pilate put Jesus this question, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus replied, “It is you who say it,”

Reflection 1
The following reflections are adaptions from a Michael Morwood book

I remember a man who had dreams of what might be:
that people would be set free from ideas and images about God that enslaved them,
that people would believe that through their everyday acts of human kindness; they are 
intimately connected with the sacred,
that people would live; ‘in peace, in God’s presence all the days of their lives’
I remember a man driven by his dreams.

Reading 2
Pilate then said to the chief priests and the crowds,
“I find no case against this man.”
But they persisted,
“He is inflaming the people with his teaching all over Judea; it has come all the way
from Galilee, where he began, down to here.”

Reflection 2
I remember a man who had his moments of breakthrough, when it must have seemed
his dream was being realized:
the times people really listened and responded,
the men and women who were prepared to walk with him and support him,
times when he spoke better and more convincingly  than other times.
I remember a man enthused by his successes.

Music of Reflection | “Wondrous Love” | Shawn Kirchner
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul?   
When I was sinking down, beneath God’s righteous frown, Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.
To God and to the Lamb, who is the great I Am, while millions join the theme, I will sing.
And when from death I’m free I’ll sing on, and joyful be, and through eternity I’ll sing on.

Reading 3
When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man was a Galilean.
And finding that he came under Herod’s jurisdiction, he passed him over to Herod who was also
in Jerusalem at that time.
Herod was delighted to see Jesus; he had heard about him and had been wanting for a long time 
to set eyes on him; he was hoping to see some miracle worked by Jesus.
So Herod questioned Jesus at some length, but without getting a reply.

Reflection 3
I remember a man who learned of the cruel death of his cousin.
He got into a boat, seeking a lonely place, where he could be with his friends to absorb the shock,
to grieve quietly, and to calm the feelings of powerlessness and frustration and fear for his own future.
I wonder what he prayed about that night?
I wonder what helped him leave that lonely place and go forward to confront life, rather than retreat into
isolation and safety? I remember a man driven by his convictions.

Reading 4
Then Herod, together with his guards, treated Jesus with contempt and made fun him;
Herod put a rich cloak on Jesus, and sent him back to Pilate. And though Herod and Pilate
had been enemies before, they were reconciled that same day.
Pilate then summoned the chief priests and the leaders and the people and said,
“You brought this man before me; as a political agitator.
Now I have gone into the matter myself in your presence and found no case against him
in respect of all the charges you bring against him. Nor has Herod either, since he has sent
him back to us. As you can see, the man has done nothing that deserve death, so I shall
have him flogged and then let him go.”
But altogether they howled,
“Away with him!  Give us Barabbas!”
Pilate was anxious to set Jesus free and addressed them again, but they shouted back, 
“Crucify, crucify him!”

Reflection 4
I remember a man whose dream was shattered:
who broke down and cried over what could have been,
who knew the pain of failure and powerlessness,
who knew what it was like to feel broken and terribly alone.
I remember someone human like all of us.

Music of Reflection | “When Jesus Wept” | Eleanor Daley
Francis Hendricks, Jean Lichty Hendricks, Dan & Lynne Lichty, Renata Lichty Prose, Lara Lichty Schoming
When Jesus wept the falling tear, in mercy flow’d beyond all bound.
When Jesus groaned, a trembling fear seized all the guilty world around.
O come and mourn with me awhile, and linger here beside.
O come together, let us mourn, our Lord is crucified.

Reading 5
Pilate then gave a verdict: their demand was to be granted.
Pilate released Barabbas whom they asked for and who had been imprisoned for rioting and murder,
and handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they pleased.

Reflection 5
I remember a man who knew he was going to die:
who gathered with his friends knowing it was for the last time,
who spoke to them about what he really believed,
who wanted them to remember him and to keep his dream alive.
I remember a testament to love.

Reading 6 | Luke 23:33   
When they reached the place called The Skull, they crucified Jesus – there – with the two criminals also,
one on the right, the other on the left.

Reflection 6
I remember a man crucified.
He was a failure, abandoned by his male friends, taunted, despised, enduring a shameful and
agonizing death, no consoling or heartfelt presence of his God to help him.
I remember a man whose faith in all he believed was tested to the limits.

Meditation | “Good Friday” | Author Unknown
Jesus, Prince of Peace,
humble and riding on a donkey.
Jesus, Disturber of the peace,
you upset bad religion when it gets in the way of God.
Jesus, up-setter of the self-righteous,
you turn questions on their head, offering no instant answers, but showing the way.
Jesus, lover of the lost,
you say “forgive” when we want to shout “condemn!”
Jesus, host at the table,
you share your best even in the face of our worst. Jesus, Savior of the world
…yes, even the world…which wants you…until it meets you.

Music of Reflection | “O Come and Mourn”
Grace Toronto Church – 2014 Toronto Gospel Alliance – © 2012 Redeemer Knoxville (from Rise, O Buried Lord)
Words: Frederick W. Faber, 1849, alt. – Music: John B. Dykes, 1861 arr. Amy Porter

1&2 O come and mourn with me awhile. O come ye to the Savior’s sideO come, together let us mourn; Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.
3 Seven times He spoke, seven words of love: and all three hours His silence cried
for mercy on the souls of men; Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.
4 O break, O break, hard heart of mine? Thy weak self-love and guilty pride.
His Pilate and His Judas were: Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.
5 A broken heart, a fount of tears, ask, and they will not be denied:
a broken heart love’s cradle is: Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.
6 O love of God! O Sin of Man! In this dread act Your strength is tried;
And victory remains with love; Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

Reflection 7
I remember a man of extraordinary religious insight:
utterly convinced of the connectedness between human loving and living in God,
determined to give people personal authority in their relationship with God,
wanting to set people free from fear of the unknown,
setting his heart on breaking down barriers between people…
We give thanks for the ways in which the life, teaching, and death of Jesus, have set us free.

Technical Assistance: Eric Goering, Ryan Goering, Shane Kirchner
Readers: Chris Whitacre, Kathryn Whitacre