Good Friday
Dry Bones
Friday 10 April 2020

The heavens knew you
and gave a star to honour your birth
The sea recognised you
and held you up when you walked upon it
The wind confessed to knowing you
and was silenced by your voice
The earth saw its creator
and trembled when you were crucified
But lovers of the world failed to understand

Hymn:
My song is love unknown

Prayer:
It is not a tall spire or steeple bell that calls us to worship but a stark cross against a silent sky
Lord have mercy - Christ have mercy
There is no aisle or majestic vaulting leading to your altar - but a pathway of pain and insults denial by friends
Lord have mercy - Christ have mercy
It is not costly vestments that draw the eye or sombre liturgy that stirs the heart.
But a naked man with outstretched arms surpassing, surrounding, inhabiting our suffering
Lord have mercy – Christ have mercy
No flowers here or fragrant incense but a crown of thorns and deep red self-giving love
Lord have mercy - Christ have mercy
Where are your friends to greet you and thank you for the work you have done?
There are none, only the separation caused by sin felt fully in the heart of God
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy

Hymn:
Jesus Christ, I think upon your sacrifice

Readings:
Isaiah 53: 1-12 and John 18:1 – 19:42

Isaiah sees a suffering servant but couldn’t conceive that God would not only provide the sacrifice but become the sacrifice.
‘Amazing love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Why did Jesus suffer and die on the cross? Emmanuel means ‘God with us’ – but is it too shocking for us to think that this was somehow God suffering the pain and abandonment?
‘Tis mystery all: the Immortal dies!’
Maybe it is easier for us to separate out the Trinity – and see a wrathful Father, angry at our sin, insisting on a punishment that falls on his only son. But we believe in One God: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. And the Bible tells us that God is love.
‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore, let angel minds enquire no more.’
Christ’s suffering shows us in human form the consequences of sin and alienation. This is God absorbing pain, empathising with the injured, halting an escalation of retribution, restoring relationship, healing wounds. This crucifying pain and desire for reconciliation has always been in God’s heart.
‘emptied himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race.’
To understand cross we need to understand love. Can we look on the cross with a realisation that God loves to forgive, and not to punish? God the Son suffers, for love not for punishment, all the pain of sin and separation caused by sin. And so this pain is all felt fully in the heart of the Trinity…
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free; for, O my God, it found out me’

Hymn:
When I survey

Prayers:
Prayers of Intercession and Lord’s Prayer

Where Christ walks - We will follow
Where Christ stumbles - We will stop
Where Christ cries - We will listen
Where Christ suffers - We will hurt
When Christ dies – We bow our heads in sorrow
When Christ rises – We will share his endless joy
There is no other way – He is the only way

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