Friday, 6 April 2012

Good Friday

A huge thank you to the Museum Volunteers and Seniors for Seniors for the Thursday  Seniors Luncheon Presentation on the Battle of Vimy Ridge.   An awesome time.

Last evening,  First Baptist Church celebrated their very first Tennabrae Worship.   It was a great time of worship and brought the stories of Jesus alive.   One little gal started to bawl when she heard the story of Jesus' crucifixion but I was so impressed with her Mom.   Her Mom took the time to explain to her that Jesus died for our sins... yes it hurt Jesus  but Jesus took our hurts upon him and gave us Eternal Life.  While we are sad when we hear this story,  we need to remember that Jesus did this for each one of us and we need to give Jesus our thanks and praise.   Wow!     Good Mom!!!  

Today is the celebration of Good Friday -- the crucifixion of Jesus.    Like the wee gal from last night we know that this is an extremely sad day as we read the Gospel Stories of the crucifixion of Jesus, BUT  it is more a time of joy knowing the Glorious Resurrection at Easter.    Take time today and if nothing else read the story of the Crucifixion and remember the Glorious Resurrection in three days.  

From Friday Morning to Saturday,  
Read  St. Matthew 27: 1 – 66
Prayer:     Lamb of God,  You take away the sin of the world,  have mercy upon us.  Lamb of God,  You take away the sins from my heart,  have mercy upon me.  Lamb of God,  You take away the sin of the world,  grant us Your peace.   As we live out our life in Your name today,  help us to ask ourselves “What have I done for Christ?”    “What am I doing for Christ today?”  What ought I to do for You today”?    Lamb of God,  You take away the sin of the world,  grant us Your love.   Amen

Friday April 6  Good Friday
Prayer:  Alone You once went forth, O Lord,  in sacrifice to die.  Does not Your sorrow touch the hearts of people passing by?  Our sins,  not Yours, You bore then, Lord, make us Your sorrow feel, till through our pity and our shame love answers love’s appeal.  This was earth’s darkest hour, but You did light and life restore;  then let us give all praise to You who live forevermore.  Grant us with You to suffer, Lord, that as we share this hour, Your cross may bring us to Your joy and resurrection power.     Amen.    (Hymn 232 Peter Abelard 1079-1142, translation copyright Church Pension Fund)

Read:   St. Matthew  27:  32 - 61

Good Friday worship is always difficult.  It is a time of extreme sadness.    Readers who read the Gospel often get choked up reading the horror of Christ’s death.  Such sadness and pain.   But!  We are a people of the Resurrection!  We know that through the death of Jesus,  we are given Eternal Life.   There is hope!     There is love!  There is life!   When we attend Good Friday Worship,  we need to attend as the God’s  Easter People.  A people (and congregation) filled with hope and love and renewal of enthusiasm. 
This reading from St. Matthew is the fulfillment of the Old Testament.  The Messiah has come to bring forgiveness of sins and new life. 
At the ninth hour,  Jesus cries out from the cross, “My God, my God,  why have you forsaken me?”   This comes from Psalm 22 and while it sounds like the end and a cry of desperation,  in fact it is the question that the Psalms says to God at a time of despair and then out of that despair,  the Psalmist comes to realize that God is the God of all.    Those who were around Jesus and heard him say these words would know exactly what Jesus meant.  This was not a time of death and loss but the beginning of love and life.

Read Psalm 22.

Prayer:   Redeeming God,  from You comes my praise.  All the ends of the earth will remember and return to the LORD.  All the families of the nations will bow down before You,  for dominion belongs to You.   Almighty and Eternal God,  You raise us up and save us through the Passion of Your Son.  As we celebrate this wonder, finish in us the work You have begun, and plant new zeal in our hearts through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord.  Amen.   (portions of Psalm 22 and Taize “Praise in all our Days”)

Many blessings!

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