Mar 17, 2016

Invitation to Worship on Good Friday

Here’s an extended invitation to worship for Good Friday.  It was written by Ann Siddall, based on John 18.

She writes: I had never noticed before that the liturgical colour is grey, so the opening words are based on this colour being prominent – on the communion table, or elsewhere. It may even be more dramatic to have someone bring in grey cloth and lay it over the table, or at the foot of the cross as these words are read, perhaps to a background of solemn music.” 

Invitation to Worship for Good Friday

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 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.

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.

And though the sun rose that morning,
the whole world turned grey for One
who found himself without friend or helper,
faced with drinking a cup he’d prayed
would be turned away from him,
knowing that life was about to be drained out of him.

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.

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.

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.

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.

~ written by Ann Siddall, and posted on the website of the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre.