Mar 22, 2018

Good Friday Reflection: God, who are you?

What was it about Jesus
that was so confusing for governments
and for ordinary people?

Pilate couldn’t make sense of Jesus
and half the time we can’t either.

We want a God who comes in might and power to take all before him
and yet we get Jesus:
unmistakably human and vulnerable,
political subversive
always on the side of love, not power
human, even to the point of death.

We keep asking the question,
‘God, who are you?’
in the hope we’ll get a different answer.
And God just keeps coming back with this one. 

~ written by Cheryl Lawrie and posted on [hold this space].

Good Friday: Prayer of Intercession

Here’s a prayer of intercession for worship on Good Friday. It was written by Ann Siddall, and posted on the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre website. 

Prayer for Others
(inspired by Psalm 22:1, Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34)

This Good Friday we join our voices
to the words of Jesus on the cross,
and the cry of all who are abandoned,
“My God, why have you forsaken me?”

Before we race in quickly
with the triumphant answer,
or the desire to set things right,
we need to stand alongside
this ancient cry of dereliction.

So today we place ourselves
with all those who cry out
for food and justice, for work and healing,
for hope and love, for faith and for meaning:
we hear their pain and the pain of Jesus Christ.

And because we know
that in two days we will be back
celebrating and singing,
do not let us deny the suffering
of Christ and of this world.

Today we cry out about:
(world and local situations may be named here)
O God, our God, we cry out to You
do not forsake us. Amen. 

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

Good Friday: Shifting Blame

Here’s a thoughtful meditation and prayer of response inspired by the events of Good Friday (see Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, John 19). It was written by Nigel Varndell, and published on the Sanctuary Centre website. 


It was the Romans who killed you,
who nailed you to a cross
to punish you for thinking differently.
Murdered for daring to challenge the might of Imperial Rome.
Written prayers Daily Meditations and Response prayers for Holy Week
Murdered for daring to suggest that the world should be different,
that it could be rearranged for once,
not to make the powerful comfortable,
but deeply uncomfortable.

maybe it was the religious leaders who wanted you dead?
For challenging their deeply and sincerely held religious truths,
for shaking things up and rocking the boat,
for daring to suggest that just because
we have always done it like this,
we always must?
We cannot challenge the guardians of tradition,
where would we be without it?
Better surely to let one man die….

It was the crowd!
It was their fault
It must have the been the crowd who gathered and cried “Crucify!”
who are the ones who killed you.
What they need, you see, is a scapegoat,
someone for the Romans to blame,
so that they won’t come looking for anyone else.

maybe it was me?

Maybe you should pity me – me,
for on this Good Friday,
I will stand with the Romans,
because I, who have everything,
don’t really want anything to change.
I will stand with the religious leaders,
and make sure that my traditions are honoured,
no matter who they exclude.
I will stand with the crowd,
who already know who is to blame
for all that goes wrong.

And I will cry “Crucify”

A prayer of response

Lord Jesus, is it possible that I, who call you friend –
Master, Saviour, King –
Still stand with the crowd, the betraying disciples,
the violent soldiers, and the religious leaders?

I confess it is possible. I confess it is true.
Because I say I have taken up my cross
Written prayers Daily Meditations and Response prayers for Holy Week
But I put it down when it’s not convenient.
And I claim I stand up for the least
But I sit down when it’s uncomfortable.

Precious Lord, how did you bear it?
The pain of the nails.
The tearing separation of One-in-Three – even for a moment.
And the betrayal of friends
Who would rather stand with the crowd
Than with you.
So you hung there with arms outstretched to all the world
Even as each of us turned away from perfect love.

And how do you bear it now?
When I make your kingdom into one of comfort
And shift the blame for today’s darkness
To anywhere – anyone – but me.

Lord Jesus, is it possible that I, who have betrayed you,
Served myself and pursued my own agendas
Am still welcomed by those arms stretched out wide?
Treasured by the one who says
“Come weak and heavy laden – come to me”?

Only here will I find the way to carry your easy burden
That costs the world for the sake of love.
Help me Lord Jesus to come – to leave the crowd
And replace our deafening chant with a silent prayer of surrender:
That speaks “Anything for you – my Master and my friend.”

~ in “Daily Meditations and Response prayers for Holy Week” by Nigel Varndell. Copyright © 2011 Nigel Varndell (Meditations) and 2012  Posted on the Sanctuary Centre website.

Prayer: Psalm 22

On the cross, Jesus quotes Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Here is a reflection on those words, from Reverend Sarah Agnew. It was posted on pray the story. 

his prayer, from a cross of wood

the psalmist cried out
all day long and all
through his restless night.
where have you gone? 
where is your throne?

You are holy
ancestors trusted
they trusted
you were there.
no more than a dirt-bound worm.
are you there? 

you were there
at my birth
you have been with me
ever since
do not leave me 
there is no one else
to help me

tearing my clothes
gnawing at my bones
do no leave me now
for the dog’s teeth
the lion’s mouth

rescue me, please,
my Holy, Sacred, Home
bring me home
you are God
you alone
I live for you
I die for you 
I live
you live 


~ written by Reverend Sarah Agnew. Posted on pray the story.  tp://

Holy Week Confession

Here is an act of confession for Holy Week. It was posted on Life in Liturgy (see link below).

Confession for Holy Week

Forgive us, Lord, for forgetting your sacrifice
and for thinking your grace is cheap. 

Forgive us, Lord, for using the cross as a trinket,
forgetting the agony it represents.

Forgive us, Lord, for taking our worship for granted,
forgetting the struggle that has assured its freedom. 

Forgive us, Lord, for being calloused to human cruelty,
forgetting that every victim is a creature of God. 

Forgive us, Lord, for being nonchalant about injustice,
forgetting that it still nails innocence to the cross. 

Forgive us, Lord, for thinking that sacrifice is obsolete,
forgetting that we still contend against the powers of darkness.
Receive our prayers offered in all humility,
as we remember and honor Christ our Lord who prays for us still.  Amen.

~ posted on Life in Liturgy, from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).