Good Morning and welcome to our meditation for Good Friday, the day when we remember Jesus’ crucifixion, and in particular we will think about his words from the cross. In each section there is a reading – click on the link to hear it read; a prayer which you can read aloud; and then a time of silence to let Jesus’ words sink in as you one them. The silence can last as long as you wish, before moving on to the next section. We’ll begin, as always, by singing God’s praises – “How deep the Father’s love for us”.
The Shadow of Condemnation
Reading: Luke 23:32-34:
32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Prayer: Forgiving Christ, when the world condemns us, when wrong is done to us, when we carry the weight of things that are too much to forgive, come along side us in the darkness, and give us the grace to be forgiven and forgiving. (Silence)
The Shadow of separation
Reading: Luke 23:35-43
35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Prayer: Reconciling Christ, we are weighed down by sin and separation, a world that is not at peace, people who are not whole. You reached out to the thief, you welcomed him to God’s side. Come alongside us in the darkness, and bring grace and peace to everything that is broken. (Silence)
The Shadow of Sorrow
Reading: John 19:25-27 25 But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
Prayer: Loving Jesus, we carry the weight of the people we love, concern for their sorrows and suffering. Our care for them is deep, and sometimes there is not much we can do. Come alongside us in the darkness, and cradle the ones we love in your strong hands. (Silence)
The Shadow of Despair
Reading: Mark 15:33-34 33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, you know what it is to feel that God is far away. You know what it is to call out for God’s presence. Come alongside us in the darkness, and help us call out for God. (Silence)
The Shadow of Suffering
Reading: John 19:28-30: 28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished”, and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Prayer: Suffering Saviour, in all our thirst, in all our sickness, in all our longing, in all our pain, you are there. Come alongside us in the darkness, and walk with us through all our suffering. (Silence)
The Shadow of Death
Reading: Luke 23:44-49 44 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” 48 And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. 49 And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.
Prayer: Dearest Jesus, even in death, you are there. When we mourn, when we are afraid, when we come to our own end, you have been there, too. Come alongside us in the darkness, and carry us through death to life. (Silence)
Your sign of reconciliation is the Cross
In all it’s length and depth and height and breadth.
Teach us to share it
With you and with our sisters and brothers,
So that we may learn to act justly,
And so waiting upon your Spirit
Become instruments of your peace,
To the glory of God the Father.