Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

April 10, 2020

Good Friday Prayer Around the Cross

INTRODUCTION

From theologian Richard Rohr:

It is true that you are going to die, and yet “I am certain of this, neither death nor life, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, not any height nor depth, nor any created thing can ever come between us and the love of God” (Romans 8:38-39).

On Good Friday, we lament Jesus’ death while living in hope that death does not have the last word on our destiny. We are born with a longing, desire, and deep hope that this thing called life could somehow last forever. It is a premonition from something eternal that is already within us. Some would call it the soul. Christians would call it the indwelling presence of God. It is God within us that makes us desire and seek God.

Yes, we are going to die, but we have already been given a kind of inner guarantee and promise right now that death is not final—and it takes the form of love. Deep in the heart and psyche, love, both human and divine, connotes something eternal and gratuitous, and it does so in a deeply mysterious and compelling way. We are seeing this now in simple acts of love in this time of crisis, such as people volunteering to make masks and deliver food, or people cheering hospital workers arriving for their shift. Isn’t it amazing how a small act of love or gratitude can imprint a deeper knowing on our soul?

The crucifixion of Jesus is the preeminent example of God’s love reaching out to us. It is at the same moment the worst and best thing in human history. The Franciscans, led by John Duns Scotus (1266-1308), even claimed that instead of a “necessary sacrifice,” the cross was a freely chosen revelation of Total Love on God’s part.

In so doing, they reversed the engines of almost all world religion up to that point, which assumed that we had to spill blood to get to a distant and demanding God. On the cross, the Franciscans believed, God was “spilling blood” to reach out to us! This is a sea change in consciousness. The cross, instead of being a transaction, was seen as a dramatic demonstration of God’s outpouring love, meant to utterly shock the heart and turn it back toward trust and love of the Creator.

I believe that the cross is an image for our own time, and every time: we are invited to gaze upon the image of the crucified Jesus to soften our hearts toward all suffering. Amidst the devastating spread of COVID-19, the cross beckons us to what we would call “grief work,” holding the mystery of pain, looking right at it, and learning from it. With softened hearts, God leads us to an uncanny and newfound compassion and understanding.”

PRAYER OF THE DAY

P: Merciful God, your Son was lifted up on the cross to draw all people to himself. Grant that we who have been born out of his wounded side may at all times find mercy in him, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C: Amen.

GOOD FRIDAY LITANY

[52: 13-53:12]

P: We gather tonight to walk with Christ, the way of the cross.

C: See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high

P: In the shadow of the cross we will hear the Word spoken and we will be opened to the Word made flesh in our lives.

C: He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

P: In candlelight we will sing our lament,

C: He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces, he was despised, and we held him of no account.

P: At the foot of the cross we will lay down our lament, our sorrow, our hurt and all that keeps us from God. Confident that Christ knows our pain, remembering Christ bore our sin, sorrow and death in his body.

C: Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases…But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities…and by his bruises we are healed.

P: In silence we are opened to our brokenness, in silence and emptiness we are open to God’s healing.

C: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way

P: Tonight we gather; the broken in need of healing, the fragile whose healing is taking place, the healed who need to continually be renewed. Tonight we gather; separated by distance and necessity, bound together in Christ.  The hopeful and those in need of hope, the grieving, the hurting, the sick, the well, the insider and the outcast, the believer and the one who doubts.

C: Tonight we gather; each in our own dwelling place and yet together around the cross. To hear, to sing, to pray, to be silent.

P: Tonight we gather; to bear witness, to be laid bare, to leave this place in silence and deep as death, and tonight we will leave with hope; a whisper, a candle, a promise that life will dispel the shadows.

C: Amen.

HYMN (Sung acapella)                                                                                   Give Me Jesus

In the morning, when I rise.

In the morning, when I rise

In the morning when I rise.

 

[Refrain]Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus, give me Jesus

You can have all this world, but give me Jesus

 

And on this pilgrim way,

And on this pilgrim way,

And on this pilgrim way.

Give me Jesus

 

THE PASSION ACCORDING TO JOHN                                                             Chapter 18: 1-19: 42

Jesus is Arrested

1[Jesus] went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.2Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” 5They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground. 7Again he asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” 9This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.” 10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. 11Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?” 12So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. 13First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people.

HYMN                                                                                                             Give me Jesus

And when I’m left alone

When I’m left alone

When I’m left alone

Give me Jesus

Refrain

Silence

Peter Denies Jesus

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. 17The woman said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.

Hymn

When I turn away

When I turn away

When I turn away

Give me Jesus

Refrain

Silence

Jesus Before the High Priest and Peter’s Denial

Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. 20Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” 24Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, “You are not also one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

Hymn

When the darkness falls

When the darkness falls

When the darkness falls

Give me Jesus

Refrain

 

Silence

Jesus Before Pilate

Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. 29So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” 31Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” The Jews replied, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” 32(This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)

33Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” 35Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” 36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” 37Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” 38Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”

After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no case against him. 39But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 40They shouted in reply, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a bandit.

Hymn

 

When I come to die,

When I come to die

When I come to die

Give me Jesus

Refrain

 

Silence

 

 

 

Jesus is Condemned

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. 3They kept coming up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face. 4Pilate went out again and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.” 5So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” 6When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.” 7The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.”

8Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. 9He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” 11Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” 12From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.”

13When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. 14Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” 15They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.” 16Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

HYMN                                                                                                 Were You There

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble,

tremble.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

 

Silence

 

Jesus is Crucified

So they took Jesus; 17and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. 18There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. 21Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’ ” 22Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” 23When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. 24So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says,

“They divided my clothes among themselves,

and for my clothing they cast lots.”

25And that is what the soldiers did.

Hymn

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble,

tremble.

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

 

Silence

 

The Last Words

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

28After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” 29A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. 30When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Hymn

 

Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble,

tremble.

Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

 

Silence

 

Jesus is Taken Down off the Cross

Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. 32Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. 35(He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) 36These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.” 37And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”

Hymn

Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble,

tremble.

Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

 

Silence

 

Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. 39Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. 40They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 41Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. 42And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Hymn

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble,

tremble.

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

 

Silence

 

INVITATION TO THE CROSS

During this time, music will be playing and you are invited to gather around your cross at home and pray silently, or out loud.  You are welcome to light candles for each prayer.

When you are done praying I invite you to mark yourself (or one another) with the sign of the cross saying:

You are healed and forgiven through the cross; with this cross you are marked as God’s own.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

LORD’S PRAYER

P: Finally, let us pray for all those things for which our Lord would have us ask.

C: Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever. Amen.

 

HYMN                                                                                                 Jesus, Remember Me

Jesus, remember me

When you come into your Kingdom

Jesus, remember me

When you come into your Kingdom (2x)

 

TIME OF CONTEMPLATION AND STRIPPING OF THE ALTAR

 

SENDING

 

P: Behold, the life-giving cross

C: On which was hung the Savior of the whole world.

P: Behold, the life-giving cross

C: On which was hung the Savior of the whole world.

P: Behold, the life-giving cross

C: On which was hung the Savior of the whole world.

 

We end in silence, to stand vigil with the women and the disciples, awaiting the morning.

 

Sundays and Seasons

Evangelical Lutheran Worship in America

Pastor Jessica Rivera-Walker Copyright 2020