Summary: As we come to the cross this Good Friday we need to be reminded that the "why did Jesus have to die question" is because of love and the ability to embrace the life of God.
Good Friday 2011
Some Things Must Die
silence; words on the screen inviting quiet preparation and referring to a prayer for each to pray and meditate on included in handout (tbd); sign on the door requesting people enter in silence.
From Palms to the Cross video (http://www.theworkofthepeople.com/index.php?ct=store.details&pid=V00024 )
Song: Show Me The Way Of The Cross (as below)
Sparsely; as Jesus’ words.
Show me the way of the
cross once again
Denying myself for the
love that I have
(instrumental only during “Everything’s you now…”)
Yes, I resolve to give it all
Some things must die-
(some things must live) – leave out??
Not ‘what can I gain’-
but ‘what can I give’
If much is required
when much is received
Then You can have my whole life
Father, have it all
10:09am: Invitation to the cross, an ironic place – Steve
I invite you to come to the cross this morning. The cross is an ironic place, it was a simple yet horrendous Roman instrument of torture, a deterrent to crime incredibly vicious and ugly. Yet now it hangs in virtually every Christian church, some people have it tattooed on their bodies and others wear it in gold around their necks. What once was a symbol of death has been transformed into a symbol of life, a place of despair has been transformed to a place of hope, cries of pain and grief are transformed into shouts of victory, a place where hate is transformed by love. The cross is an ironic place:
- a place where meekness overcomes wrath
- a place that must shock us in its violence then console us in our grief
- a place where we must fall on our knees in humility and then be raised up again
- a place where we bring all our burdens, then leave them there
- a place of defeat and death that becomes a place of victory and life
This morning I invite you to come to the cross, and to consider how it might transform you. Oh, you might think you are managing ok, but there is something here for you. God wants to meet you this morning, remind you of how deep the love of God is for you, and transform you.
We will first pray a prayer of confession which ties together some of Jesus’ words to the religious people of His day during His last week of life, with some of Jesus’ words spoken at the very beginning of His ministry called “the beatitudes.” Then we will hear the story again from Scripture, reflect on our part in it, contemplate what sin in us needs to die and write that on a piece of paper, and then I’ll invite you to come and leave it at the cross – put it behind you and allow the love of God to transform you. At the close of our service, please exit the sanctuary in quiet and visit in the foyer so that anyone who wishes to stay and pray may do so in peace.
Our prayer of confession, to which we now turn, is modeled after two different sets of Jesus’ words. During His last week of life, Jesus was very confrontational with the sin of some of those in His day who felt they had it all together, these are known as the “woes” and are recorded in Matt 23. Those will be placed beside another of Jesus’ teachings, called the “beatitudes”, which are found in Matt. 5.
Leader: Father, what sorrow awaits us if we do not admit our need for you and instead trust in our own strength.
All: Father, break our hearts of stone. Jesus, take our self-sufficiency and let it die with you on the cross.
Leader: Jesus, what sorrow awaits us if we are only careful about the details of our worship but neglect the more important issues of mercy, justice, and faithfulness.
All: Lord, break our hearts of stone. Jesus, take our empty religion and let it die with you on the cross.
Leader: Holy Spirit, what sorrow awaits us if we do not mourn our sin and turn from our unrighteous ways.
All: Holy Spirit, break our hearts of stone. Jesus, take our sin and let it die with you on the cross.
Leader: Father, what sorrow awaits us if we are clean on the outside but remain filthy and full of greed and self-indulgence on the inside.
All: Father, break our hearts of stone. Jesus, take our greed and let it die with you on the cross.
Leader: Jesus, what sorrow awaits us if we exalt ourselves and refuse to serve one another.
All: Lord, break our hearts of stone. Jesus, take our pride and let it die with you on the cross.