In our church today, the congregations meet together, and we will sing in Bahasa and English. Then it will be quiet, and we will listen to the whole passion narrative, read in a mixture of both languages. We will act out some of the story using a variation on Dorothy MCrae's wonderful liturgy. I get to introduce this part of the service.
I don’t have a lot to say about Good Friday.
Jesus' death was a tragedy. He was an innocent man who was killed by the mob. He was the best of all people, who showed us how to be human, who showed us how to live fully. And he was killed— murdered in a most inhumane way.
What can we say about this that is adequate? What can we say which won't domesticate it and hide the horror under a heap of words?
Feel this in your heart rather than filling your mind with words which can do it no justice.
Earlier in the Gospel of John, (Chapter 8) before our readings today, some people were arguing with Jesus. They said that they were God's people because they were Abraham's children. And Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am." Which is a little Jewish joke about a great and wonderful love… because… I am is the name for God. (Exodus 3)
John is teaching us that God is saying to us that in Jesus… I am.
God is saying to us that when Jesus is on the cross… I am.
When we suffer, when we are lost, when we have no hope, God says… I am…
I am here; I know what it is to suffer and to be lost.
Listen to the story today.
Hear the sadness, and the tragedy, and the futility. Remember your own suffering and grief.
God knows. God is in it with us.
Don't spend today looking to work out how all this Good Friday stuff works; you've got the rest of your life to do that—
Hear the story. Feel the pain. Be appalled… and remember that God says, I am.
I am here.
I am yours.
You are mine. Amen
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