A Travellerspoint blog

WORSHIP and SERMON

Good Friday

sunny 70 °F

WORSHIP aboard the Silver Whisper on April 19, 2019 at 9:15 am

All wait in silent prayer.

Officiant Blessed be our God. 

People For ever and ever. Amen.
Officiant Let us pray.

Almighty God, we pray you to behold this your
family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be
betrayed, and to suffer
death upon the cross; who now is alive and reigns with you and
the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and striking him on the face. Pilate 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.’ So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, ‘Here is the man!’ When 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.’ The 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.’

Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, ‘Where are you from?’ But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate 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?’ Jesus 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.’ From 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.’

When 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. Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, ‘Here is your King!’ They 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.’ Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.’ Many 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. Then 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.” ’ Pilate answered, ‘What I have written I have written.’ When 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. So 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.’
And that is what the soldiers did.

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’ A 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. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (19:1-30)

A Reflection The Reverend Hope H. Eakins

From the beginning of time God has tried to explain it all, to tell us how much we were loved. God tried to show us through the rainbow promise to Noah, God tried to tell us by parting the Red Sea waters. God sent us prophets, and when their words rang hollow in the skies, God put flesh around his word and sent Jesus, to teach us and heal us and love us. But God knew that love couldn’t be taught in words alone; love can’t be preached from a pulpit or written in a book, or told from far off. The words “I love you” don’t count for much if we hear them on a radio, or hear them from somebody who doesn’t know us.

We are here on Good Friday because when God said, “I love you,” God said it from a cross. I can’t explain the meaning of it all; some things you just can’t say with words, but I can tell you another story of love stripped bare, of love that did not run from pain.

It happened in ward of a large Veteran’s Hospital. The patients were quadriplegics and paraplegics, men whose bodies had been broken by war and whose spirits were even more broken. One day a Bishop came to visit that bleak ward. He stepped onto the brown linoleum in civvies, with no crosier, no miter, no purple shirt. He was a good Bishop. He moved slowly from bed to bed and didn't offer pleasantries or foolish hopes. He listened mostly and remembered not to start to shake hands with an armless man. When someone called out, “Hey, Padre, give us a speech,” he did. It was a good talk, an earnest talk, and since he believed what he was saying, they believed him too. He told them how much Jesus loved them and how Jesus became one of them; he told them how Jesus brought healing to the sick and hope to the prisoners; he told them about Jesus’ wounds and how he ended up dying on a cross for them. And before he left, the Bishop spoke a prayer, not read from the Prayer Book but sprung from his heart. As he said good-bye, the men thanked him, but the Bishop knew that he had not brought them the hope they needed. He walked out the door, and then he suddenly turned back into the ward as if he had forgotten something. He stood silently before the men and then he started to undress. He took off his coat and let it fall to the floor. He took off his necktie and his shirt. He peeled off his undershirt, and every movement was painful. Then he took off his trousers and his socks and his shoes, and the patients saw that every part of his body was scarred and strapped together by braces. The Bishop was a wounded war veteran too. He stood there for a moment and then put his clothes back on. No words were spoken because no words had to be spoken. There was compassion in that ward; there was understanding in that ward; there was love in that ward. As he left, the Bishop raised his hand and blessed the men. They never forgot him.

“Jesus was stripped of his garments,” says the Gospel. Jesus hung before the world exposed and vulnerable, wounded like we are. God comes to us in the person of a man who showed himself to us in all his weakness. God did not stay aloof from us, working miracles from the sky; God did not just send us a Bible full of love letters; God came to be with us, to hang on the cross beside us, to tell us that even the pain of thorns and nails can be redeemed and healed.

Somehow the dogma has arisen in Christianity that Jesus died so that our sins might be forgiven, as if God’s anger had to be appeased, as if God wrote a passion play so that Someone Else took the punishment we deserved. There are theologians who talk like that, but not the ones who walked beside Jesus. Jesus didn't die so that God could forgive our sins; Jesus stretched out his arms upon the cross to show us that God does forgive our sins - because God loves us – this much.

The Solemn Collects

Officiant Dear People of God: Our heavenly Father sent his Son into
the world, not to condemn the world, but that through him the world might be saved and that all who believe in him might be delivered from the power of sin and death, and
become heirs of everlasting life. We pray, therefore, for people everywhere according to their needs.

Let us pray for all the nations and peoples of the earth,
For
those in authority among them and
For all who serve the common good
That by God's help they may seek justice and truth, and live
in peace and concord.

Silence

Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of
peace, and with your wisdom guide those who take counsel for
the nations; that in tranquility your dominion may increase, until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray for all who suffer and are afflicted in body, mind, and spirit;
For the hungry and the homeless, the destitute and the oppressed
For the sick, the wounded, and the crippled
For those in loneliness, fear, and anguish 

For those who face temptation, doubt, and despair 

For the sorrowful and bereaved 

For prisoners and captives, and those in mortal danger
For those whose hope and trust have been dashed by the torching of black churches in Louisiana and victims of racism everywhere
That they may know the vastness of God’s love for them and be comforted and relieved and that God may stir up in us the
will and patience to minister to their needs.

Silence

Gracious God, the comfort of all who sorrow, the strength of
all who suffer: Let the cry of those in misery and need come
to you, that they may find you present with them in all
their afflictions; and give us, we pray, the strength to serve
them for the sake of him who suffered for us, your Son Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.


Let us pray for all who have not heard the Gospel of Christ;
For those who have lost their faith 

For those hardened by sin or indifference 

For the contemptuous and the scornful 

For those who have persecuted others in the Name of God
That God will open their hearts to truth, and lead them to 
faith and obedience.

Silence

Merciful God, creator of all the peoples of the earth and
lover of souls: Have compassion on all who do not know you; and bring
home to your fold those who have gone astray; that there
may be one flock under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord.
 Amen.

Silence

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look
favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred 
mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry
out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world 
see and know that things which were cast down are being
raised up, and things which had grown old are being made
new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection
by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus
Christ our Lord; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Officiant We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you
People Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

.
. Officiants: The Reverend William J. Eakins, The Reverend Hope H. Eakins
. Altar Guild: Jane Kline, Directress; Jill Ingham

A Sunrise Easter service will be celebrated in the Observation Lounge at 7:15 am on Sunday, April 21.
.
. Future services: Sunday, April 28 at 5:30 pm
. Sunday, May 5 at 9:15 am

Posted by HopeEakins 02:18 Archived in South Africa

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