Good Friday Home Worship
Saltney and Bretton Methodist Churches
A short act of worship for use in people’s homes
while churches are closed.
10th April 2020 – Good Friday
Jesus, what have you not suffered,
what have you not given me?
I can never comprehend you,
but I can love you
at the depth of the darkness
which you entered on the cross,
and the depth of the love
which held you there. Amen. (Prayer by Angela Ashwin)
Singing the Faith 284 – There is a green hill far away
(On the hymn sheet)
Lord Jesus, we cannot understand your suffering and death;
yet in these difficult days for us,
perhaps we are beginning to understand just a little more.
So we are even more amazed that what you did and what you suffered
was for me, for us, for all.
Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits you have won for us,
for all the pains and insults you have borne for us.
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly;
day by day. Amen.
(Based on the prayer of St. Richard of Chichester)
We say the Lord’s prayer
Reading – John 19: 16-30
16 Then [Pilate] handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus; 17 and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them.
19 Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." 20 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. 21 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.'" 22 Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written."
23 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. 24 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." 25 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. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, "Woman, here is your son." 27 Then he said to the disciple, "Here is your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), "I am thirsty." 29 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. 30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, "It is finished."
Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Reflection by Neil Stacey
Many of us are beginning to feel ‘hemmed in’: we cannot move as freely as we did just a few weeks ago; we cannot go out; our movements more limited. And because we can’t move, we’re struggled to know what to do. We would like to reach out and help as many people as we can: to run errands; to provide food; to take some flowers; to put our arms around those who are grieving and offer some comfort. We share in a sense of isolation and desolation.
There is a spiritual exercise that many people – mostly men – struggle with. It is to imagine standing at the foot of the cross of Jesus, watching.
We just cannot bear to see the suffering, and not being able to do anything about it. Today, that is all we can do. This afternoon, we are invited to hear Jesus’s words of isolation:
And about three o'clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, …"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46)
And we are invited to stand alongside the small band of those who loved Jesus on that day, including Mary the mother of Jesus.
Perhaps if we can be drawn to a deeper sense of God’s love for us on the cross, and challenged to find new ways of caring for those whose hearts are breaking, then it will be a Good Friday: God’s Friday.
Prayers of Intercession
Today, gracious God,
We have reached the day where words are not enough.
We remember before you:
those who will breathe their last today;
those who are caring for them;
those who love them but cannot be close;
those who are suffering alone;
those whose pain will not make the headlines.
We do not know what to say; we do not know what to pray.
Thank you that your arms were open wide on the cross.
May those who need our prayers – and we ourselves – know the embrace of your saving love, revealed in your Son.
Singing the Faith 287 – When I survey the wondrous cross
(On the hymn sheet)
Blessing Simon, Bishop of Iran (died 339)
May the cross of our Lord
protect those who belong to Jesus,
and strengthen our hearts in faith to Christ,
in hardship and at ease,
in life and in death,
now and for ever. Amen.