Good Friday Worship Service – March 25th, 2016

Good Friday Worship Service

March 25, 2016

Penticton United Church


Lighting the Christ Candle

Call to Worship

One: Will you walk the lonely path of rejection and fear? 

All:        We make this journey, accompanied by God, our Lover.

One:     Will you speak up for Jesus, acclaiming his mercy?

All:        We stutter and cry, with hearts open to the miracle of redemption.

Prayer

Steadfast God, we journey the path of death.  We stand as witnesses to injustice, greed and indifference.  Courage fails us.  Let us not be immobilized by obstructions and burdens.   And yet we stand at the foot of the cross knowing that your love is greater than any short-coming.  Empower us to receive your life-giving grace.  Amen.

Hymn – VU # 142 – Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross

Rock liturgy (from Fern)

Scripture – John 18:1-11

Presentation of Rock

Reflection

The Rock of Courage

Year after year we approach Good Friday with sadness and apprehension.  Even though we know the story well, most of us are a little uncertain of all the recorded details.  Today, we hear the Good Friday story in a fresh way.  Each rock represents a specific part of the crucifixion story.

In the telling from the Gospel of John, we hear Jesus strongly and clearly declaring that he is Jesus of Nazareth.  Jesus owns up to his identity and home community.  With the soldiers and police before him, Jesus acknowledges that he is the sought after One.  Showing courage and leadership, Jesus does not shirk away from the military officials.  He understood Judas’s betrayal.  With great courage, Jesus declares that he is Jesus of Nazareth.  – The Rock of Courage

Silence

Nail is Struck

Sung Response – MV 90 – Don’t Be Afraid

Scripture – John 18:29-38

Presentation of Rock

Reflection

The Rock of Truth

Jesus is arrested and bound.  Appearing before Pilate, Jesus and Pilate engage in some verbal jousting.  Jesus declares that his mission and ministry was all about truth-telling.  Pilate ultimately declared that he could not keep up with Jesus in the round of verbal gymnastics that they were engaged in.  But finally Pilate declares that he finds no case against Jesus and that the custom of releasing someone at Passover would be upheld.  Rather than selecting Jesus, Barabbas was discharged.  Jesus would be crucified.

Telling the truth had a great cost.  May we listen for the truth.  – The Rock of Truth

Silence

Nail is Struck

Sung Response – MV 90 – Don’t Be Afraid

Anthem

Presentation of Rock

Reflection

The Rock of Faith

We have heard the Good Friday story countless times.  And yet today we hear it with new awareness.  The rocks remind us of the steadfast faith that is ours.  We keep going, even in the hard, lonely, and vacant times.  We pour our hearts out to God, knowing that prayers are heard and needs are addressed.  Why then did Jesus die, we wonder?  Jesus confronted human arrogance and evil.  We acknowledge that Jesus, like us, must die to the forces of power and control.  Jesus stood up to greed, manipulation, and coercion.  And the cost was his life.  May our faith be strong enough that we will turn our selves over to God’s great heart.  The rock of faith

Silence

Nail is Struck

Sung Response –  MV 90 – Don’t Be Afraid

Scripture – John 19:1-16

Presentation of Rock

Reflection

The Rock of Leadership

A crown of thorns, a purple robe, shouts of “Hail, King of the Jews!”  and the last cries to crucify Jesus set the stage for the most horrific drama.  Jesus is adorned like a king and yet he refuses to accept either the label or the role.  Perhaps you too have wondered about Jesus’ leadership style.  He was a story-teller, a friend to children, a healer, a rebel, and a model for others.  He lived the Good News by showing the chosen disciples and friends the way of radical love.  Jesus humbly teaches until his final moments on earth.  – The Rock of Leadership

Silence

Nail is Struck

Sung Response – MV 90 – Don’t Be Afraid

Scripture – John 19: 17-30

Presentation of Rock

Reflection

The Rock of Love

Imagine you are Jesus’ mother, Mary, standing at the foot of the cross.  Next is Mary’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, Mary Magdalene and the disciple whom we think must have been John.  These friends who were the closest people to Jesus were huddled together to witness to Jesus’ torturous death.  Oh, how they loved Jesus.  He had been so good to them.  And they would do anything they could to show their love to Jesus.  But – this time, there was nothing they could do but helplessly watch and cry.  With a bowed head, Jesus gave up his spirit.  – The Rock of Love

Silence

Nail is Struck

Sung Response  MV 90 – Don’t Be Afraid

Act of Confession

Prayer of Confession/Offering of Rocks

Merciful God, our hands hold rocks – solid and sharp.  Life is firm and full of piercing edges.  Forbid that we hurt others with words that harm.  Stop us from wounding others with our indifference and injustice.  Smooth the hard edges and soften the unpliable that is within us.  May these rocks remind us that you are our firm foundation.  Amen.

Hymn – VU #183 – We Meet You, O Christ

Extinguishing of the Christ Candle

Departure in Silence

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