Apparently Good Friday is where I'm at this year.
Around lunchtime I updated my facebook status: "Elizabeth is laying the brokenness of the world (especially of those whom she loves) at the foot of the cross of Jesus."
From the flist:
* Meditation for Good Friday
* "The Seven Last Words" by Mark Strand
[ha! Will posted that, too
From the FCS UCC Good Friday booklet: ( excerptsCollapse )
I passed Jeremy across the street this evening and when I realized he was waiting for me I said, "I'm going to different church," and he said, "You see the hand?" (a "talk to the hand" gesture, not flipping me off). Except I'd forgotten that FCS UCC wasn't actually doing an evening Good Friday service, so I went to CAUMC after all. I told Jeremy, "I lied," and explained that last night had been the most uninspiring Maundy Thursday service ever, hence my hesitation. Marla said she had heard it was amazing and was sorry she hadn't been there. I said that it tried
, and there wasn't anything offensive
, I just didn't find it powerful, but that I'm an outlier in most everything.
The Good Friday service was basically exactly the same as last year
-- different Call to Worship, and the last Song of Response was "So Much Wrong," which I think Tallessyn said was a Middle Eastern song.
Again, the prayer themes seemed mostly unconnected to the verses they accompanied, which I didn't like. I also wasn't a fan of how it's all "losses," because what I've been really thinking about is brokenness -- and the losses I have thought about don't necessarily fit into these categories so well.
We did the Affirmation of Faith responsively, and I was really struck by this portion:
When hope and fear were raging, when love was beaten down,
when hope was nailed and left to die,
Christ entered into our deep secret places
and went down into death to find us.
I've been thinking about the Creed recently, specifically the parts I hesitate to Affirm, so the echoes of Christ's descent into hell particularly stuck out at me.
Another change from last year's service is that after A Word of Release (John 19:29-30), there was Prayer of Response "A Loss of Life" and then a Stripping of the Altar. We had just all symbolically laid our burdens on the Communion table (empty chalice on its side, plate with some cubes of bread), and the first thing Tiffany and Judy did was to put the stones back in the basin and take it away, and I had this initial immediate reaction of distress, like we
were being erased.
The last thing was Tiffany lifted the open Bible off its holder, said, "It. Is. Finished." and slammed it shut. She has strong presence, but stuff like that is always also particularly striking because of the contrast to how she normally does things.
There was silence for some time, and then Tiffany relit the big purple candle and brought it back and gave us a Blessing, noting that even in the darkness, "We know how this story ends."
In Daily Psalms, I'm at 44
. It begins as a praise to God for being on the speaker's side, but after the Selah things change.
9 But now you have rejected and humbled us;
you no longer go out with our armies.
17 All this happened to us,
though we had not forgotten you
or been false to your covenant.
18 Our hearts had not turned back;
our feet had not strayed from your path.
19 But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals
and covered us over with deep darkness.
23 Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.
24 Why do you hide your face
and forget our misery and oppression?
25 We are brought down to the dust;
our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up and help us;
redeem us because of your unfailing love.