Pastor Saling played guitar, and the post-Scripture reading was a multi-voice one -- 4 parts and an All. There were bits I would have done differently in terms of separating out the parts, but some of it was very well done -- like "Crucify him! Crucify him! Give us Barabbas!" being an All part. The section following that was really interesting -- largely because it isn't a part of the story I'm much familiar with.
They had all betrayed their Lord
No one stepped forward to counter the crowd
No one stepped forward to claim his leadership
No one came to his aid but one
Simon the Cyrene
But even Simon did not do so with joy
He was grabbed by the guards
And ordered to carry the cross
You cannot carry the cross by command
You can only carry the cross by acceptance
That last line was one of the lines I spoke. It was really interesting hearing the different voices -- both in how the parts were split up and also in how people spoke their lines.
I was really intrigued by the structuring of this part:
He cried out in thirst
He cried out in pain
He cried out in sorrow
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
He cried out in faith
"Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit."
He cried out in triumph
"It is finished!"
He cried out his last breath
Closed his eyes
Where is our Lord?
He has gone on before you and will meet you on the way
Before I turned the page I totally called the whole "I am going to prepare a room for you in my Father's house" thing as well as the go to Galilee" thing. "Go to Galilee" isn't something I remember from the story as a child, but I've been seeing exegeses of it this season and have been intrigued.
He has gone to prepare our place in the Kingdom of God
He has gone on before us and will meet us on the way
He meets us at the crossroads of our lives
He meets us in diversity and misfortune
He meets us in success and celebration
He meets us in the presence of new birth
[All] And in the presence of passing death
Jesus meets us wherever two or more are gathered
Jesus meets us in the solitude of prayer
In the loneliness of night
In the silence of the heart
In the sorrow of our days
And the sadness of our loss
[All] Jesus meets us
There was, of course, a repeated emphasis in the reading on "He who was dead is now alive," and I found myself getting really into the drama of the story. Sometimes I'm reading stuff from the Bible and thinking, "I would really like to take a Bible as Literature class because coming at this just as narrative this doesn't feel like compelling narrative to me at all," but in the reading tonight I was really feeling the power of the story.
From the Intercessory Prayer:
Loving God, make your voice heard throughout the Church and in all the lands of our earth. Build in us a sense of awe and reverence for the power of the resurrection active in our lives today.
Servant God, you have called and equipped each of us to be your ministers and sent us to be witnesses to the whole world. Strengthen us in our gifts that our service to others may grow and be a sign of your presence in our lives.
Also: I got a hug afterward, and I talked about my impending move a bit and Pastor Saling asked me to stay in touch and visit on occasion.