This is the service, prepared by Bruno, for this day.
You can listen to it by clicking the play button below, and/or follow the service in the text (also below).
Friday 10th April 2020 – Good Friday
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Call to Worship
Brothers and Sisters, in these hard times that we are living, let us focus on the cross today, remembering that God is suffering with us in Christ Jesus, who suffered and died for our sins. Let us walk to the cross together in prayer, and in hope for the future both in this earthly life and in the eternal life with God.
Eternal God, in the cross of Jesus we see the cost of our sin, and the depth of your love. In humble hope, may we place at His feet all that we have and all that we are, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Old Testament Reading:
Zechariah 12:10 and 13:1
12:10 (Thus says the Lord): And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on Him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only child and weeps bitterly over Him, as one weeps over a firstborn.
13:1 On that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
New Testament Reading:
14 Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Prayer of Intercession
God of all life, you call us to live in community and teach us to care for one another, by the example of Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord, who gave Himself for us.
We pray for those whose position and authority affect the lives of others. Inspire them with a vision of the community as it might be, where love of neighbour and concern for one another drive out discontent, strife, anxiety and fear. Help us all to work together with one heart and will, with sympathy and understanding, to serve the common good, to minister to people in trouble and despair, and to multiply true happiness among us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
The Passion Reading
The Crucifixion of Jesus
32 As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; 36 then they sat down there and kept watch over him. 37 Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’
38 Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, ‘You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ 41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, 42 ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, “I am God’s Son.”’ 44 The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.
The Death of Jesus
45 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land[d] until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ 47 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘This man is calling for Elijah.’ 48 At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.’ 50 Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’
This is the Passion of the Lord
One thing that I have learnt from my Christian faith is that a life lived in truth, justice and love is not a romantic ideal but a stark reality. In the broken and guilty world that we live in, I have realised that God, who is Truth and Love in person, desires to suffer for us and with us. We are so important to God that He Himself became one of us in order to suffer with us in a very real way, as we find in the Passion narrative. This means that in all human suffering we are united by the One who experiences and carries the cross of human sin for us, and the cross of our suffering with us. This is because sin causes suffering. Therefore, He walks with us all the way, being with us all the time and offering us the consolation of His love and lighting a candle of hope in our hearts.
Prayers of Intercession
In these dark times where there is so much fear and suffering of so many across the world, let us pray for healing:
God of love, your Son brought healing to the sick and hope to the despairing. We pray for all who suffer pain, or who bear the burden of illness, or who have to undergo an operation. Give them the comfort and strength of your presence, and surround them with your healing love and power. May they know the fellowship of Christ who bore pain and suffering for us on the cross, and at the last won victory over death.
Bless those who share with Christ a healing ministry, researchers, doctors, surgeons, nurses and pharmacists. Use their sympathy and skill for the relief of suffering, the conquest of disease, and the restoration of health; and crown all their efforts with good success; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Rev. Bruno Boldrini