GoodFridayB.30.3.2018

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail:  rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com
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A TIME OF REFLECTION ON GOOD FRIDAY
30 March 2018.  Good Friday B.


Acknowledgement of Country/First Peoples
(An act towards reconciliation)

For thousands of years Indigenous people have walked 
in this land, on their own country. 
Their relationship with the land is at the centre of their lives.

We acknowledge the (NN) People and their stewardship
of this land throughout the ages.


(NN) is a safe place for all people to worship regardless of
race, creed, gender, cultural background or sexual orientation


The Community Candle is Lit

Gathering   The people gather in silence.

Centering Silence

Greeting
We come here today to remember a man.  A man…
who had dreams,
who had those dreams shattered,
who needed time to think and pray,
who knew he was likely to die for what he believed…

A man of extraordinary religious insight.
A man who did die - a cruel death.

On this day we look at the cross, and we remember…
the betrayal of friendship and its consequences,
the casual cruelty of Roman authority and execution,
and how unreliable others proved to be in a crisis.

On this day may we also remember
that religious bigotry, cruelty and unreliability
are still a part of our everyday lives.

On this day, then, may we learn some new precepts for living…
        do not avoid contact with suffering,
        or close your eyes before suffering;
        do not maintain anger or hatred;
        do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest, or to impress people;
        do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature…

On this day we remember.  (Edited: MDobson, MMorwood, Thich Nhat Hanh)

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
We Walk The Way That Has No End(Tune: ‘Winchester’)
We walk in silence while the earth
Quivers and cracks beneath our feet
Swallows our dreams and shatters worth
Solemn, we trudge to hearts’ dull beat.

We walk while singing, motley choir
of traitors, lovers, meek and proud
Small sparks of apostolic fire
light up the path, lighten the shroud.

We walk in solidarity
and sing of hope that never dies
We march to end disparity
graves open as our spirits rise.

We walk the way that has no end
Free to evolve, transform our creed
Hearts, torn like curtains, start to mend
Love rising now in word, in deed.

There are no strangers on the way
Just travellers who will soon be friends
A destination - there is none
A spiral path that never ends.  ©Bronwyn Angela White (2012)

OR

Deep In Our Minds”  (Tune: ‘Beatitduo’, CM. 592 Scottish Psalter)    45 TMT
Deep in our minds live many tribes,
each with its walled surround;
lines that denote the measured space
where welcome may be found.

Our inner clans may cast aside
castles and fiery swords,
yet still retain exclusiveness
in gestures and in words.

Must we forever live enslaved,
bound by our tribal thought?
Can wisdom ever grow beyond
the truths the tribes have taught?

If we but dare release the fears
locked in our walled abodes,
God’s love will free our minds to move
beyond the ancient codes.

O inner Christ of self esteem,
light for the path we roam,
you gently bid us leave our walls
and make your Way our home. 
William L Wallace
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
In hope, in longing:
All
We’re glad to come together.
In solidarity with those who struggle:
All
We’re glad to come together.
In resistance to those who dominate:
All
We’re glad to come together.
In memory of Jesus, who lived with compassion:
All
We’re glad to come together.
In memory of all who act with courage:
All
We’re glad to come togetherJack Nelson-Pallmeyer

Hymn I Remember a Man”  (Tune: ‘Fulda’, 88 88)   29 SNS
I do remember very well
Jesus, the teacher, healer, friend;
They say he had nowhere to dwell;
Yet on him many did depend.

I do remember that he cared;
He touched the lepers, loved the poor,
The sick were healed, the hungry fed,
He favoured those who broke their Law.

I do remember him upset;
Hostile and brash with Pharisees;
Ablaze with anger yelled a threat
At temple thieves who stole with ease.

Yet I recall he knew success;
The people followed with no fear;
His simple wisdom did impress;
Crowds waved their palms; he heard them cheer.

When I look back I see a man
Broken by life; had no relief;
His friends betrayed, and then they ran;
They left him there engulfed in grief.

I do recall with sympathy,
When near Jerusalem he cried;
His suff'ring in Gethsemane;
He thought God left him when he died.

Yes.  Jesus, I remember him;
He tasted deeply joy and pain.
His life reminds me when life's grim,
That love will conquer and sustain.  
George Stuart
The people sit

Reading 1

Gospel of Jesus 15: 1-11
One time, some members of the Purity Party started to argue with Jesus.
To test him, they demanded a sign from heaven.

He groaned under his breath and says,
"Why does this generation insist on a sign?
I swear to God, this generation won't get any sign!"

And turning his back on them, he got back in the boat
and crossed over to the other side.

His disciples said to him,
"When will the Father's imperial rule come?"

"It will not come by watching for it.
It will not be said, 'Look, here it is!' or 'Look, over there!'

"Rather, the Father's imperial rule is spread out
upon the earth, and people don't see it."

On another occasion Jesus said,
"You won't be able to observe the coming of God's imperial rule.
People are not going to be able to say,
'Look, here it is!' or 'Over there!’

“On the contrary, God’s imperial rule
is right there in your presence.”

Reflection 1

I remember a man who had dreams of what might be:
that people would be set free from ideas and images
about God that enslaved them,
that people would believe that through their
everyday acts of human kindness they are
intimately connected with the sacred,
that people would live
'in peace, in God's presence all the days of their lives'

I remember a man driven by his dreams.

Silence

Reading 2

Gospel of Jesus 7:1-7
Jesus went out by the sea.  And, with a huge crowd gathered around him, he started teaching,
“To you who are listening I say, love your enemies.
If you love those who love you, what merit is there in that?
After all, even sinners love those who love them.

“And if you do good to those who do good to you,
what merit is there in that? After all, even sinners do as much.”

Jesus said,
“God causes the sun to rise on both the bad and the good,
and sends rain on both the just and the unjust.
As you know, God is generous to the ungrateful and the wicked."

Jesus said, "Forgive and you'll be forgiven,"

"Father, forgive our debts to the extent we have forgiven
those in debt to us," 

Reflection 2

I remember a man who had his moments of breakthrough,
when it must have seemed his dream was being realised:
the times people really listened and responded,
the men and women who were prepared
to walk with him and support him,
times when he spoke better and more convincingly than other times.

I remember a man enthused by his successes.

Silence

Hymn In solidarity with those for whom standing is not easy or possible we will remain seated to sing
On Friday, When the Sky was Dark(Tune: 'Richmond' 86 86, CM)
On Friday, when the sky was dark,
disciples fled in fright
and dazed, through Saturday, they wait
the dawn of Sunday's light.

From dull despair to blazing light,
from agony and death,
God's people sought for grace and hope,
and for the Spirit's breath.

The silent waking of the Christ
brought all the world to praise,
as death was done and life re-born
with hope for all our days.

That hope returns with each new year,
the prompt for faith's re-birth
and brighter than a thousand suns
God's glory flames on earth!

As new life forces through the earth,
the world is sprung with green,
and all creation rings again
as joy is sung and seen.  © Andrew Pratt, 21/3/2005

OR

Good Friday(Tune: ‘Thornbury’, 76 76D)
Mid laughter and derision,
with mocking, mournful cry,
see evil’s quiet corruption,
as people wander by.
All dignity is fading,
and life will ebb away,
the Christ is hung on Friday,
the powers have had their say.

The women still stand watching,
the men in fear have gone,
the sky is cut with darkness,
the sun will not shine on.
In childlike resignation
the Christ gives up his last,
indignity is finished,
his suffering is past.

A soldier still stands silent,
then falling to his knees,
in quiet acclamation,
adores the Christ he sees.
While Mary leaves unnoticed,
a broken, crippled soul,
the shadows hide her anguish,
her grief will take control.

We sing the story sadly,
we act the story well,
but now we leave forgetting
the truths it has to tell.
God give us sense to grapple
with powers that would defame
the Christ in one another,
the hope we long to name.  © Andrew Pratt 10/2/2010

Reading 3

Gospel of Jesus 2: 1-8
After John was locked up, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming God's good news.  His message went:
Congratulations, you poor! God's domain belongs to you.
Congratulations, you hungry! You will have a feast.
Congratulations, you who weep now! You will laugh.

And they would bring children to him
so he could lay hands on them,
but some followers scolded them.

Then Jesus grew indignant when he saw this and said to them:
“Let the children come up to me, don't try to stop them.
After all, God's domain belongs to people like that.

“I swear to you, whoever doesn’t accept God’s imperial rule the way a child would,
certainly won’t ever set foot in God’s domain!”

Reflection 3

I remember a man who learned of the cruel death of his cousin.
He got into a boat, seeking a lonely place,
where he could be with his friends
to absorb the shock,
to grieve quietly,
and to calm the feelings of powerlessness and frustration
and fear for his own future.

I wonder what he prayed about that night?
I wonder what helped him leave that lonely place
and go forward to confront life,
rather than retreat into isolation and safety?

I remember a man driven by his convictions.

Silence

Reading 4

Gospel of Jesus 20: 1-2
They come to Jerusalem.

And Jesus went into the temple and began chasing the vendors
and shoppers out of the temple area,
and he turned the bankers' tables upside down,
along with the chairs of the pigeon merchants.

Then he started teaching and would say to them:
"Don't the scriptures say,
'My house is to be regarded as a house of prayer for all peoples'?

“But you have turned it into 'a hideout for crooks'!"

Reflection 4

I remember a man whose dream was shattered:
who broke down and cried over what could have been,
who knew the pain of failure and powerlessness,
who knew what it was like to feel broken and terribly alone.

I remember someone human like all of us.

Silence

Reading 5

Gospel of Jesus 21:1-5
Led by one of Jesus' disciples, the police show up at the place 
Jesus and the rest of his followers were gathered.

Because Jesus had often gone to the place,
Jesus' followers knew the place too.
And the police seized Jesus and held him fast.

And the disciples all deserted Jesus and ran away.

They brought Jesus before the high priest.

Reflection 5

I remember a man who knew he was going to die:
who gathered with his friends
knowing it was for the last time,
who spoke to them about what he really believed,
who wanted them to remember him
and to keep his dream alive.

I remember a testament to love.

Silence

Music of Reflection

Reading 6

Gospel of Jesus 21: 6-12
The ranking priests bound Jesus and turned him over to Pilate, the Roman governor.
Then Pilate had Jesus flogged and turned him over to be crucified.

And the Roman soldiers bring him to the place Golgotha
(which means "Place of the skull").
And the soldiers crucify him.

Now some women were observing this from a distance, among whom were
Mary of Magdala, and Mary the mother of James the younger and Joses, and Salome.

These women had regularly followed and assisted him
when he was in Galilee, along with many other women
who had come up to Jerusalem in his company.

Then Jesus breathed his last.

Reflection 6

I remember a man crucified.
He was a failure, abandoned by his male friends, taunted, despised,
enduring a shameful and agonising death,
no consoling or heartfelt presence of his God to help him.

I remember a man whose faith in all he believed was tested to the limits.

Meditation
"A Time of Preparation and Change"
Adapted from Trisha Watts. Sanctuary. Where Heaven Touches Earth.

…the leaves are falling around us
through days growing
ever clearer and more barren.

Surrounded by little deaths,
the drying of the grass
and shrivelling of the flowers,
we gather our lives in
like the harvest.

Our friendships,
our experiences,
our achievements
we wrap around ourselves,
against the coldness which is to come.

For in this time,
our lives will be lived within.

Like the grapes that are harvested
in happy sunlight,
turning to wine in dark cellars,
our thoughts will transform
and grow richer.

Come, Spirit of Mysteries,
into the centre of our containment.

Grow treasure from within us.

OR

"Good Friday Lament"
Shirley Erena Murray

What have we done to you?
What have we done to you?
What, in the name of God and justice,
blots out the sun for you?
v2  Here a the Cross were you are dying,
what have your people done to you?

Jesus, forgive us all!
Jesus, forgive us all!
See how we bruise, misuse each other -
save our destructive fall!

v2  Here at the Cross where you are dying,
Jesus, Holy One, forgive us all!

Out of the depths we cry,
Out of the depths we cry,
cry at the pain we cause your heart, our
passionless passing by.
v2  Here at the Cross where you are dying,
out of the depths, your people cry!

OR

"In a Country Place"
Francis Macnab. Hope/89

Good Fridays came.
They never heard a church bell ring.
Never saw the choirs nor listened to them sing.
They simply paused in thought and knew the Saviour slain.
Then quietly turned to face the land and all its needs again.

These caring people knew the cross on which he died.
Was chopped from nature's wood and roughly tied.
They knew such wood as used in Calvary's pain
was gathered all around their forested terrain.

Good leaves to summer's shade and gentle breeze,
Branch for winter's fire, generous gift of all these trees;
They saw the wood now shouldered, by Simon of Cyrene.
The body and the blood; and an ache for what they mean.

No fish were caught that day: no food.
For fear and great foreboding was their prevailing mood.
The one who said the word to set them free
Had died the painful death
out there on Calvary.

Silence

Cross 1  The cross is lifted from the cradle and held by four men, while...

Shroud  A white shroud is put in place/on the floor by four women

Cross 2  The cross is carried horizontal and placed on the white shroud

Silence

The Gift of 'paper' Petals and Autumn Leaves
The women’s prominence at the cross stands in contrast to the men.

And having women as witnesses
was part of a consistent subversiveness
which belonged at the heart of Jesus’ approach.

Therefore, remembering the stories,
and remembering the death of innocent,
fragile things in the world around us...

I invite the women of the congregation
to come and scatter some 'petals' and leaves
over the cross, as our witnesses.
The women of the congregation come forward and scatter paper 'petals' and dried leaves over the cross

The Gift of Fragrant Oil
Some fragrant oil is sprinkled over the leaves by a woman

And remembering the gift of the unnamed woman
we offer this fragrant oil.

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
The World-tree”  (Tune: ‘Ygdrasil’, 10 10 10 10)    197 HCL
The sky has gathered the flowers of sunset.
The earth is red with the dew of slaughter.
The shores are ringed with the steel of onset.
And darkness covers the weaponed water.

The world-tree sickens beyond all knowing.
The worm is wasting the leaves that wreath it.
The bough is drying; the sap is slowing;
For hatreds gnaw in their hells beneath it.

On one sole ground will the world-tree flourish,
On earth unarmored against its bearing,
Its glories free and it strength to nourish
The world-wide lands in a common sharing.

In kinship only, with all earth gardened,
The ravished leaf may be stayed in thinning
The stony ground at the root unhardened,
The boughs be green for a new beginning.  (Ridgely Torrence, 1952)

OR

"Human Touch Can Light the Flame" (Tune: 'Dunedin', 88 88)   307 SLT
The human touch can light the flame
which gives a brightness to the day,
the spirit uses mortal flame,
life's vehicle for work and play.

The lover's kiss, the friends embrace,
the clasp of hands to show we care,
the light of welcome on the face
are treasured moments all can share.

May all who come within our reach
be kindled by our inner glow,
not just in spirit's words we preach,
in human touch love's faith we show.  (John Storey)

Reflection 7

I remember a man of extraordinary religious insight:
utterly convinced of the connectedness
between human loving and living in God,
determined to give people personal authority
in their relationship with God,
wanting to set people free from fear of the unknown,
setting his heart on breaking down barriers between people...

We give thanks for the ways in which the
life, teaching, and death of Jesus,
have set us free.

Silence

Jesus provides a glimpse into another this-world reality.
His vision is worth exploring.

For I am encouraged to celebrate life,
to suck the marrow out of existence, to explore, and probe,
and experiment, to venture into unchartered seas,
without fear of a tyrannical and vindictive God.

He does not set limits on my curiosity… (Adapt.Robert W Funk/hj)

Silence

An Affirmation of Faith
It is now time for us to leave this place.
Let us commend ourselves into the care of each other,
and to that sacred creativity we name as 'God'.
The people stand as they are able

In God, Source of Life
All  our deaths are not the final word, 
our moments of crisis are part of eternal possibility,
and our weakness is taken up into the courage of God.

As followers of Jesus of the Way,
All  our humanness is touched with divine life,
our tears are mingled with longing love,
and our solidarity with those who suffer
is joined by divine presence.

In the Spirit of Creativity,
All  there are no boundaries on the dream,
there is no end to hope,
and we will never live beyond the cherishing of God.
  (Adapd/Dorothy McRae-McMahon/bst)

Silence

Sending Out
Into the spaces left
where dreams once wove their hypnotic beauty,
spills first emptiness, sorrow, shock, despair.
We shrink from the realities
that have shattered our possibilities
and flee the fragmented truths whose edges,
honed to lethal sharpness,
threaten to destroy us, too.

But light seeps in.
Even on the run, we are caught in its dispassionate glow.
And though it cares not what we do,
as we emerge from shadowed roads of mourning,
it seems to bear a hallowed energy
— life —

and calls it to us,
to those who follow after,
and sets into our hearts another dream.

In all our places of loss and loneliness,
all our moments of fear and despair,
may we open our hearts to life
as it comes to us this day —
borne on a light-filled morn.  (Gretta Vosper/wab)

OR

May the God of dreams and visions,
enable you to dream creatively, and to hear
the dreaming of others,
young and old, in your community.

May you be open to new ideas,
dare to share visions,
be encouraged to hope. 
(JSutch Pickard/bb)

Community Candle is Extinguished

HymnThe Cosmos is Revolving”  (Tune: 13 13 13 13, 'Sprowston')    147 RP
The cosmos is revolving with endless rhythmic rhyme,
the circle keeps on turning to mark off chance and time;
and through the life we're living and images we see
we plot the hopeful story of God's eternity.

The summer sheds its harvest as autumn turns to gold,
the springtime and its newness are lost in time, grown old;
the cold of winter beckons, the trees are crippled, bare,
but seeds of hope are hidden, await the spring's repair.

This broadens expectation, the life for which we hope,
the gift of resurrection, the faith for which we grope,
are found within our compass and not beyond our grasp,
these gifts of grace and loving are sown in us to last. 
Andrew Pratt

People leave the gathering space in silence as and when they are ready



You are invited to keep this copy of the liturgy and take it home with you
to share with another member of your family, or with a friend


I recommend the use of
LicenSing - Copyright cleared music for churches



Some of the resources used in shaping this liturgy: 
Burgess, R. A Book of Blessings. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications, 2001.
Dobson, M. Multi-coloured Maze. Drama, Hymns, Prayers and Poems for Worship and Everyday Living. London. Stainer & Bell, 2004.
Duncan, G. (ed). Let Justice Roll Down. A Worship Resource for Lent, Holy Week & Easter. Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press, 2003.
Funk, R. W. Honest to Jesus. Jesus for a New Millennium. New York. HarperSanFrancisco, 1996.
Funk, R. W. (ed). The Gospel of Jesus According to the Jesus Seminar. Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press, 1999.
(HCL) Hymns for the Celebration of Life. Boston. Beacon Press, 1964
Macnab, F. Hope: The Deeper Longings of the Mind and Heart. Richmond. Spectrum Publishing, 1996.
Morwood, M. Praying a New Story. Richmond. Spectrum Publications, 2003.
McRae-McMahon, D. The Glory of Blood, Sweat and Tears. Liturgies for Living and Dying. Melbourne. JBCE, 1996.
McRae-McMahon, D. Echoes of Our Journey. Liturgies of the People. Melbourne. JBCE, 1993.
Nelson-Pallmeyer, J. & B. Hesle. Worship in the Spirit of Jesus. Theology, Liturgy, and Songs Without Violence. Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press, 2005.
(RP) Pratt, A. Reclaiming Praise. Hymns from a Spiritual Journey. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd, 2006.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. Boston. UUA, 1993.
(SNS) Stuart, G. Singing a New Song. Traditional Hymn Tunes with New Century Lyrics. Second edition. Sydney. CPRT Sydney, 2006.
(TMT) Wallace, W. L. The Mystery Telling. Hymns and Songs for the New Millennium. Kingston. Selah Publishing, 2001.
Watts, T. & G. Lord. Sanctuary. Where Heaven Touches Earth. A Group Resource for those Seeking Simplicity, Silence, and Nurture. Canada: Kelowna. Wood Lake Books, 2005.

Web sites/Other:
"On Friday..." and "Good Friday". Andrew Pratt UK. 2006. eMail distribution from the author.
Shirley Erena Murray. "Good Friday Lament" Faith Forever Singing... Reprinted from Music in the Air, Winter/Spring 2011, Issue 32, Aotearoa/New Zealand, 2011.
Bronwyn Angela White. "We Walk the Way..." (2012)  www.spirit-and-faith.com

rexae74@gmail.com