Tag Archives: Good Friday

An hour at the cross (part 3)

John 21:15-19

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’ (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’

What must it have been like for Peter?  He betrayed Jesus, and he went back to his nets – perhaps a second betrayal from the one who was to be the “Rock”?

And Jesus asks him if he loves him – and again, and again – no wonder he felt hurt.  And then Jesus tells him that he will face martyrdom, and at the end of his ministry asks the same question as at the beginning: “Follow me”.

Can you remember the first time that you decided to follow Jesus?  Perhaps the naivety – the not knowing what the implications were?

Have you discovered the implications of following Jesus?  Have you failed, once, twice, three times – and more?  Have you accepted God’s forgiveness?  Have you forgiven yourself?

Has Jesus called you again – reminding you of his love for you; of your love for him?  Has he called you to follow him again, but this time knowing what he is asking?  Knowing that you will fail – have you dared to say yes?

Lord Jesus Christ,
we confess we have failed you as did your first disciples.
We ask for your mercy and your help.

Our selfishness betrays you: Lord, forgive us. Christ have mercy.

We fail to share the pain of your suffering: Lord, forgive us. Christ have mercy

We run away from those who abuse you: Lord, forgive us. Christ have mercy.

We are afraid of being known to belong to you: Lord, forgive us.
Christ have mercy

May the Father forgive us by the death of his Son
and strengthen us to live in the power of the Spirit all our days.  Amen.

I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,
exalted for you or brought low for you. Let me be full, let me be empty,
let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things  to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours.
So be it.  Amen

Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
delivered and saved the world:
grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

An hour at the cross (part 2)

Matthew 26: 69-75

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said, ‘You also were with Jesus the Galilean.’  But he denied it before all of them, saying, ‘I do not know what you are talking about.’  When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, ‘This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.  ’Again he denied it with an oath, ‘I do not know the man.’  After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, ‘Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.’  Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, ‘I do not know the man!’ At that moment the cock crowed.  Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: ‘Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.

Peter put himself into danger – the confidence of the previous reading is still there – the other disciples were nowhere to be seen – he could have run away to some safe place, but he didn’t.  And then it happened – there he was busy thinking of something else and he is challenged, and he responded unthinkingly, like someone taking an unintended chocolate biscuit during Lent; and again, and again.  And then… and then he remembers his promise and shows remorse.

How often do you put yourself in a place of risk?  Risk of challenge, risk of change, risk of failure?

How often do you act unthinkingly?  Doing things you have no intention of doing?

What do you wish to do differently in future?

Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.  Amen


 

An hour at the cross (part 1)

Friday

The Lord be with you
And also with you.

The pattern for today will be 3 lots of a reading – some reflections – about 10 minutes silence for personal reflection and a prayer.  At the end there will be a confession and final prayers.

In what I say my aim is to provide something for you to reflect on in the silence that follows.  If you find something that you engage with please feel free to stay with it and stop listening to me – what you reflect on for yourself is more important than what I say.

Through Holy week we have been looking at Discipleship – what kind of disciple we are; the implications of discipleship; and what happens when we fail.  Today we will look at different places we may be on our journey of faith, on our journey of discipleship , through the story of Peter.

Matthew 26:33-35

Peter said to him, ‘Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you.  ’Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.’ Peter said to him, ‘Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.’ And so said all the disciples.

Peter has already been named the Rock on which Jesus will build his church.  He has also been told to “Get behind me Satan”.  Now again he speaks up with certainty – .  Do you know that certainty?  Would you promise to give up everything?  Or are you cautious – only prepared to promise when you are certain?

We often miss “And so said all the disciples” – there are no further stories about what happened to their promises.  But how were they made?  Did they feel they had no choice?

Do we feel able to choose which promises we make to God, those which we make of our own free will?

Is it wrong to make ambitious promises to God?  Or should you only promise that which you know you can deliver?

Eternal God, in the cross of Jesus we see the cost of our sin and the depth of your love: in humble hope and fear may we place at his feet all that we have and all that we are, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


 

Good Friday Reflection

I am Christ.

The suffering Christ.

The bleeding Christ.

The Christ in agony.

And you are my followers,
here at the foot of the cross.

What are you feeling?

Helplessness?

Guilt?

Shame?

Anger?

Perhaps you feel sick.

Or numb.

Or cold.

Perhaps you don’t want to be here.

I understand that.

I’m glad you came.

For I am always glad when you seek me,
like that time, Nicodemus when you came in the night
or that time, Mary, when sat at my feet, despite the scorn of your sister.

So many have sought me and some have turned away.

I understand why.

Not many seek me today.

But today I cover you with the compassion of God.

It flows from my wounds.

Compassion

Gentleness

Mercy

Love

Look up, don’t keep your eyes to the ground.

Look up and you will see.

Look beyond the agony and you will find

My compassion

My gentleness

My mercy

My love

These gifts I give to you today as I have every day.

I’m glad that you came.

Do not despair,
for hands that have been wounded are gentler than those that are  whole
and a heart that has been broken is one that will heal others
and blood and water flowing from my side will become a sign of grace.

Do not despair,
for love wins.

I’m glad that you came.

Look into my eyes and open your heart.

Receive my compassion

Receive my gentleness

Receive my mercy

Receive my love

For I will be with you always even to the end of time.