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Good Friday

What follows is a worship service which, I pray, you can participate in at a time(s) that are convenient to you. This 'service' will take about forty five (45) minutes.

I pray that you will feel called to ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in this service.

The text that is in regular typeface (that is what you are reading at the moment) is to be read quietly, while the text that is in
bold face (like you are reading right now) is meant to be read aloud.

Opening Hymn:

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we commence our praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

A Call To Worship:

We meet in the name of God,

Creator of the universe,

source of true humanity,

mother and father of all. Amen.

An Assurance of Forgiveness:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

The Absolution
00:00 / 00:18

The Sentence For Today (let us say aloud):

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth.

The Special Prayer For Today (let us pray aloud):

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Our first reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Isaiah 52:13-53:12
00:00 / 03:10

Our second reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Hebrews 10:16-25
00:00 / 01:36

Gradual Hymn:

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we raise out voices in praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

A reading from the holy gospel according to Saint John.

John 18:1-19, 42
00:00 / 19:18

Listen to David speak to this gospel

Saviour of The World !
00:00 / 08:47

or, if you prefer, you can read the sermon, below:

Sermon for Good Friday, 29th Mar 2024

MAY the words of my mouth and the meditations in our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer. <Amen>

Questions about Jesus' death have echoed up and down the centuries. Why did Jesus have to go through this terrible ordeal? What’s the meaning of his death?

Well, C.S. Lewis, that great British writer, once spoke about Christ in these terms : Jesus comes as a warrior. He came the way he did, a little baby, born in a distant outpost of the Roman Empire because he was being sneaked, clandestinely, behind enemy lines.

So, Jesus came as God's incarnate, coming into a dysfunctional world, a sinful world, and then emerged preaching, teaching, and preforming miracles. Radiating the divine presence.

This awakened intense opposition and we hear that up and down the gospels. At the very beginning Jesus is opposed. Herod tries to stamp him out by ‘The Massacre of the Innocents’ and He has to go into exile in Egypt. From the very moment He appears, some cheer; others are opposed to Him.

It comes to its climax, of course, in the Passion. When you read these great Passion narratives in the Gospel it is as though all forms of human sin and dysfunction come to meet Him.

We hear, for example:

Betrayal : the explicit betrayal of Judas; that you would turn your back on your friend and your mentor.

Denial : the more subtle forms of resistance and denial - Peter says that he doesn’t even knows Him.

Idleness : when the other disciples fall asleep during His moment of Truth, that sloth in the presence of Good.

Injustice : the great disorder of the Sanhedrin.

Lack of will : we see Pontius Pilate who knows the truth but won't follow through on it.

Human Brutality : we see the incredible brutality of the temple guards and the Roman guards as they torture Christ and lead Him out to Crucifixion.

Human Darkness : we see something I find perhaps most terrible of all —- those who would mock Him even as he hangs dying on that instrument of torture.

It is as though all of human sin comes out. It is as though He draws it out by His own goodness and His own perfection and the radiance of His life.

Then, Jesus is overwhelmed by all of this human sin <pause> dies. He REALLY dies. Not just apparently. Not just play acting. He dies. Crushed by the Evil of the world.

Then, THEN in the Resurrection that we now know is to come —- God’s love conquers that Evil.

Jesus took it on, but then, in the Resurrection, what we see when Jesus says “Shalom!" “Peace!”to those who had abandoned Him; to those who had run from Him, to those who had fallen asleep in His hour of need.

When he says "Shalom!", it signals that God's love and forgiveness can swallow up all the sin of the world.

What you see in the Cross of Jesus is the sin of the world! That means that all is not well with us! It means, you can see, in the very wounds of Jesus, the dysfunction of the world.

Yet, all that sin, all that dysfunction has been swallowed up, has been conquered by the ever greater forgiveness of God.

That's why in his letter to the young Church in Rome, Paul can say, "I am certain that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor height nor depth, any other power can separate us from the love of God!"

Paul knows it because we killed God. We threw all the disfunction of the world at God and God still loves us. God can swallow that up in His forgiveness.

THAT is Christianity!

THAT is why the Cross of Jesus was necessary!

THAT is why the Cross of Jesus saves us!

THAT is why we hold it up on Good Friday and we say: "There is the Cross on which hung the Salvation of the world!” and now WE KNOW that we are saved, we are loved, we are redeemed …. precisely through that terrible Cross.

I runga e te Ingoa o te Atua, te Matua, te Tama me te Wairua Tapu. <AMINE>

In the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit <AMEN>

Pause and Reflect

Just take a moment now to pause. Bow your head, close your eyes.
 

Allow these words of Holy Scripture and this interpretation of them today to speak to you.

An Affirmation of Our Faith

Let us affirm our faith by saying aloud, and together, "The Apostles Creed":

apostles_creed_pic02.jpg
Image by Allef Vinicius

... and now let us pray for the Church, the World, and Ourselves, giving thanks for God's goodness.

​Let us pray aloud, and together:

Let us pray for God’s people throughout the world: for unity in faith, in witness and in service, for all who seek to lead and serve, for all Christians, for those to be baptised, for those who are mocked and persecuted for their faith, that God will confirm his people in faith, increase them in love, and preserve them in peace.


(LONGER pause for silent, personal reflection)

In response to the call today “Lord in Your mercy” Our response is, “Hear our prayer.”

(Short Silence) Lord in Your mercy : Hear our prayer.


Let us pray for the nations of the world and their leaders, for all in government, for those who administer the law and all who serve in public office, for all who strive for justice and reconciliation, that by God’s help the world may live in peace and freedom.

(Short Silence) Lord in Your mercy : Hear our prayer.


Let us pray for God’s ancient people, the Jews, the first to hear His word: for greater understanding between Christian, Jew and Muslim, for the removal of our blindness and bitterness of heart, that God will grant us grace to be faithful to His covenant and to grow in the love of His name

(Short Silence) Lord in Your mercy : Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for those who do not believe the gospel of Christ: for those who have not heard the message of salvation, for all who have lost faith, for the contemptuous and scornful, for those who are enemies of Christ and persecute those who follow Him, for all who deny the faith of Christ crucified, that God will open their hearts to the truth and lead them to faith and obedience

(Short Silence) Lord in Your mercy : Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for all those who suffer: for those who are deprived and oppressed, for all who are sick, for those in darkness, in doubt and in despair, in loneliness and in fear, for prisoners, captives and refugees, for the victims of false accusations and violence, for all at the point of death and those who watch beside them, that God in his mercy will sustain them with the knowledge of his love.  

We especially raise before you now all those who have asked for our prayers from around the world … those we know in New Zealand, in Singapore, in Argentina, in France, in Australia, in the US, in Canada, in Austria, in Ukraine, in China and any others we now name aloud, or in the silence of our hearts, and those who are known only by you.

(Short Silence) Lord in Your mercy : Hear our prayer.

Let us commend ourselves and all God’s children to his unfailing love, and pray for the grace of a holy life, that, with all who have died in the peace of Christ, we may come to the fullness of eternal life and the joy of the resurrection.

(Short Silence) Lord in Your mercy : Hear our prayer.


In a moment of silence we pray for ourselves, our families, friends, for all whom we love and for our personal ministries. Make us worthy of the sacrifice of Your Son.

(Short Silence) Lord in Your mercy : Hear our prayer.

O God, you have searched the depths we cannot know, and touched what we cannot bear to name: may we so wait, enclosed in your darkness that we are ready to encounter the terror of the dawn, with Jesus Christ. Amen.

Merciful father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  AMEN.

lord's_prayer_pic01_edited.jpg

Remembering that we are confident to pray this day, and every day, because Jesus Christ continues to teach us:
 

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,

your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.   Amen.

Let us conclude our prayers by praying together and aloud:

 

God of mercy,
you have given us grace to pray with one heart and one voice,
and have promised to hear the prayers
of two or three who agree in your name,
fulfil now, we pray,
the prayers and longings of your people
as may be best for us and for your kingdom.
Grant us in this world to know your truth,
and in the world to come to see your glory. Amen.

The Blessing

May The Risen Lord Christ turn His face towards each and every one of you.

May He cause His light to shine upon you, and

may He grant you His peace, and

 

The blessing of Almighty God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be with you and all of those whom you love,

on this day and forever more.

A Closing Hymn:

Let us conclude our worship today by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we unite in another hymn our praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

The Dismissal

Go now, go out into the world

to love and serve The Lord.

 

Go in peace.

AMEN, we go in the name of Christ.

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