God’s Friday

entering-into-the-mind-of-godToday is the day where two worlds collide: the end of the old order of law and the very beginning through death of a new order of grace which would shape ourword for the next two thousand years. It is a day that begins with a trial and moves through suffering to death and seemingly the end of hope. It is God’s Friday.  To mark the first Easter of our millennium in April 2000 Anthony Phillipsa former Chaplain of St John’s College Oxford spoke at a three-hour Good Friday service at Truro Cathedral and invited the congregation to make the traditional seven words from the cross their own, and so enter the mind of God at the supreme love for his creation. These words, accompanied by Michael Finn’s crucifixes were brought together in 2002 in the short book- Entering into the mind of God. I invite you to read the scripture and the reflection from Anthony out load and by doing so share in the experience of entering into the mind of God on this God’s Friday.

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)- “Lord Jesus Christ, who in the poverty of your naked agony forgave those who crucified you, release us to forgive our enemies that we may know that peace, harmony, wholeness which is your will for us and all your people, each dependent on your own forgiving love. Amen.”

“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43)- ” Jesus Christ, as you promised in your impotence to the repentant thief that would be with you in Paradise, give us such faith that in embracing the powerlessness of your cross, we too may find ourselves in the garden of delight to dwell with you for all eternity. Amen.”

“Woman, behold, your son!…Behold, your mother!” (John 19: 26-7)-” Lord Jesus Christ, as we thank you for the precious gift of the love of families and friends, and pray that we may every be loyal to their affection, yet so enable us to fulfill the singleness of our calling, that no one shall ever separate us from our love for you. Amen.”

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34)- ” Jesus, when like you we find ourselves deserted by God and facing the inexplicable, give us the courage to embrace our impotence, and in our ignorance, but preserving our integrity, passionately abandon ourselves to your Father. Amen.”

“I thirst” (John 19:28)- ” Jesus Christ, teach us not to be afraid to say I thirst, that so being dependent on you alone, we may be enabled to care for all those who call to us for help, and who in their brokenness reflect your glory. Amen.”

“It is finished” (John 19:30)- “Lord Jesus Christ, who yourself went out to embrace death, even death on the cross, teach us not to be afraid as those without hope, but so enable us to risk our lives in the power of your powerlessness, until, in your wisdom, we too can say, it is finished. Amen.”

“Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23;46)-“Lord Jesus, as we have shared in your passion, making your seven words our words, enable us by embracing your brokenness to enjoy with you that wholeness which is the resurrection life, and so be partakers of your eternal expression of love both here and in eternity. Amen.”

In conclusion as we reflect on these words we look forward to his resurrection on Easter day and in doing so we celebrate the fact that “The resurrection is not something that occurred once long ago; it occurred and occurs wherever we allow God the conditions to carry out his creative work, in those who take up his cross and follow into the stillness and the silence that completes its work.”

“Almighty God, whose Son hung dead upon the cross, give us the courage to enter into the stillness and the silence that followed his crucifixion, that you may perform your creative work in us, so that we may be partakers in your son’s resurrection both now and for ever. Amen.”

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Filed under bible, Christianity, death, Easter, Jesus, religion

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