Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sermon: Good Friday 2013

Good Friday is an incredibly intense service. The focus is entirely on the cross of Jesus, and it can be hard to sit there very long. But like the faithful few who stayed to the bitter end with Jesus, his modern disciples do well to sit vigil at his death, as well. This is far, far away from the kind of consumer-oriented or market-driven Christianity that might put bums in seats. This is the real stuff--spiritually compelling because it is true, but difficult to stomach if all you want is to feel good.

The liturgy for the day includes a beautiful sung version of the Gospel of John's account of the crucifixion, and a long "Solemn Intercession" portion in which we pray for everything under the sun, including those of other faiths and of no faith at all. We also apologize for every wrong the church has ever done. While is this part, the prayers, were being sung, John (who was the Presider at this service) and I were prostrate on the floor in front of a big, rough wood cross. Being flat on the ground like is pretty powerful, and I highly recommend it as a private devotional practice, as well as a public one on Good Friday and at Ordinations.

With so much powerful worship happening, I decided to keep my sermon as brief as possible (it turned out to be only four minutes). I was feeling the emotions so strongly that I could have easily brought myself to tears, but I managed to hold off and stay focused on the sermon.

An audio-only version can be found here.


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