Call to Worship:
Come to this place apart to pray;
God, who has given us life, meets us here.
Will God be revealed to us on this dark day?
Has not God turned away and forsaken us?
Come, all who are weary and discouraged,
God, whom you have trusted, has not deserted you.
Will God hear our cries and replenish our strength?
Who can believe in the midst of such sorrow?
Come, all who have laid loved ones to rest;
God, who grieves with us, watches with us now.
Will God’s promise of new life be realized?
How shall we know the truth, when Trust is crucified?
Never doubt the meaning of Lent. It happened a long time ago, but it happened. Jesus walked on this earth. He practiced a ministry of radical inclusivity, drawing to himself all the despised and rejected members of society. He lived what he taught: a life of justice and love, of profound compassion for all people. He lived a life acceptable to you, O God. His death terrifies us, because it reveals how committed the world is to its own way, and the price the world exacts from those whose commitment is to you.
Call to confession
Today we remember tragic events of long ago. A human being who embodied fully God’s intention for all of us fell victim to the destructive power of empire. Even his best friends did not dare to challenge this miscarriage of justice. As we put ourselves into the story, we are likely to be counted among either the oppressors or the cowardly friends. In either camp we have much to confess. Trusting that the One who embraces the universe is also the One who know us intimately and calls us by name, let us open our hearts to God.
One has lived among us who bore our sin and sorrow, who even yet heals us and makes us whole. We are forgiven; we are healed; we are new persons in Christ, who sets us free from our bondage to lesser gods that we might serve the One True God in joy and thanksgiving.
Hymn “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”
Readings and Extinguishing of Lights
Isaiah 53: 1 – 6 The Suffering Servant
John 12: 27 – 36 The Hour is Coming
Matthew 26: 1 – 22 Is it I Lord?
John 13: 23 – 30 Judas Identified
Matthew 26: 30 – 35 The Scattered Flock
Mark 14: 32 – 42 Anguish in the Garden
Mark 14: 43 – 45 The Kiss of Betrayal
John 18: 25 – 27 Peter’s Denial
Luke 23: 13 – 25 The Crowd’s Denial
Matthew 27: 27 – 31 The Soldier’s Abuse
[Solo or choir anthem]
Luke 23: 26, 32 – 43 Crucifixion
Mark 15: 33 – 39 Forsaken
Hymn “What Wondrous Love Is This”
Luke 1: 47 – 55 Magnificat
[We ask that you leave the sanctuary and church building without talking and in silent reflection on the Passion of Jesus Christ. Please come back on Easter ready to sing praise to God for God’s transforming power and grace.]