Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday: Meditations on the Last Words

Good Friday
Meditations on the Last Words of Christ

This service is about experiencing Good Friday
Through symbol, word, and song
Engaging the 5 Senses
all derived from and pointing to the 7 Last Words of Christ

Father forgive them, they know not what they do. . .

He told us not to throw stones unless
We had no sin, but he had no sin,
And so we hanged him instead,
Whipped, and bloody, there he hangs,
Right there on that cross:
Holy hands, Holy feet, thorny crown,
All complete, and yet He forgives us,
Even so He forgives us,
And still He forgives us,
Here is a basket of stones.
Who shall be first? Who shall be last?
Take one, each one is jagged, broken,
Just like you are, none is perfect,
No smooth edges, so grab hold of yourself,
And throw it, do the job and destroy perfection,
He makes us look bad, like fools,
Take one, any one, throw it.
Look he's made it easy,
He turns His back,
He's closed His eyes
Throw it now!
How can we ever
pick up a stone again, then?
Father, do you still forgive us when we do?

This day you will be with me in paradise. . .

They hung me on a cross next to Him,
Next to Him what was I?
No, I, next to Him, was nothing.
Next to me, He was without blemish, without stain,
Perfect, and untarnished, and blooming,
And blinding, His light was blinding.
And I next to Him was not.
I deserved it, well maybe not this,
No one deserves this,
But I was guilty,
I did what they said I had done.
My soul has been withered a long time,
The things that nourish
My roots have all but been forgotten.
I made my way through this world.
I made my bed, and I'll lie in it.
I embrace the darkness
Where I can finally rest.
It is the choice I have always made.
What makes Him?
What makes Him do?
I will surely remember Him?
And that He was Hanged next to me.
Will He remember me,
That I was next to Him?
Maybe I should ask. . .

Woman, behold your son; son behold your mother. . .

Could you imagine watching your child go through it,
The trial, the beatings, the cross?
You know you'd feel every lash.
You'd feel the pain.
You'd cry each tear.
Even the words would hurt
The jeers, the accusations.
That's my son,
I remember holding him,
Him lying there in the manger,
There was a moment when He was just mine,
Mother and Son,
Before the Shepherds came,
Only to this,
It has rent my heart in two.
Behold he says,
If only for one more time,
One more second,
One more day,
I could just hold Him,
Rather than behold Him.
My soul would truly magnify the Lord,
If he would just look again on his lowly servant,
And show one more time the strength of his arm,
And give me one more moment,
Then I would truly call myself blessed.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me. . .

If there is one thing a carpenter knows (bang)
It is nails, nails and wood, (bang)
And the bang of a hammer. (bang)
Joseph showed me how to hold a nail just right, (bang)
To swing a hammer just so (bang)
And the nail would go in, faster (bang)
One swing (bang)
Two Swings (bang)
And we'd be off to the next. (bang)
Joseph sure could swing a hammer. (bang)
I almost got used to the noise, (bang)
So I could hear it without flinching. (bang)
Oh the things he would make, (bang)
Tables (bang)
Chairs (bang)
Even Homes (bang)
He'd never make something like this. (bang)
There just is no art in torture (bang)
And my Father is an artist (bang)
Crafting with care (bang)
A carpenter is a creator (bang)
And a creator's work is never done (bang)
Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani (bang)
Why God, Why? (bang)

I thirst. . .

Have you ever been so thirsty it hurts?
Your throat starts to dry,
And it seems like it is cracking,
Just like the dry dusty ground,
When the sun burns down in August.
It's hot, and you sweat.
It all just flows out of you,
And nothing is replaced.
Jesus is there, and beyond.
He's not just leaking sweat either,
But blood and bile and pus,
Just gushing out, emptying him
Of all the waters of life,
And his voice comes out in a hoarse whisper,
I thirst.
When you are that dry,
And your tongue is swollen and raw,
Even water burns.
Could you imagine vinegar?
It burns your nose.
Even cut with oil on salad,
It leaves your tongue split and burning,
How cruel do you have to be
To mock someone's need like that?
Again did we not know what we were doing?
I've thirsted,
Ignorance is not what it was.

It is accomplished. . .

Is it the weight of this burden,
These chains that drag me down,
Or is it that they have trapped me,
Confining me so I can't be free?
I so want to be free.
I want to do what I want.
I want to control who I am.
I want to define myself.
I want to be whatever I want to be.
It's my right. I've seen it written.
I can be whatever I want.
We call it free will,
But why does it feel more like chains?
Why do I always seem to choose to carry this burden?
Why is it comfortable to live confined in lies?
What is that, Jesus?
What did you say?
It is accomplished?
What is?
Wait what?
It is as if I could fly away.
Is this the light?
I'm so light, even I could walk on water.

Father into thy hands I commend my spirit. . .

It started with a rainbow and a promise,
And then it grew,
To a nation,
A child,
A land flowing with milk and honey,
And demanded a sacrifice of a son,
But not my son.
It then expanded to laws,
A guide to being righteous,
To make a sustainable community,
But external laws are hard to follow.
Give us a king, instead,
Something we can actually see.
He did,
Promising again.
We didn't.
Again hard to follow.
It all brought us to this moment,
A new promise,
A new covenant,
Sealed in the fulfillment of an old promise
An old sacrifice.
This time He writes it on our heart,
For Love
Is more than a promise,
It is more than external,
It is experience.
So take and eat.
Take and drink.
Remember me,
Follow me,

And into the Father's hands commend your spirit.