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Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

We all have burdens we carry.

We may not be able to admit it aloud, or even consciously to ourselves, but some of us know, in the deepest part of our knowing, that we have done harm to others.

We may have done them knowingly or unknowingly. We may have been – willingly or unwillingly – a participant in a harmful act. We may have wished harm to others and then watched, horrified, as that harm has come to be.

We feel guilt and shame.

Others of us may have losses – a loved one, a job, social status, a divorce, a relationship, our once vibrant health, a rejection, a child grown too soon to adulthood.

Sometimes, the grief is overwhelming and we find ourselves weeping for seemingly no reason at a greeting card, a television commercial, a song on the radio.

We all have grief and guilt and shame that sometimes feel an impossible burden to bear.

Tonight, as you reflect on the Passion of Jesus, I ask that you ponder all these things deep in your heart. Reflect on them – the unspoken but nevertheless very real pain that whispers in the deepest chambers of your heart.

In your service bulletin, you will find an index card. In the pew, you will find a pencil. (If you are reading this on my blog, go now and get a paper and pen.)

In the quiet of this sanctuary, consider what it is Jesus carries for you on the hard wood of the cross. I ask that you write it down on the index card. You may write a word, a symbol, or an entire sentence. Only you will know what it means.

Then, when you are ready, come forward and join others who will nail their burdens into the cross. Let Jesus carry your burdens for you. The truth of it is, He already does.

Because of the suffering of Jesus, God knows well the intimacies of our heart. God in Christ is most present to us in our sorrows and pain, as near to us as our next breath.

This is an act of surrender to the cross. It is an act of veneration of the cross. It is an act of thanksgiving for the cross of Jesus.

Behold the cross of Christ on which was hung the salvation of the world.

Come, let us adore him.

1 comment:

susankay said...

Elizabeth+ -- many, many years ago, I attended a Good Friday service where the minister (not Episcopalian) gave out nails so that we could experience this. I still have my nail and will never get rid of it.

Blessings be.