Meditation/prayer based on John 19:1-42; Lectionary reading for Good Friday
Eternal God, You who are present with us even in our time of sadness and fear,
We gather in worship this day with troubled hearts. It is hard for us to hear the story of our Savior and his suffering on the Cross. We are saddened by the image that touches deep within our soul: the body of our Lord hanging from the cross, the piercing of His side, and His being taken down from where he died. In all this we feel sorrow, and darkness seems to overcome us. Like the disciples we are afraid, we turn our eyes away from the Cross, our faith challenged by the forces of evil.
And yet we know that the Resurrection follows the suffering of the Crucifixion. Just as the sunrise follows the sunset and the dark of night, just as a word of kindness shatters the power of sadness and fear, so our faith is restored by the power of love and forgiveness.
We gather here to consecrate that time of the suffering and death of our Savior. And as we come together, may the bonds of friendship, the love of those gathered here, the support of the words we hear, help us to renew and strengthen our faith. For the deepest darkness is overcome by the light. The pain and suffering of the cross are transformed by the hope for the Resurrection that is to come. Our own doubts and fears are answered by the forgiveness and compassion of those we love, and who love us.
And so we gather in this place, at this time together, to honor a day that took place so many years ago, yet is still alive in our hearts today. Be with us we pray, to look forward to that day of hope and new life, in this time when we remember the suffering of the One who gave His life for us.
For we ask this in His Name. Amen.