Here is my message, “The Painful Gift of Forgiveness,” from this past Good Friday at Eastbrook Church. The message is an extended reflection on the depths of Jesus’ words from the Cross:
Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23:34)
God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:8-10)
Join us for worship on Good Friday this year at Eastbrook Church at either of two service times: 12:00 or 7:00 PM.
My good friend, the Reverend Canon Francis Omondi, opened Scripture with us this Good Friday at Eastbrook Church. I was so encouraged to hear from him, as he reflected on the power of the Cross of Christ as the symbol that shapes the church in the midst of the world. You can view his message here.
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there. (Luke 23:32-33)
without fanfare, the King of Glory is pinned
with gory force upon the beams of wood.
the people watch with voiceless stares.
the sneering rulers speak their fears.
the soldiers mock with maiming force.
overhead the notice speaks sharp
truth: this is the King of the Jews.
with no apparent human heroism,
His snapping skeleton – bloody body –
hangs heavy as God’s heart becomes a wound
opened wide with welcome for all who wash
their weary selves within its messy flow.
but now He hangs at God’s cross purposes
as holiness and grace collide with fire.
the vulture views the spectacle and waits,
as all earth’s air is drained out of God’s lungs.
[This is the fourth in a group of original poems composed for Holy Week.]
This year our Good Friday service was structured around the three last words that Jesus speaks from the Cross in the Gospel of Luke:
- “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
- “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
- “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)
Within that structure, I brought three short messages reflecting on those final words. I am including the full text of my messages below.
First of all, we enter into the words of Jesus as His words and prayers from the Cross. In this way, our journey with the Cross takes us deeper into His life and the meaning of the Cross.
Second of all, we enter into the Jesus’ words from the Cross to shape our own life with God, and specifically our life of prayer. In this second way, our journey with the Cross changes us, leading us to become more like Jesus’s life.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
Forgive them. Who is it that Jesus is talking about? Think through the list of characters:Read More »
Please join us for worship on Good Friday at Eastbrook Church. We walk through the three last words of Jesus found in Luke’s Gospel through a variety of creative elements. Service times are noon and 7:00 PM.