Good Friday 2020

A THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Good Friday 10th April 2020

Here we are, Good Friday. The day we remember the events surrounding Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. This is when we reflect on how Jesus was first betrayed, then arrested, deserted by His friends, one of His best friends denies he even knows him, he’s falsely accused, mocked, blindfolded, beaten, tried for crimes he didn’t commit and finally crucified and buried! All this just a short time after He was being hailed ‘Son of David’, ‘Messiah’, ‘King’. How quickly things can change.

This is the time we remember why Jesus went to the cross. He did it for us, he paid the price for all our wrongs, for things he was completely innocent of, to offer forgiveness and bring us to a closer relationship with God.

As we look back at what happened, from the moment of His arrest to the moment he died, we see how Jesus’ remained the healer, the carer, the one who gave forgiveness.

His followers found themselves in a ‘New Reality’, but it wasn’t over yet, And nothing would be the same again!

It’s right we reflect on these things today, we must, and I’m sure many of you will have your own thoughts. But today of all days I think we can reflect further, and I’m confident that God in the person of Jesus will understand and be with us as we do.

So here we are, Good Friday 10th April 2020. The world is in a ‘New Reality’, but it’s not over yet, and nothing will be the same. Or will it?

As we think about the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Perhaps today we should think too about the sacrifices being made here and now, today. We’re living in what have been described as unprecedented times. Many have said to me, ‘This is a wakeup call.’ We’re seeing a mobilisation of people going above and beyond the call of duty. In all the trauma, throughout the world, there are people whose lives have become dedicated to serving other people’s needs before their own, putting their own lives at risk in the process – and many have paid the ultimate price.

What are their sacrifices going to mean in the future? Will they make a difference, or will they be consigned to a chapter in the history books?

On Sunday we will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and reflect on how, out of the despair of Good Friday, hope is restored, how a ‘New Reality’ was born and the Good News of Jesus Christ spread throughout the world, and mankind could have a new relationship with God. Perhaps we should also consider how what we are facing in the world today could become a ‘New Reality’. How do we respond to what Jesus has done on the cross? And how will we respond to the sacrifices of others today? We’ll consider these questions on Sunday.

In the meantime let’s give thanks to God for Jesus, His obedience to the Father and His compassion shown on the cross. And let’s also give thanks for the dedication and compassion shown by those who serve today.

In writing the prayer that follows, it was tempting make lists, the problem with a list is it would be my list, influenced by my knowledge and experience, which might easily leave people out. So I’ve simply put a few headings and ask that you fill the gaps with people you want to pray for – maybe add a heading or two – I’m sure between us we can fill most of the gaps, if not all.

A Prayer

Heavenly Father
Our thanks can never do justice to
The debt we owe for what Jesus did on the cross, for us.
But we ask you in your mercy to accept what we give
And to help us respond to the gift you gave
In the way we live our lives.
Keep the teachings of Jesus upper most in our minds
In the way we treat each other,
The way we speak to each other,
The way we care about each other,
The way we forgive each other,
The way we love each other.
We offer you our thanks also for those who, today,
Are giving themselves in the service of others,
Bless them and keep them safe we pray.

We think of those in the health and caring professions
Those who continue to keep our utilities going
Those who keep us secure
Those who govern and have to make
Difficult decisions on our behalf
Those work anonymously
Behind the scenes for the good of others
Finally we prayer for those who are suffering,
Not just with Corvid-19 but also
Any illness and pain
Loss and bereavement
Isolation and loneliness
Fear and anxiety
Lord, fill them and us with a renewed hope
As we lift our prayers to you In Jesus Name.