Greetings! John here, ready to lead Good Friday’s Zeph@10 …
Listen: Were you there?
Be there as you read the Gospel:
“Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with Jesus to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Luke 23:32-42
Pontius Pilate, selfish, stares;
Soldiers, strong, evilly laugh;
Children, moany, scream;
Dogs, scared, hide;
Women of Jerusalem weep;
Mary Magdelene, broken-hearted, is distraught;
Rubbernecks annoyingly barge and shove;
Barabbas, fortunate, smirks;
Disciples, worried, pray;
Priests, important, smile;
Jesus, holy, dies.
– Year 5 group poem, East Morton CE Primary School, Easter 2019
Last Easter at East Morton again. I get to be a poet there. We made this class poem after compiling the Dramatis Personae of Good Friday.
We wondered who might have been there, and then what they were like (the adjective) and then what they were doing (the verb) Because looking at Jesus on that cross, we have to do something: if it’s to watch, or weep, or deny, or run away, or to feel guilty – whatever. Even doing nothing is an action of inaction.
Back to the poem. Picture the characters. We know them. Our friends, our family, our neighbours, our politicians, ourselves. Pray for them this Good Friday as they make their own response to Jesus’ death. Pray for ourselves, with thanks that we, too, are part of the story.
Last time back to the poem: “Jesus, holy, dies”. There’s the paradox again. God is holy. He is immortal. He can’t die ! We wonder at the mystery. How does he do that?
We stand, in our wonder and receive the blessing that the death of God’s son brings us. And then we pass that blessing on. One way or another.
Listen: Mary Stood
And if you’ve not been there yet, Julie’s Good Friday piece…