We tend to let the cross and Jesus’ death overshadow not only this day, but the entirety of our faith, as if it is the thing and the only thing. But what if it’s just one more thing, one among many? I do not mean to diminish or negate the cross on this day. But there is more to Jesus, his life, and this day than just his cross and death. It’s a part of the story but it’s not the whole story. So I want to try and enlarge the meaning of the cross and this day. Continue reading Aligning Our Lives – A Sermon On John 18:1-19:42 For Good Friday
Before I talk about Good Friday I want to talk about Bad Friday. That’s the Friday that I struggle with. Don’t you? How are we to make sense of an all powerful, can do anything, kind of God who seemingly chooses to do nothing? That’s the Bad Friday question. Continue reading Struggling With The Cross – A Good Friday Sermon On John 18:1-19:42
What is your story of suffering and loss? When was a time you thought your heart couldn’t break anymore than it already had? Who are the loved ones you’ve lost? What is the pain that never goes away? When has your world come to an end? When have you cried in the daytime, but had no answer from God, or by night as well but found no rest (Psalm 22:2)? What suffering do you bring today? Continue reading Good Friday? Really? – A Sermon on Suffering and Death
“Here is the man.” (From the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. John 18:1-19:42) Pilate has spoken a truth beyond the words we hear and beyond the man we see. Who is this man? Who do you see? To whom is Pilate referring? Yes, it is Jesus of Nazareth. He’s wearing a crown of thorns and dressed in a purple robe. He’s … Continue reading Here is the Man – A Good Friday Sermon on John 18:1-19:42
One of the great Easter traditions is the flowering of the cross. People bring and place colorful fresh flowers on a drab wooden cross. What’s behind this? Is it just a pretty decoration? Well, it does look beautiful but there are also some beautiful traditions and meanings associated with the flowering of the cross. The sixth century hymn (#166) we sing on Good Friday celebrates … Continue reading Flowering of the Cross
Last night we began taking our share with Jesus. We ate the last supper. We washed feet. We stripped the altar. We come here today much the same as we left here last night. The table of our last supper has been cleared and is empty. The water that washed our feet has dried and the basin is empty. The altar of our life has … Continue reading Hell Awaits – A Sermon for Good Friday, John 18:1-19:42
So what does it all mean? What difference does the crucifixion make? Does God love us more because Jesus died on the cross? Are we somehow more acceptable, more tolerable, to God because Jesus suffered? Have we been brought closer to God because his son was executed by a Roman governor who gave in to fear and the shouts of those he governed?
I don’t believe that’s who God is, the way God acts, or how God loves. That is not why we call this day, this Friday, good. Continue reading “The Crucifixion as Revelation and not Causation”
Christos anesti ek nekron, thanato thanaton patisas, kai tis en tis mnimasi zoin harisamenos. Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. The following is a collection of postings from Holy Week: Holy Week, Love Week Palm Sunday – Emptying and Embodying Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday in Holy Week – The Fragrance of Holy Week Maundy Thursday – All Are … Continue reading Christ is Risen, Christos Anesti – A Collection of Holy Week Postings
Pilate asked Jesus, “Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” (John 19:10) Pilate thinks he holds the cross of Christ. Jesus knows otherwise. How we see and understand the cross is determined by who we believe holds the cross. In human hands the cross is imposed. In God’s hands it is chosen. In human hands the … Continue reading Who Holds the Cross of Christ?
The collect and readings for Good Friday may be found here. The following sermon is based on John 18:1 – 19:42. I have come to believe that the crucifixion did not kill Jesus. Crucifixion is merely the external force and circumstance of his death. At a deeper level the cross points to the intense relationship between love and death. Love is the ultimate cause of … Continue reading Crucifixion, A Love Story – A Sermon for Good Friday; John 18:1-19:42