A digital version of this week’s bulletin and sermon.

Invitation

A Noon Collect:
Blessed Savior, at this hour you hung upon the cross, stretching out
your loving arms: Grant that all the peoples of the earth may look to
you and be saved; for your tender mercies’ sake. Amen.

Repetition of 1st Word: Father Forgive Them

First Word: “Father Forgive Them”—Luke 23:32-38
Reflection

1.

Even there… even there that intimacy with his dad, with his Father.

Beloved Son of God, interceding, pleading, with his Loving Father

There on the cross

From the cross his voice arises as incense

I can’t imagine it…

 

And that’s the point

I can’t, you can’t, they can’t, know, see, see who he is, there on that dreadful hill.

How can you see the familiar, familial, give and take Jesus and God have?

There, surrounded by criminals, how can your eyes pierce the heavens to see?

See through see who he is, this Jesus, camouflaged.

 

How could they know?

We wouldn’t have…

We don’t.

Even today.

Do you notice, when Jesus intercedes for you?

Do you notice, when we crucify these days?

Like them…

we’re unable to recognize when we mock messiah…

unable to see the very act of murdering God…

our temptation of our Lord

“Save yourself… save yourself… save yourself!”

All while he is saving us.

 

Do we hear him?

Do we hear his request to God?

Do we hear him calling out for our sake?

Calling out, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”

In that very moment—up there on the cross

He puts away responsibility

He puts away culpability

He chooses…

There on that holy, horrifying, tree

He chooses

Chooses mercy over justice

He ends any thought, or worry, over vengeance

Any dread about bitterness, gone.

We, we did not see him, we did not know what we did.

He, he sees us, he knows who we are and what we do…

And he forgives us all our faults.
Repetition of 1st Word: Father Forgive Them
Repetition of 2nd Word: Today You Will Be With Me In Paradise
Second Word: “Today You Will Be With Me In Paradise”—Luke 23:39-43
Reflection
Repetition of 2nd Word: Today You Will Be With Me In Paradise
Repetition of 3rd Word: Woman, Here Is Your Son

Third Word: “Woman, Here Is Your Son”—John 19:25-27
Reflection

3.

I can’t imagine it, can you?

Her grief.

There, watching her son

The one who was so little in that manger…

She watches strangers, watching him

He’s a spectacle, his torture, a show.

Something to talk about over the water cooler.

They don’t see that he is her Baby boy.

 

It’s cliché, but true

No parent should lose a child

This special child of hers

The one whom she pondered in her heart

The pain of that—losing your child, losing yourself

Experiencing such loss

Abandoned as he was abandoned.

Mother mirroring the suffering son.

 

What should you say to someone in such distress?

What can we say to Mary?

 

Thank God she hears her son address her as “woman.”

Thank God, because she remembers

Remembers his first miracle

“Woman, should I start this now?”

Look, wine—abundant rich wine, overflowing wine

Abundant promise again—in that word “woman.”

An abundance of family on offer

He says to her, “Here is your son.”

And to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”

He provides for them

Provides

A home

A family.

Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the Savior of the whole world.
Oh, come, let us worship him.
Fourth Word: “My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”—Mark 15:33-34

Reflection

Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the Savior of the whole world.
Oh, come, let us worship him.

Repetition of 5th Word: I Thirst

Fifth Word: “I Thirst”—John 19:28-29
Reflection

5.

“I thirst.”

There is something almost… clinical in those words.

Dehydration—exposed on the cross.

That’s what the cross was designed to do

Horror, exposing the consequence of rebellion as horror.

 

“I thirst” flips though, flopping well beyond clinical

It flips into deep description

A dryness that goes all the way down

Such an immediate need

Such a physical need

Looking for help—water in a time of need

All he is sour wine—like Judas’ sour kiss.

 

“I thirst” he says as well for us.

He thirsts for you! For me!

That amazes me still

He thirsts for us!

Thirsts as the deer thirsts for a stream of living water

As a lover thirsts for his beloved

That’s why he’s up there—thirsting

Thirsting for you and for me!
Repetition of 5th Word: I Thirst

Repetition of 6th Word: It Is Finished

Sixth Word: “It Is Finished”—John 19:30
Reflection

Repetition of 6th Word: It Is Finished

Repetition of 7th Word: Father, Into Your Hands I Commend My Spirit

Seventh Word: Father, Into Your Hands I Commend My Spirit

Reflection

7.

There, in the drama of darkness—in the failing sun

There, with the Holy of Holies punctured—the curtain torn

Separation stopped! Closeness with God made clear with that tear!

There—on that cross

There—with the same intimacy as he uttered at the start

He addresses God as Abba

As we too pray, in that famous prayer, “Our Father, who art in heaven.”

So too he prayed.

 

He’s forgiven those who killed him

He’s called the thief to paradise

It’s done, and he cries to his beloved Father.

A strangely peaceful cry for a tortured, dying, man.

May we all die with such trust.

A dying man who trusts God will receive his weary soul

God is faithful—a rock and a fortress

God’s right hand, a refuge for the soul

“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

 

Think of the truth of these words for us

He knows our burdens

He knows ALL of our burdens

He knows their whole trajectory—further along than we

He knows them to the end

He knows them to the very end!

So we may commend our spirit to him

To Jesus Christ

To the one who commended His spirit to His Father.
Repetition of 7th Word: Father, Into Your Hands I Commend My Spirit
Prayer:
Merciful God, your Son was lifted up on the cross to draw all people
to himself. Grant that we who have been born out of his wounded side
may at all times find mercy in him, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
forever. Amen.

Benediction:
Almighty God, Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.
Amen.

All Leave the church in silence.

 

 

 

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