Formation

You Are My Witnesses: A Spiritual Journey for Good Friday

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Editor’s Note: Missio Alliance is partnering with eleven:28 Ministries to provide Lenten meditations entitled “You Are My Witnesses: A Spiritual Journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter,” by Amy Bost Henegar. These reflections began on Ash Wednesday, and are available on Sundays starting the second Sunday in Lent, culminating on Easter, as well as today’s reflection for Good Friday. We invite you to set aside 10 minutes or so to move through the meditation below. You can listen to the podcast versions here and/or read along with the edited transcription below. We are grateful to eleven:28 for sharing this resource with the Missio Alliance community and pray that it helps you in your Lenten journey this year.


Remind yourself you are in God’s presence.

Notice how God may be speaking to you today.

Let yourself dwell on a word or phrase that catches your attention or moves your heart.

Let your heart respond to God in prayer.

***

Please repeat these words:

Open my heart to you Lord

And my mouth will declare your praise

***

Take a minute to notice your breath.

Notice how God is breathing life into you at this very moment.

You are right now, in this moment, receiving the gift of breath.

As you inhale, feel the energy of God lift you up, and as you exhale return to gravity, in grounded vocation of service in this world.

Just rest in this space for a moment. Observing your breath, offering your thoughts and feelings to God without trying to control or change anything.

A Reading from John 19

Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”

Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

“Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”

This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,

“They divided my clothes among them

and cast lots for my garment.”

So this is what the soldiers did.

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

***

“Friday” by Ann Weems

The sky peels back to purple

and thunder slaps the thighs of heaven,

and all the tears of those who grieve

fly up to clouds and are released

and drench the earth.

The ones who see and hear

know

That all is lost.

The only one named Savior

died

upon a cross.

The ones who believed and loved

huddled together

stunned.

All night long the angels weep.

***

Almighty God, you have created us out of the dust of the earth.

Grant that this dust might be to us a sign of our mortality and penitence,

so that we may remember that only by your gracious gift

are we given everlasting life;

through Jesus Christ our Savior.

May the almighty and merciful God,

who desires not the death of a sinner

but that we turn from wickedness and live,

accept our repentance, forgive our sins,

and restore us by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.1

Until we meet again, Go in peace.


[1] “Thanksgiving over the Ashes,” and “Pardon” from The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979

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