A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Friday, April 19, 2019

Ecumenical Good Friday Service - Athens First UMC

[Our church was honored to host this year’s annual ecumenical Good Friday service. Participating churches were First Presbyterian, Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal, Richland UMC, Christ Lutheran, & Athens First UMC. Each pastor read a portion of the passion narrative and then extinguished a pair of candles. The last reading included Jesus’ words, “It is finished.”]

Good Friday Prayer

We confess to you, our Lord and Savior, that we have betrayed and denied you, forgotten and doubted you. When our faith is tested, we wonder where you are. When we see injustice in the world, we often stand by, we turn our backs, we ignore the cries of others. We confess that we deny you and betray you with our silence when we fail to proclaim your good news, when we fail to live out your teachings and love our neighbor as ourselves. Help us to remember your sacrifice, your love, and to know your forgiveness. In the name of the one who lived, who was crucified, and who lives again, Jesus the Messiah, we pray. Amen.

[One of our youth, Erin Dael offered the ministry of music, “Pie Jesu.” Her father, Kevin played the handbell solo, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” For such a heavy day, music is one of the best ways to reflect on Christ’s suffering and death on the cross.]

[Even though the last words of Good Friday are “It is finished,” we also know that a joyous Easter celebration awaits us. Soon after the Good Friday service, we already started to prepare our sanctuary and chapel for the good news of Christ’s resurrection.]

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