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Good Friday April 14th, 2016 6:30pm

New Covenant Presbyterian Church Won’t You Be Our Neighbor?

INTRODUCTION TO THE SERVICE

The service tonight is known as the “Service of The Nails”.  It is a series of readings, responses, and silent reflection and prayer designed to help us enter more deeply into the meaning of Good Friday.   Everyone is requested to take a nail to keep it with them for use during the service. For the service, you are asked to remain seated.

 

Call to Worship  (based on Is. 52:13-15)

L  The Lord be with you.

P  And also with you

L  See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.  Just as there were many who were astonished at him–so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals– so he shall startle many nations;  kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.

THE NAIL OF STUMBLING                                           MATTHEW 26:36-45

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”  He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.  Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.  “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.  So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.  Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Sung Response Extinguishing the Light

      Were you there when he prayed upon the hill? 

      Were you there when he prayed in upon the hill? 

O Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

       Were you there when he prayed upon the hill?…..(silence)

Meditation and Prayer

O God – help us consider how we waver, how we seek to avoid

responsibility and to blame others for our actions.

O God – do not let us deceive ourselves. 

       Our indecision hurts us and creates walls between us and others.

                                

THE NAIL OF BETRAYAL                                       MATTHEW 26:48-56

Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.”  At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.  Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.”  Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.  Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear.  Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.  Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at  once send me more than twelve legions of angels?  But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?”  At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit?  Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me.  But all this has taken  place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.”  Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

   

Sung Response: Extinguishing the Light

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 

      Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 

O Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

                 Were you there when they crucified my Lord?(silence)

THE NAIL OF CRUELTY                                 MATTHEW 27:27-31, 39-42

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him.  They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head.  They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”  They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head.  After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself!  If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”  In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself.  He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him.”

Sung Response Extinguishing the Light

Were you there when left him on the cross?  

      Were you there when they left him on the cross? 

O, Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

      Were you there when they left him on the cross? (silence)

Meditation and Prayer

O God – help us consider how we are cruel to others, how we malign

and slander others and add to the evil that comes upon them.

O God – do not let us deceive ourselves.  

       Our cruelty hurts us and creates walls between us and others.

RESPONSIVE READING: THE PROMISE OF MERCY       ISAIAH 53:8-13

They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.

Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.

The righteous one, God’s servant, shall make many righteous, 

   and he shall bear their iniquities. 

Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

THE NAIL OF HATRED                                          LUKE 6:22, 32-33, 44-46 “ Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him 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. It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.  Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. When he had said this, he breathed his last..”

Sung Response: Extinguishing the Light

Were you there when the sun refused shine?  

      Were you there when the sun refused shine? 

O, Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

                Were you there when the sun refused to shine? (silence)

Meditation and Prayer

L   O God – help us consider how we show hate to others, how we fail to

care for others and make distinctions among them.

O God – do not let us deceive ourselves.

       Our hatred hurts us and creates walls between us and others.

THE RESPONSE

ACT OF CONFESSION                                             ISAIAH 53:4-6

You are invited to have your sins nailed to the cross

Meditation and Prayer

O God – help us consider how we betray others, how we abandon

them in their time of need, how we think of ourselves first

O God – do not let us deceive ourselves.  Our acts of betrayal hurt us and           

      create walls between us and others.

Communion

The Lord be with you

And also with you

Lift up your hearts

We life them up to the Lord

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

It is right to give our thanks and praise….(Pastoral Prayer & Lord’s Prayer)

Jesus came into the world, not to judge it, but to save it.

We are so grateful for God’s infinite love, and we celebrate with all of creation, the saving work, of our Suffering Saviour. On the night before he was nailed to the merciless cross,

Jesus shared His last meal with His friends. He took the bread, He broke it, and He gave thanks, and then He passed it among them saying,

This is my body which is broken for you. Eat it and remember Me.

He took the wine, and He gave thanks, and then He passed it among them saying,

This is my blood which is shed for you. Drink it and remember Me.

And so, we take, we eat and drink, and we remember:

There is no greater love, than this sacrifice which You, Jesus, made for us

Sung Response: Extinguishing the Light

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 

      Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 

O Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

                 Were you there when they crucified my Lord? (silence)

(Blow out remaining Candles and Leave in silence)

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About katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant for 6 years, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times. "Hallows, not Horcruxes" Harry Potter

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