Good Friday


This prayer seems especially apt today. It's from the Good Friday liturgy (from the 1978 Episcopal Book of Common Prayer): "for all who suffer and are afflicted in body or in mind." It should remind us to pray for Terri Schiavo, and for those around us who suffer from grave disabilities. What are we to pray for them?

That God in his mercy will comfort and relieve them, and grant them the knowledge of his love, and stir up in us the will and patience to minister to their needs.

At noon our time tomorrow, Terri Schiavo will have endured a full week without food or water. That's about the time many Christians will gather to remember the three hours of darkness that fell as Christ hung on the cross.

I encourage you to attend a Good Friday service, even if it isn't at your usual place of worship. Although we are free as Christians to observe special days or not, it is a good thing to set aside a special time to meditate on God's great love for us, that while we were His enemies, He sent His Son to die for us, to pay the penalty for our sins. It is a good thing to gather with believers all over the world to celebrate this day of victory -- the day our Redeemer accomplished our Redemption, and purchased for Himself people from every tribe and tongue and nation. If you cannot come to a church, the Good Friday liturgy linked above could be used for your own private devotions.

Few aspects of worship move me so much as those hymns which direct us to meditate on the Cross and Our Lord's wounds, which He suffered out of love for us.

Do you have trouble believing that God could love you? Look at the Cross!

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Crown Him the Lord of love!
Behold His hands and side!
Rich wounds, yet visible above,
In beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky
Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye
At mysteries so bright.

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in my Savior's blood?
Died He for me who caused His pain,
For me who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou my God shouldst die for me?

íTis mystery all: thíImmortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
íTis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Fatherís throne above
So free, so infinite His graceó
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adamís helpless race:
íTis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and natureís night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening rayó
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.

No condemnation now I dread:
Jesus and all in Him is mine.
Alive in Him, my living head,
And clothed in righteousness divine.
Bold I approach the immortal throne
And claim the crown through Christ mine own.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 25, 2005 1:50 AM.

"And remember, the gallows built for Mordecai was used to hang Haman" was the previous entry in this blog.

A correction regarding Terry Simonson is the next entry in this blog.

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