Good Friday (2020)
Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Psalm 22, Hebrews 10:16-25, John 18:1-19:42
“Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.” BCP p. 101
“Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” BCP p. 221
Let us pray for all who govern and all who care for those who are ill that they will govern with compassion for those living in the trauma of poverty, illness, and job loss may receive what they need. Open our hearts to those around us who have needs we can fill.
“For the hungry and the homeless, the destitute and oppressed
For the sick, the wounded, and the [handicapped]
For those in loneliness, fear, and anguish
For those who face temptation, doubt and despair
For the sorrowful and bereaved
For prisoners and captives, and those in mortal danger
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.” BCP p. 279
I am missing all of you over these looong weeks of social distancing. The church building will still be there when we return. And we are all still here--as far as I know, none of us are sick. And, for that, I am thankful.
It is a weird Holy Week--no Maundy Thursday service, no foot washing, no meal together--no stripping of the altar. I noticed the other day when I went by the church that the corporal (the white cloth spread out under the chalice and patten-the plate we put the wafers on) was still spread on the altar and I decided to leave it there. Because our table is waiting--our hospitality to strangers is waiting--our community is waiting for the return of our church family, for the return of eating food together, for the return of caring and friendship. It sits like an empty womb.
My hope is that we are taking care of one another though we aren’t seeing one another. I haven’t made enough phone calls to check in. I have spoken with someone who wants to start attending St. Mark and I have connected with some of you on Facebook.
I encourage those who are on Facebook to join one of the groups that provide a forum for folks who have needs they can’t meet due to quarantine/social distancing--if you are able to fill a need for someone. I took lunches from the Montesano Community Center to a woman who was buying some of my surplus stuff because I was going both places anyhow. We completed our transaction on her porch. I can vouch for the yumminess of that chicken Caesar wrap I delivered because I ate one on my way there. The center is also delivering to folks in Monte who need that. Just an example.
Also, don’t forget the homeless folks--pray for them and support Chaplains on the Harbor. The city of Aberdeen will close the TASL--the encampment they have been operating--on May 15th. That will be a dark day for the folks there.
So, no planning an Easter service, no brass/silver polishing, no egg hunt and no ministerial association ecumenical service. But, as I said, we are still here and we still have the ability to love and empower people who need our help.
Chaplains on the Harbor is in the process of moving their office to the farmhouse but, if you go by the church, you will see that both refrigerators are full of food for their ministry. We got a donation from a food bank in Seattle. We just have to figure out where to go with it from there.
“O god of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” BCP p. 280
And may all our sins of commission and omission be forgiven in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. Amen
And may you receive the blessing of the One in whom we live and move and have our Being. Amen.