Hymns – Photos – Art – Thought – Poetry – Theology
Good Friday – Two hymns and three monologues, including audio (further material listed for Passion Sunday)
What kind of king are you, you Jew? The priests condemn you for they say you spite them, yet you will not fight them. They say you claim to be a king to rule them. Do you just fool them? They throw your talk of kingdom in your face. You say that it is not your kind of place, Yet now you claim to know the source of truth? You're not a callow youth. There is no sense in such. You talk too much - and kingdom speeches cannot be allowed. I'll leave the last decision to the crowd.
And Christ whose kingdom turned things upside-down was destined then to wear a thorn-spiked crown
A pieta reflection – Mary cradles Jesus. Audio - make sure sound is turned up - Written and read by Marjorie Dobson. Copyright details under transcriptbelow Click to start
A pieta reflection - Transcript - Marjorie Dobson
They let me hold him before they took his body away.
They lifted him so gently and carefully and laid him so that his scourged back and bleeding shoulders rested against the soft fabric of my dress. I could feel the torn flesh weeping through the cloth, spreading and seeping through to my skin.
The thorns, that mockery of a crown, had gone. Friends had taken them away as quickly as they could, but some had gone so deep they had broken and couldn't be removed and the imprint of that cruel irony was written there in blood.
I held his hands, once strong and skilful, crafting wood in the workshop, using the tools of his trade.
Gentle, trusting hands I'd held through childhood, now mangled by hammer and nails - an executioner's tools.
Healing hands, hands that had helped so many - now broken, the flesh pierced, opened and torn; the bones crushed and splintered.
And had they needed to strike with that spear at the end? Couldn't they see he was dead already? Why did they have to put that senseless wound in his side? What had he done to deserve any of that? Couldn't they even let his dead body alone?
So, as I cradled his tortured, bloodied head and strand by strand, lifted his tangled hair away from the open wounds above his staring eyes, I raged against the God who gave him to me and then tore him from me in such a violent fashion.
Oh, God! Why did you let this happen? You could have saved him! You could have warned him! You could have let him escape. You could have changed their minds before they did this to him. You had the power - why didn't you use it?
And as I wept and railed at God, my tears washed down over his beloved face and mingled with his blood and I closed his God-forsaken eyes to shut out the desolation I saw there. At that last moment he'd felt abandoned - even God wasn't listening.
But I would make him listen!
How could he do this to my son? A mother shouldn't have to watch her child die - and die in such agony. To feel that no one, not God, not his mother, cared what was happening to him!
Because I couldn't touch him. I couldn't help him. They wouldn't let me near enough to do anything.
Only when it was too late; too late to comfort him; too late for him to feel my touch, to hear my words of love; only then, when it was too late, did they let me come to him.
What kind of a God allows that to happen?
What kind of a God doesn't answer the prayer of a dying man?
What kind of a God promises so much and then allows those promises to die so soon?
They had to take his body from me.
They were so gentle and understanding, those friends, but I didn't want to let him go.
I knew I couldn't do anything for him. Nothing would bring him back.
But still I clung to him, knowing it was useless, desperately longing to show him the love he had needed in those last agonising moments. Would he ever know how much I wanted to take his place? I should have been the one to die, not him.
I am his mother. I bore him with pain and blood. And when they took his body from me, I felt he had been torn from me again.
But this agony is unbearable and this blood is his, not mine.
How could God take someone so young, so vibrant, so alive?
Oh, God! What have you done?
Now he is gone. There is nothing more I can do . His life is over. My agony and desolation is just beginning.
Dear God! I feel so angry. I wish I could make sense of this! I hope you can! All I can do is weep.
2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, firstname.lastname@example.org Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd. From Unravelling the Mysteries, Stainer & Bell Ltd., 2019.