Inject some creativity into Good Friday worship, I was told at my church last week. The parameters: a mix of traditional and contemporary music, some handbells and hymns, lots of scripture, and a closing segment where people come forward and hammer nails into a cross.
One of the joys and challenges of my current worship setting is to find creativity in traditional elements of worship. I’ve designed creative worship in contemporary settings for years. Doing so in a traditional setting has stretched me in ways I am grateful for.
So here is what I wrote. This is a complete worship script, so feel free to use it this Friday evening for Good Friday. And make sure you use our Good Friday worship graphics here.
Trietsch Memorial UMC Good Friday
April 10, 2009
Main Idea: Jesus’ brokennesss on the cross is a reflection of our human brokenness.
Felt Need: We have all failed to live up to Jesus.
Requires a Narrator and two scripture readers
Hymn w/ Bells: Go to Dark Gethsemane
Welcome – explain no applause, this is a time of reflection -keep it short
We’ve all heard the phrase much of our lives: “Good Friday”. It’s ironic, really, because there’s nothing really good about it. It might just as well be called “Bad Friday.” Why?
As Christians we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and is in fact God himself, fully divine. His earthly ministry was a ministry of reconciliation, to bridge a fallen and broken humanity to a God that is holy, and good, and other. A God who by nature is separate from sin. The root of the word “good” is in fact a reference to God. To be good means to be of God.
As people, we screw up. We need Jesus in order to know God. The cross – the experience of Jesus on this Friday – is the symbol of this reconciliation. Of Jesus taking on our sins for us, so that we might be reconciled to God.
The reason we might as well call it Bad Friday is that this day, of all days, is the culmination of our inability to be good. Like the disciples during the final week of Jesus’ life, when it matters most, we crash and burn. And our failures are a direct connection to Jesus’ suffering on the cross.
So tonight we are going to spend some time reflecting on this brokenness that we own, and Jesus’ act of ultimate love in taking on our brokenness as he hung on the cross.