Friday, April 10, 2009

A Prayer for Good Friday

Yesterday it was helpful for me to just meditate on some prayer and the Stanley Hauerwas/Book of Common Prayer combo worked quite well. So, on this unholy holiday, the day when God's love was mocked, tortured, and executed on an imperial execution Stake, may you be invited into the story with these prayers:
Bloody Lord, you are just too real. Blood is sticky, repulsive, frightening. We do not want to be stuck with a sacrificial God who bleeds. We want a spiritual faith about spiritual things, things bloodless and abstract. We want sacrificial spirits, not sacrificed bodies. But you have bloodied us with your people Israel and your Son, Jesus. We fear that by being Jesus' people we too might have to bleed. If such is our destiny, we pray that your will, not ours, be done. AMEN.
_Stanley Hauerwas (Prayers Plainly Spoken, page 90)

And...
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 _From The Book of Common Prayer

God of victims and victimizers, today your love is on its' way to hell and it calls us to follow. You're on your way to those who truly need saving, to the victims, to the poor, to all crucified people. You're on your way to death, on your way to utter defeat and you call us to follow. Ridiculously you prompt us, saying "you know the way to the place where I am going." But from here, Lord, it's like a maze. You urge us, saying "I am the way, the truth, and the life!" as though we could possibly find life on a cross. God, let's face it, you are being completely impractical. Yet you persist. You persist beyond our mocking, beyond our "no's" and cries of denial. You persist, saying "Forgive them..." which only sparks laughter from us, "as though we need forgiveness from a criminal." You persist even to death... see God, it didn't work... I'm sure glad I stayed home. You persist to glorious resurrection and even to my salvation. Forgive us Lord, we knew not what you were doing, we knew not the true path of abundant life. As you have led may we now follow. Amen.

2 comments:

Rudy said...

Great quotes and comments Wes. I thought about the getting bloody in body part for a little while. I sure am glad that Jesus got dirty and bloody. To many people think (myself included no doubt) that they are to offer up a sacrifice of praise or action. Truth is our actions in His name deliver us to a proper understanding of what that praise should really be.

WES ELLIS said...

Thanks Rudy! I think you're right.