good friday 2014

This is for tomorrow in the remand centre. We have six services spread over the day there… I’ve been thinking a lot, after going to numerous services in prisons around the state over the last couple of weeks, how much our hatred for human nature [and ourselves] creeps into liturgy at this time of year. Perhaps the crowd weren’t that fickle on Palm Sunday. Most of them, it seems, hadn’t heard of Jesus – and nothing that’s written about Palm Sunday would indicate that there was any way they could get a picture of who he was, and why he might be God. Maybe the story tells us of people’s desperation for a saviour, not of their / our fickleness. That’s the angle we’re taking tomorrow.

Finally, it has to be said that I don’t really like what I’ve prepared for tomorrow – and if you feel the same way I do, once you’ve read it, feel free to apply for the half time prison chaplains position we have going at the moment, so i don’t end up doing this again next year! Full service can be downloaded here: GoodFriday_MRC2014_final

What was it about Jesus
that was so confusing for governments
and for ordinary people?

Pilate couldn’t make sense of Jesus
and half the time we can’t either.

We want a God who comes in might and power to take all before him
and yet we get Jesus:
unmistakably human and vulnerable,
political subversive
always on the side of love, not power
human, even to the point of death.

We keep asking the question,
‘God, who are you?’
in the hope we’ll get a different answer.
And God just keeps coming back with this one.


  1. Rosemary Carter

    Marcus Borg’s blog makes some really helpful observations about what was happening in Jerusalem that really hel understanding what was going on at the time. Because it was Passover and the people were under occupation there was always trouble. But also, Pilate and his entourage arrived also in an amazing mass procession because of the practice of setting some folk free… So there was a lot going on… And people were not altogether happy with their situation.
    I find that helpful, and it does support you suggestion of desperation…

Comments are closed.