Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Year C - Good Friday (March 29, 2013)

The Revised Common Lectionary offers the same texts for Good Friday in Years A, B, and C. 

U Go to Year A - Good Friday for
     - material about how children respond to the crucifixion at different
     - a list of pre-planned events exploring Holy Week events with
       children that are found in Sharing the Easter Faith with Children
     - a list short of story books that could be used in worship on Good
     - comments on using each of the texts for the day with children. 
There is lots there!

U Go to Year B - Good Friday for an idea about using nail crosses.  It was suggested as part of a series of crosses that were featured each week in Lent in Year B, but could be used on its own any year.

If you have been using hearts to explore God’s love during Lent….
U Feature a large red heart with a nail through it.  It may be only one heart the size of a banner with one large spike through it.  Or, it may be a smaller heart (the size of a poster board) into which a 6-7 inch nail can be inserted as each of the hurts below are identified.  (To make this easier cut small slits through which the nails will be pushed.)   The hurts may be identified in conversation during a children’s time.  Or, they may be identified in a story telling sermon with nails added as the sermon progresses.  For children, the hurts are identified somewhat as follows:

One of Jesus’ 12 closest friends led the people who wanted to kill Jesus straight to him.  Judas even kissed Jesus to show his enemies who to go after.  That hurt.

Jesus’ best friend Peter got so scared that he pretended he did not even know Jesus.  That hurt.

Soldiers whipped Jesus and hammered nails through his hands and his feet to hang him on a wooden cross.  He died there.  All of that hurt terribly for hours and hours.

While he was dying on the cross his enemies spit on him and jeered at him.  That hurt, too.

It was a day of terrible hurting.  But even all those hurts could not kill Jesus’ love.  Jesus still loved all those people and forgave them for all the horrible ways they hurt him.  He forgave Peter and the soldiers and all the people who teased him while he was dying.  That is why we call this GOOD Friday.  Because Jesus loved all those people so much that he forgave them, we know that Jesus loves us and will forgive us, too. 

U If you feature nail/s through a red heart, you might recall what Simeon said to Mary when he blessed Jesus in the Temple when he was eight days old.  Simeon said to Mary, “and a sword will pierce your own soul (or heart) too.”  (Luke 2: 34-35)  Briefly imagine how hard it must have been for Mary to watch Jesus die on the cross.   Note that loving can hurt both when we watch people we love suffer and when the people we love hurt us.  We are to keep loving just as Mary and Jesus kept loving on that Friday.

U If you did not use the broken heart patched with a band-aid on Palm/Passion Sunday, use it today to describe Jesus who kept loving even when his heart and body were broken.  List all the ways his heart was broken using the list above.  Then insist that Good Friday is about God’s love that never gives up on us or anyone.

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