Lord, as I contemplate your suffering on that cross so long ago, my heart grieves. I mourn your sacrifice for my sake. I regret the wounds that my sin has caused. In the days of my youth, I was quick to forget your saving act of love. I doubted that you died for me, and even if you had, I believed my sin too great to be forgiven. Through my lack of trust – embodied in so many of my words and deeds – I mocked you with my life. I scourged you with my poor choices. I made idols to lift up and worship rather than seek comfort in your holy cross. Although standing amidst the living, I had descended down into the Pit.
I confess that I remain a sinner, and yet, you have chosen me to live among your saints. In my distress, your arms reached out to me from that same cross I scorned. Your love crossed time to declare for me a new life of jubilee. Through people, places and events, you helped me recognize the truth and glory of your cross: you died for me, and my sin is never greater than your grace. I am not who I once was, and I have found hope in whom you will help me become. You will never forsake me, for you have paid too high a price. I have been made new through your love.
Lord, I know you will prove faithful to me and all of your promises. You have always been faithful even before I knew you. Your death remains a sign that you will always remember me. Purify my heart, O Christ, so that I never forget you. Still standing amidst the living, help me share this resurrected life with others. Amen.
The above text was composed after sharing Three Hours watching, waiting, and worshiping with some of my brothers and sisters in Christ from Messiah Lutheran Church. Each Good Friday, we gather from noon to three o’clock to hear the synoptic gospel accounts of the crucifixion, pray psalms, listen to meditative music, and hear reflections about the cross in our lives from Martin Luther, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Brother Roger of Taizé, Jean Vanier and more. At 7 pm, we reconvene for a special Good Friday worship service.