As part of a continuing collaboration with Spill the Beans, Fischy Music and Rev Gayle Taylor to bring family-oriented worship resources to you for Holy Week, here are some ideas for Good Friday compiled and prepared by our own Rev Peter Johnston.
Today is a difficult day,
it is a day when we think about endings,
about how sometimes good things stop,
and sometimes we have to say goodbye.
It is a day to remember
that not everything in life is easy,
sometimes it can really hurt.
And it is a day to remember
that Jesus has been right there with us,
facing the worst that the bullies could throw at him.
The Servant King
Read together from your Bible Mark chapter 15, verses 37-39 or use:
Then Jesus cried out in a loud voice and died.
When Jesus died, the curtain in the Temple split into two pieces. The tear started at the top and tore all the way to the bottom. The army officer that was standing there before the cross saw what happened when Jesus died. The officer said, “This man really was the Son of God!”
Have you ever had that strange feeling
right in the pit of your stomach,
a sinking feeling when you realise
that something you have done
has gone terribly wrong?
I had just that feeling on that day,
standing underneath the cross where Jesus died.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a soldier.
I’ve seen things that are not fit for a child to see,
if you get my drift,
things that would make some people faint,
others turn a shade of green,
but never have I felt the way I did that day.
I was doing my job, of course,
guarding the place where the crucifixions happened,
nothing unusual there,
though it is not my favourite job,
I will admit.
And there was something different about this Jesus,
the way he didn’t get angry
but seemed to look at me, even me,
as if he understood,
as if he forgave me,
silly really, but I felt a lump in my throat
when he cried out
and then fell silent.
The whole city seemed to fall silent.
And then I heard it,
a wailing from the Temple,
screams of people in fear,
I didn’t know whether to run back to the city
or stay on the hill.
Then the word came
that the curtain in the Jewish Temple
had ripped apart,
and that is when I felt that heavy feeling
deep in my stomach,
that I had been a part
of doing something very wrong.
That’s when I knew Jesus was what he said he was,
he was the Son of God.
God forgive me for what I did.
People say goodbye all the time.
Sometimes it is easy,
because you know you will meet again,
like saying goodbye to school friends
when you go on holiday.
At other times it is hard,
like when a friend moves away,
and you know you may never see them again.
And then there are the times
when it breaks your heart,
like when someone dies,
because you know how much
you will miss them,
and how much you loved them.
Today we remember that Jesus’ friends
felt just that way,
everything seemed to be over,
everything seemed to be finished,
and hope seemed to have gone.
Life turned upside down for them.
Life has been turned outside in for us,
flowers grow as if nothing has changed,
the days go by, sun rising and falling,
yet we are stuck inside our homes,
fearful that a virus
might mean saying goodbye
to someone we know.
But we will not give up hope.
We will hold out for a better time to come.
Fischy Song / Activity
You will need: hammer, nails and some bits of wood (or cardboard), an old bed sheet or piece of cloth you no longer need, felt tip pens, scissors.
Supervised by adults nail two pieces of wood together into a cross shape, and each time you hammer a nail into the wood take some time to think about something that hurts other people and have the children write or draw a picture to represent that on the cloth (e.g. violence, climate change, bullying, coronavirus).
If you do not have access to pieces of wood, you could cut out a cross from cardboard.
When you have finished adding nails to the wood and thoughts to the sheet then make a snip with the scissors at one end of the sheet and gather everyone around the sheet, holding on to the edges of the sheet rip it into two pieces.
Keep the cross and pieces of cloth to use tomorrow.
[Note that on Easter morning you may want to place an Easter egg in that place having removed the cross after the children have gone to bed.]
By Katie (from South Holburn Parish Church)
it’s hard just now.
We can’t go out and see our friends and family –
it gets lonely and it’s sad.
Let us stay healthy during this difficult time
and in particular keep our grandparents safe.
We want to pray for those who have lost loved ones,
not just through COVID 19,
and aren’t able to grieve properly.
Please support people who are still working hard
through this horrible disease –
there are some very kind people out there.
Help people look through and past this
to the future with hope
and maybe make changes to their lifestyle
that will benefit all in our community.
God we know that bad things don’t last for ever.
On this day that we call Good Friday it got really bad for you.
And then, when it was too late,
people realised that you really were God’s son.
So we remember the bad things that you endured for us:
how you took on everything that is wrong,
everything that keeps us back from doing what is right,
everything that keeps us from being your friends
and you carried all those when you died on the cross
so that we could be free.
You showed us what real love is by dying for us.
Today, when we have the chance to show love
by staying at home, by keeping our distance
so that others might live,
help us to do the right thing
and, while we are at home,
may we take the opportunity to think more
about all that you did for us
and about what we can do for one another to show love.
And may we keep remembering
that bad things don’t last forever.