Good Friday C April 15, 2022

“Startled and Crushed”
Service Prayers for Good Friday Year C
April 15, 2022

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 | Psalm 22 | Hebrews 10:16-25 | Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9 | John 18:1-19:42

Call to Worship
One: From generation to generation, we gather to worship the Most High.
Many: We remember and turn to the One who is High and Exalted.
One: Who can believe what we have heard? We still in astonishment at the abundance of love and grace embodied in the Holy One.
Many: We remember and turn to the Word Made Flesh.
One: Trouble confronts us daily. The evil of this world threatens to overwhelm us. We cry out to the Sovereign God.
Many: We remember and turn to the One who Suffered.
One: God hears our cry, feels our pain, and joins us on the journey.
Many: We remember and proclaim the One who was Wounded.

Prayer of Invocation
Sovereign God, we come into your presence seeking you. May we be startled anew at your astounding work, will, and way. May our hearts be open to brokenness and compassion. Anoint our worship and render any barrier that separates us from you. May your word permeate our flesh, fill our spirits, and be engraved upon our hearts.

Prayer for Transformation and Restoration
Crushed Servant, we are startled. We hide from the horror. We deny our relationship with you in favor of self-preservation when confronted with the possibility of sacrifice. We watch injustice from a distance. We are startled because we were attracted to the glory but recoil from the pain and struggle. We turn away while you are crushed. Write your covenant, your love, and your companionship in our hearts. Fortify us to withstand the trials we encounter and to walk with those in need of faithful presence.

Assurance of Grace:
The Crushed Servant, faithful and full of grace, meets us in our suffering, weaknesses, and wandering. The Holy One calls us back, and as the Good Shepherd, pursues the sheep who have gone astray. Hold on to the confession of our hope because the God of the covenant is reliable and true. Receive the grace of God as a grateful response to the One who redeems, mends, and restores.

Invitation to Generosity
“Let’s draw near with a genuine heart with the certainty that our faith gives us, since our hearts are sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies are washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22)
Let us draw near with the fullness of our whole selves, including our resources. Let us respond to the needs of the startled and crushed among us, around us, and beyond us with the abundance of a Loving and Generous God.

Prayer of Thanksgiving and Dedication
May our gifts mend broken walls, heal wounded bodies, and encourage despairing lives in the name of the One who was wounded, afflicted, and crushed.

Go into the stillness of night with holy uncertainty and expectancy. Hold onto hope. Draw near to the holy. Turn toward the crushed, discouraged, forsaken, and wounded with love, encouragement, and good deeds. May the God who Suffered meet you there.

Startled and Crushed Service Prayers for Good Friday was written by the Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay, Minister for Worship and Theology, United Church of Christ.