Traditionally Good Friday is a day of contemplation, with time spend ‘at the cross’ in the early afternoon.

This year, JoAnn Griffin has written a poem, and Victoria Chadwick has added some Easter artwork to it.

I have also included a video and the words of the hymn When peace like a river (It is well with my soul). It is well (!) worth a listen, but if you can’t, the words are still beautiful.

Then we have two passages from the Bible – Isaiah, and John’s gospel. These are long passages, and bear much reflection. You may of course read them with someone else, but on this occasion I encourage you to spend time reading them alone – at least, on your own with God.

Allow the words to speak deeply into your heart, as you read about the depths of God’s love for you, in Jesus.

Finally we have the collect for Good Friday, to close our reflections today.

Easter Poem
by JoAnn Griffin

When peace like a river
by H.G. Spafford and Philip Bliss

Once you get over the four-fold repetition of Michael Eldridge singing with himself (!), this is a beautiful hymn (published in 1876), and the words express well the wonder and beauty of what Jesus has done for us.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Isaiah 52.13 – 53.12

Isaiah’s prophecy of Jesus’ sacrifice and death is breathtaking. This is God, speaking through the mouth of the prophet.

See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at him –
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
and his form marred beyond human likeness –
so he will sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand…
continue reading

Isaiah 52.13-15 (NIV)

John 18.1 – 19.42

This section of John’s gospel starts with Jesus’ arrest, and ends with his burial in the garden tomb.

When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.

Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

Jesus, knowing all that was going to…
continue reading

John 18.1-4 (NIV)

The Collect for Good Friday

Eternal God,
in the cross of Jesus
we see the cost of our sin
and the depth of your love:
in humble hope and fear
may we place at his feet
all that we have and all that we are,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.