This litany encourages us to acknowledge the frantic pace of our lives, remember that God knows us inside and out, and take time to be still.
Leader: We sit here trying our best to steady ourselves for an hour or two, but you know us, Lord. You know the distractions that tug at our minds, the worries that vie for our attention, the burdens that betray our affections.
This Good Friday service, which is based on the names of Jesus in Isaiah 9, combines teaching with Scripture and song. It’s a quiet, meditative service meant to provoke deep reflection, so consider lowering the lights in the sanctuary and asking congregants to enter and exit in silence.
“Hear, O my people, and I will speak.” (Psalm 50:7)
“To hear God speaking, to listen to his voice, does not necessarily involve the auditory senses, but is like a field of vibrations that surround one’s life and one’s horizon with an engaging reality that overwhelms what is in sight before one.” (from Prayer by Hans Urs von Balthasar [Ignatius Press, 1986])
In late 2011 we decided to write a Christmas song for our congregation and to have the children of the congregation help us. We invited them to bring lyrics or ideas to include in the song as they came forward for their time with the pastors. They did so for a four-week period.
We (Veena Kulkarni and John Groen) then sat down and began crafting the lyrics. We had no tune in mind, but the lyrics came together with little resistance. They seemed to have a certain logic to them. After a couple of meetings they were in place.
As Christians, sharing the gospel message should be something we do as naturally as breathing, both in word and in action. This litany encourages us to share Christ daily with all those we meet.
Leader: Eternal God, you give us a guide for our lives in your Word.
All: Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
Women: with all your soul,
Men: with all your mind,