NIGHT PRAYER: Friday 3/19

REMINDER: Friday is a traditional day to meditate on the suffering and death of Jesus and the Fridays of Lent have a particular claim on our hearts in this regard.  In Lent, then, Friday's Night Prayer will bring us to the Cross of him who laid down his life that we might have life and have it to the full...  We've reflected on Jesus accepting his cross, Jesus carrying his Cross, Jesus falling under the weight of his Cross, and encountering the face of Jesus as he carries his Cross. This week we reflect on the scene in Luke's gospel where Jesus, carrying his Cross, stops to comfort a group of women weeping over his suffering.














Lord, in the heat of the day, 
under the weight of your Cross,
you stopped to comfort some women,
standing at the side of the road, 
weeping over your suffering and pain...

No fatigue, no pain you bore. stopped you, Lord,
from interrupting your own grief
to comfort others in their need...

When you were most vulnerable yourself, Lord,
your eyes surveyed the crowd,
looking for those in need of your word,
your wisdom, your mercy and comfort...

Ever the One for others, sacrificing yourself,
never failing to give away all that's yours
to heal and fill our empty hearts...
Even now, you reach out to us, Lord,
in our grief, our pain and our sorrow,
to wipe the tears from our faces
and ease what burdens our hearts...
You suffered for us and more than that,
in your suffering you stoop to tend to our wounds,
we whose sins are burden for you,
a burden you bear with mercy and love,
with love beyond all telling...

Protect us, Lord, while we're awake
and watch over us while we sleep
that awake, we might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...
When Jesus stopped to comfort the women of Jerusalem,
he asked them, "If they do these things in the green wood,
what will happen in the dry?" Tonight's song is based on 
the scripture from Luke. It doesn't have a neat, happy 
ending: we find ourselves "in the dry" season, and this
is our lament, taken from Jesus' own prophetic words...  

Greenwood by Peter Yarrow 

I've seen a thousand people kneel in silence
And I've seen them face the rifles with their songs
I always thought that we could end the killing
But now I live in fear that I was wrong
The killer and the cynic waltz together
Their eyes are turned into their skulls
They do not feel the bullets in the bodies
They do not hear the dolphins or the gulls
If we do these things in the greenwood,
What will happen in the dry?
If we don't stop there'll come a time when women
With barren wombs will bitterly rejoice
With breasts that dry and never fill with promise
Gladly they'll not suckle one more life
Is this then the whimper and the ending?
The impotence of people raised on fear,
A fear that blinds the sense of common oneness
Common love and life or death are here
If we do these things in the greenwood,
What will happen in the dry?
Will no one light the candle in the darkness
Will no one be my guide, not let me fall
I've lost the sense that tells me where the path is
I feel the chill of winter in my soul
There's no way I can say the words more plainly
There's no one left to point at anymore
It's you and me and we must make the choice now
And not destroy the life we're living for
If we do these things in the greenwood,
What will happen in the dry?
If we do these things in the greenwood,
What will happen in the dry?



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