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Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday 2013

The Crucifixion

Anthony Van Dyck, 1622

Psalm 22
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
and are so far from my cry
and from the words of my distress?
O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not answer;
by night as well, but I find no rest.
Yet you are the Holy One,
enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
Our forefathers put their trust in you;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
They cried out to you and were delivered;
they trusted in you and were not put to shame.
But as for me, I am a worm and no man,
scorned by all and despised by the people.
All who see me laugh me to scorn;
they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,
“He trusted in the LORD; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, if he delights in him.”
Yet you are he who took me out of the womb,
and kept me safe upon my mother’s breast.
I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born;
you were my God when I was still in my mother’s womb.
Be not far from me, for trouble is near,
and there is none to help.
Many young bulls encircle me;
strong bulls of Bashan surround me.
They open wide their jaws at me,
like a ravening and a roaring lion.
I am poured out like water;
all my bones are out of joint;
my heart within my breast is melting wax.
My mouth is dried out like a pot-sherd;
my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
and you have laid me in the dust of the grave.
Packs of dogs close me in,
and gangs of evildoers circle around me;
they pierce my hands and my feet;
I can count all my bones.
They stare and gloat over me;
they divide my garments among them;
they cast lots for my clothing.
Be not far away, O LORD;
you are my strength; hasten to help me.
Save me from the sword,
my life from the power of the dog.
Save me from the lion’s mouth,
my wretched body from the horns of wild bulls.
I will declare your Name to my brethren;
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.

A Meditation from Andrew Sullivan

I pray today for my friend, David Kuo, whose long battle against a brain tumor is in its final days. And for all those enduring war or plague or illness or despair. Especially despair. In one Gospel, Jesus himself seems to feel the loneliness of that despair on the cross. He had to go there to show how deeply he is still with us – perhaps especially in the valleys of our life when the sky itself recedes from view.

From Messiah (Handel, 1741)

"He was despised and rejected of men." Lynn Dawson sings with the Choir of King's College, Cambridge:

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