“Were You There…?”

By Vera Entwistle of Forster Keys, New South Wales, Australia

The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.  Luke 24:5

As we approach Good Friday, I remember a moment that touched me. Members from many of the Mid North Coast, Australia, congregations had gathered at the Johns River Congregation for a special worship service. A soloist was to sing unaccompanied: “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” As her clear voice rang out, the congregation became caught up in the words of the hymn.

When she came to the fourth verse, her emotions overcame her. As tears ran down her face we realized she was struggling to continue. After a brief hesitation, members of the congregation gently began to sing with her until she was able to complete her song.

The experience deeply touched those who witnessed it.

As we drove home, I thought how this was a clear example of what we are called to do: When others struggle or are in trouble, we are to gently and lovingly offer support. My prayer is that we always are ready to respond.

Prayer for Peace:

Binder of wounds, thank you for the community that sees our tears and moves to uphold us. Thank you for the community of empathy that hears the unspoken plea. May we join in this community to finish the song that cries out for justice and peace.

Spiritual Practice for the Holy Week:

Prayerfully ponder the life of Christ. Spread your hands up and apart to release things that prevent you from holding Christ at the center of your life. Thank God for Christ who fills and feeds our spirit. Pray for a generous heart and open hands that reach out to make room for all in the circle of Christ’s community.

Peace Covenant:

Today I will listen for the silent cries that need to be answered, God.

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