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Liturgy - Nails of the Cross

Nails of the Cross

Call to Worship

13 See, my servant will act wisely;

he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.

 

14 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—

 

15 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.

Prayer of Approach

Let us pray.

O merciful God, you did not spare your only Son, but offered him up for us all, that he might bear our sins upon the cross. Grant that we might so examine ourselves that we realise our own sinfulness, so great as to spiritually crucify him anew.

 

Help us to recognise those nails that we drive into his cross today, and transform us into more faithful disciples in his name. Amen.

Hymn

Reading: Hebrews 10:16-25

16 "This is the covenant I will make with them

after that time, says the Lord.

I will put my laws in their hearts,

and I will write them on their minds." 

 

17 Then he adds:

"Their sins and lawless acts

I will remember no more." 

 

18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

 

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

 

22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

 

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Offertory

Offertory for the Ministerial Students Fund and Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary

Hymn

Liturgy of the Nails – Part 1

THE NAIL OF BETRAYAL: John 18:1-5

--

The First Nail

--

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

Were you there when they crucified my Lord.

 

(Silence)

 

O God,

 help us consider how we betray others, how we abandon them in their time of need and how greed causes us to think of ourselves first.

 

O God,

do not let us deceive ourselves. Our acts of betrayal hurt us and create walls between us and others.

 

O God,

we know too that our betrayal hurts you.

--

THE NAIL OF VIOLENCE: John 18:6-14

--

The Second Nail

--

Where you there when he walked the road alone?

Were you there when he walked the road alone?

Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

Were you there when he walked the road alone?

--

(Silence)

 

O God,

help us consider our own aggression and hostility and where it leads.

 

O God,

do not let us deceive ourselves. Violence hurts us and creates walls between us and others.

 

O God,

we know too that violence hurts you.

--

THE NAIL OF FEAR: John 18:15-27

--

The Third Nail

--

Were you there when they stripped him of his clothes?

Were you there when they stripped him of his clothes?

Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

Were you there when they stripped him of his clothes?

--

(Silence)

 

O God,

help us consider how we fear others, how our fear provokes us to hate those we do not understand and robs us of the courage to speak the truth.

 

O God,

do not let us deceive ourselves. Our fear hurts us and creates walls between us and others.

 

O God,

we know too that our fear hurts you.

--

THE NAIL OF INJUSTICE: JOHN 18:28-19:16

--

The Fourth Nail

--

Were you there when they nailed him to the cross?

Were you there when they nailed him to the cross?

Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

Were you there when they nailed him to the cross?

 

(Silence)

 

O God,

 help us consider how we waver, how we seek to avoid responsibility and to blame others for the injustice in our world.

 

O God,

 do not let us deceive ourselves. Injustice hurts us and creates walls between us and others.

 

O God,

we know too that injustice hurts you.

--

THE NAIL OF CRUELTY: Read John 19:17-30

--

The Fifth Nail

--

Were you there when they mocked the son of God?

Were you there when they mocked the son of God?

Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

Were you there when they mocked the son of God?

--

(Silence)

 

O God,

help us consider how we are cruel to others, how we malign and slander others and add to the evil that comes upon them.

 

O God,

do not let us deceive ourselves. Our cruelty hurts us and creates walls between us and others.

 

O God,

we know too that our cruelty hurts you.

--

THE NAIL OF RELIGIOSITY: John 19:31-42

--

The Sixth Nail

--

Were you there when the darkness covered the land?

Were you there when the darkness covered the land?

Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

Were you there when the darkness covered the land?

--

(Silence)

 

O God,

 help us consider how our narrow minded religious convictions harden our hearts and blinds us to the power of God.

 

O God,

do not let us deceive ourselves. Our religious blindness hurts us and creates walls between us and others.

 

O God,

 we know too that blind religion hurts you.

 

Sermon

Liturgy of the Nails – Part 2

THE RESPONSE:

 Act of Confession (Isaiah 53:4-6)

 

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

 

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

 

Together:

"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

 

RESPONSIVE READING:  Promise of Mercy (Isaiah 53:7-13)

 

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 

 

By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

--

The Seventh Nail

--

He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

 

Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

 

After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

 

Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.

 

For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Hymn – When I survey the wondrous cross

Ndakuqwalasel' ikrusi,

Ekwaxhonyw' eyam iNkosi;

Ndoncama yonk' inzuzo yam,

Ndilidele nekratshi lam.

---

When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss,

And pour contempt on all my pride.

 

Mandingaqhayisi Nkosi,

Kungengay' ikrusi yaKho;

Yonk' imihlal' ekhoyo,

Ndiyincama ngenxa yaKho.

---

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,

Save in the death of Christ my God!

All the vain things that charm me most,

I sacrifice them to His blood.

 

Kha ubone lowo mzimba,

Apho kwampompoz' igazi;

Wakha walubon' uthando,

Luxubene nosizi?

---

See from His head,

His hands, His feet,

Sorrow and love flow mingled down!

Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

 

Zonk' iindyebo endinazo,

Andingenikeli ngazo;

Mandizenze mna idini,

Ndixabise olothando.

---

Were the whole realm

of nature mine,

That were an offering far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Closing Prayers

Lord God, you have given us everything.

You have not held anything back, not even your only begotten son.

 

With humble hearts we thank you.

In new hope we offer to you our every gift and our very selves.

 

Be pleased, O God, in the name of Jesus, to accept all that we offer you.

Look upon the intentions of our hearts. Hear our prayers and in your love answer.

 

(Silence)

 

We ask all these things through him who taught us to pray to you, singing:

 

Our Father, who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy Name.

---

Bawo wethu osezulwini! Ma liphathwe ngobungcwele igama lakho.

 

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

---

Ubukumkani bakho ma bufike. Intando yakho ma yenziwe emhlabeni, Nje ngokuba isenziwa ezulwini.

 

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those

who trespass against us.

---

Ma usiphe namhla nje isonka sethu semihla ngemihla. Usixolele izoono zethu, Nje ngokuba nathi sibaxolela aabo basonayo thina.

 

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

---

Ungasingenisi ekuhendweni; Sisindise enkohlakalweni.

 

For thine is the kingdom,

the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

---

Ngokuba ubukumkani bubobakho, Namandla engawakho, Nobungcwalisa bubobakho, Kude kube ngunaphakade. Amen.

--

(Silence)

 

We depart in silence….


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