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So That We Might Say His Name Forever

April 05, 2018
By Connie Weaver
Several years ago, I encountered an audio version of a Good Friday liturgy out of the Iona Community in Scotland. You may be familiar with Iona, but if not, you may check them out at https://iona.org.uk/. The audio I heard was read in various (and heavily accented!) Scottish voices. I loved it so much that I painstakingly transcribed it from its heavy brogue so that I could have it to keep, and then I posted it on my Facebook page. As you know if you are a Facebook user, there are reminders of “memories” that show up in your newsfeed. This one popped up on Maundy Thursday. What a blessing it was to be reminded of this beautiful liturgy. I wanted to share it with you, as we are moving beyond the celebration of Easter Sunday. Did you know that in the liturgical calendar there are actually seven Sundays of Easter? It’s a season of Easter, leading up to Pentecost Sunday. If this liturgy from the Iona Community touches you, keep it close during this Easter season, as a reminder of how much God has loved you, in Jesus Christ.
 
He will walk, a little in front of us, towards Jerusalem.
He will not be scared, even though we are apprehensive.
If we try to discourage Him, He will recognize the devil in our voice,
And He will tell us so, in no uncertain terms.
Then He will go on again, in faith, towards Jerusalem.

He will walk, a little in front of us, into controversy.
He will not be scared, even though we are apprehensive.
He will argue with the intelligent, contradict the self-assured, embrace the untouchable, 
Upset bank balances by His outlandish behavior in the sanctuary, and weep in public.
Then He will go on, again, in faith, towards a garden. 

He will walk, a little in front of us, into Gethsemane.
He will not be scared, though we are apprehensive.
He will sweat blood and ask God if there is another way, and when God says "No," 

He will take the traitor's kiss, the soldiers' spit, the bile and venom of the princes of religion.
Then He will go on again, in faith, towards the Cross.

He will walk, a little in front of us, towards Calvary.
He will not be scared, no, He will not be scared.
He will feel the pain of wood and nails, but more than this,
He will feel the weight of all the evil, all the malice, 
All the pettiness, all the sin of the world, heaped on His shoulders.
He will not throw off that weight, though He could.
He will not give back evil for evil, return malice for malice,
Take revenge on the petty-minded, or spirit hate on all who have despised and rejected Him.
He will not give back the sin of the world, He will take it away.
Into Death. Into Hell. So that He can lead us into Heaven.
Then He will go on, in faith, towards the Resurrection.

He will walk, a little behind us, through the graveyard,
He will wait until we are sure He has died,
And admit our complicity in His life's ending.
Then He will come up behind us, and say our name, 
So that we can say His, forever. 

John Bell, Iona Community