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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Good Friday, April 10, 2020  

Today’s Hymn

They crucified my Lord, and he never said a mumbalin’ word;
they crucified my Lord, and he never said a mumbalin’ word.
Not a word, not a word, not a word.

They nailed him to a tree, They pierced him in the side,
The blood came trickalin’ down, and he never said a mumbalin’ word.
Not a word, not a word, not a word.

He bowed his head and died, and he never said a mumbalin’ word;
he bowed his head and died, and he never said a mumbalin’ word.
Not a word, not a word, not a word.

“They Crucified My Lord,” African American spiritual
Hymn 219, Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

Reflection
“They Crucified My Lord” is a Gospel spiritual that reminds us of the power of words, words spoken and unspoken. In the Gospel of Luke, we learn that Jesus did speak five times as he faced death on the cross, but he never mumbled. Three times he spoke of forgiveness, kindness, and love. Twice he spoke to God. As Jesus moved along the Via Dolorosa on that Good Friday, he clearly experienced physical and mental pain, but he never lost sight of God’s presence, his obedience to God, and the human need for this sacrifice.

Christians today sometimes experience physical and mental suffering, and our humanness wants us to whine and find relief. Salvation in Christ and the gifts of the Holy Spirit do not keep us from suffering; rather salvation and the Holy Spirit sustain our faith and help us stand up through suffering. Jesus taught us how to live with hardships.

How fragile we are. During the illness and death of beloved family members, I was overwhelmed with sadness and felt adrift—some days I still feel adrift. It can seem that the whole world is crashing down around me. In prayer, I think of Jesus on that Good Friday. I am reminded to be present in the here and now, to put my anxieties aside, and in my poor human way to try to emulate Jesus, to find ways to show love to others. Giving to others makes us grateful, and being grateful makes us happy.

Prayer
Gracious God, when it seems like the world is falling down, remind us of your presence. Help us breathe in your Holy Spirit and follow the ways of your beloved Son, the Risen Christ. Amen.

Written by Hope Daniels, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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