Holy Week Reflections: Good Friday

Our Holy Week reflections have been prepared by the Rev Dr Kathy Galloway

Holy Week…
comes to gather us around the one true holy place of the Christian religion, Jesus himself, displayed to the world as the public language of our God, placarded on the history of human suffering that stretches along the roadside.
This is a week for learning not management, bargaining and rule-keeping, but naked trust in that naked gift.
(Rowan Williams)

I read these words of Rowan Williams’ some years ago. Since then, I have often thought about them. What is the public language of our God saying to us; what is Jesus saying to us, especially in this year of global health crisis and its resulting physical distancing for most of us, exhausting work and risk for some, and great loss and tragedy for others? These reflections take as their starting point a verse or two from the gospel reading for each day of Holy Week from the Revised Common Lectionary.

Click below for the audio-visual recording read by Kathy:

One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?”

Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed. John 18,26-27

On this day, we gather around Jesus, in whose body is named all the violence of the world. Human suffering cries out to us in many forms; for me, it is summed up at the gates of a refugee camp I visited a few years ago, where nothing since has got better, and everything has got worse-more crowded, more squalid, more dangerous. I am both implicated and powerless in its face.

On Friday we mark the plastered walls

and post our stations of our own world’s agony.

There is no escaping history –

futile to try, we carry it in our bones –

but looking it in the eye is hard, and so

we squint from under lowered lids,

speak words dredged from our own infidelities,

fall silent mostly

and hope beyond all reason

to find some coat-tails of love to hang on to

before they whisk out of the door for good.


Lord Jesus,
In your own body you took upon yourself
the invisibility of all who are crucified
by war, disease, poverty, oppression and fear
and you made it visible.
When we would rather turn our faces away,
draw us by your love
and give us your courage
to confront all that denies life
and to bear witness to your living hope.

A full list of all Holy Week Reflections is available here: https://wellingtonchurch.co.uk/category/holy-week-reflections-2020/

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