Pause

In sadness or celebration — know and believe that you are loved by God.

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Listen

The Jewish leaders cried out, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

Pilate responded, “What? Do you want me to crucify your king?”

“We have no king except the emperor,” the chief priests answered. Then Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified.

The soldiers took Jesus prisoner. Carrying his cross by himself, he went out to a place called Skull Place (in Aramaic, Golgotha). That’s where they crucified him—and two others with him, one on each side and Jesus in the middle. Pilate had a public notice written and posted on the cross. It read “Jesus the Nazarene, the king of the Jews.”

John 19:15-19

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Think

It is not only okay to grieve, but we must also be given room to grieve for as long as we need to.

Too often when we are struggling, society tells us that we should hurry up and “get over it” or “move on.” We want to get to the hope of Easter Sunday while as quickly as possible getting over the despair of Good Friday. As tempting as it may be, we must resist the urge to gloss over the death.

We must take time to grieve death and despair that exists in our own lives.

We must take time to acknowledge the death and despair that others experience around us.

And we must take time to confess the ways in which we participate in death and despair in the world.

So wherever our grief may reside: let's commit to staying with it as long as we need, and when the time is right, we can move into a more hopeful space — but only when the time is right.

Bruce Reyes-Chow

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Pray

God, I am thankful for the room you provide for me to sit with my grief. Be with me, comfort me, make yourself known to me. And in your time, beckon me towards your hope and joy. Amen.

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Go

Go forth into the world with justice and compassion in your heart.

Give voice to the silent.
Give strength to the weak.
Hear one another.
See one another.
Care for one another.
And love one another.

It’s all that easy.
And it’s all that hard.

Bruce Reyes-Chow

Bruce Reyes-Chow is one of the pastors at First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto (CA), a Senior Coach with The Center for Progressive Renewal, father to three children, cuddler with three dogs, and sideline cheerer for youth soccer.

Let It Go

Mark Hayes

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