Good Friday Revisited

My heart was warmed tonight as I read a reflection from a new friend who came to our Good Friday service. These are his thoughts in Bahasa Malaysia from Upacara Tenebrae di BLC. For me, Good Friday has now become an important date for me to seriously be in an environment where I can re-look at myself in the light of the cross and re-look at Christ on the cross and what all that means for the world … thus opening an invitation for a fresh response to his still small voice. I find his voice even in the midst of darkness, shadows, betrayal and ultimately death more life-giving than the prepackaged pumped up Christianity which may have brought me to a certain stage (and cannot me denied or ignored) but right now … even the sound of his breath is more precious than what is offered in the “Pop Christian Market” today. So, when everything is stripped down to the bare minimum on Good Friday, it helps me enter that reality … Anway, here’s Daud’s reflection.

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“Pada hari Jumaat Agung, saya dan beberapa rakan saya menghadiri upacara Jummat Agung di Gereja Lutheran Bangsar. Pada malam itu, buat kali pertama saya menghadiri upacara Tenebrae yang bermaksud bayangan dalam Latin.
Upacara ini diadakan dalam suasana lampu-lampu dimalapkan supaya jemaat dapat memfokuskan kepada 5 lilin yang dinyalakan. Ini untuk menunjukkan suasana hiba dalam memperingati saat-saat Yesus semasa baginda dikhianati, sengsara, kesunyian, penderitaan sebelum kematianNya.
Petikan dari Injil Yahya dibaca (Bab 18 – 19) dan diikuti dengan nyanyian ringkas serta renungan supaya para jemaat dapat membuat refleksi dari bacaan itu.

Inilah kali pertama saya menghadiri upacara tersebut dan saya ingin mahu menghadirinya tahun yang akan datang. Semasa melihat lilin itu terpadam satu persatu, dapat dibayangkan keadaan sewaktu Yesus mengharungi sebelum kematiannya. Lebih-lebih lagi bila lagu hymn yang berjudul “Were You there when they crucify the Lord… it caused me to tremble”. Saya mungkin tidak faham sepenuhnya mahupun dari segi minda mahupun secara emosi penderitaan dan kesengsaraan Yesus. Tetapi suasana yang hiba pada malam itu membuat saya terharu dengan kasih Yesus demi membebaskan umat manusia dari cengkaman dosa. Memang benar Yesus mati disalibkan. Inilah berita yang harus saya beritahu pada semua orang. Walaupun telah banyak kali saya mendengar cerita ini, namun ia tidak pudar ditelan zaman tapi ia membangkitkan and menyentuh hati saya mengenangkan kesengsaraan dan penderitaan Yesus Kristus.

Caravaggio-Michelangelo-Merisi-da-The-Betrayal-of-Christ_smaller.jpg

Pendeta Sivin Kit juga menunjukkan satu portrait yang dihadiahkan oleh kawannya. Pemberian hadian ini amat melucukan. Kononnya portrait ini diberikan kepada Pendeta Sivin selepas kawannya dinasihati oleh pakar Feng Shui untuk tidak menyimpankan portrait dalam pejabatnya. Portrait ini ialah Yesus dikhianati oleh Yudas. Hati saya tersentuh bila pendeta Sivin mengulas dari pemerhatiannya dalam portrait itu. Pendeta menanya sama ada kita mengkhianati Yesus bukan literal tetapi mungkin dari aspek lain. Ia membuat saya merenungi adakah percakapan, perbuatan, permikiran dan sebagainya ialah tindakan mengkhianati Yesus.

Saya ingin berterima kasih kepada Eng Jee, Bob, Kia Meng dan Alvin yang sudi makan malam bersama saya sebelum mneghadiri upacara Jumaat Agung dan supper di OUG.”

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Here’s another one Tenebrae which gives more in English :-) I’m grateful that friends like this are willing to blog about their experience and thus I can be blessed by their reflections. One thing I didn’t manage to do was take some pictures (somehow my camera failed me, maybe batteries are weak or it’s the lense problem again). So, minus the pictures … Read on …
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“My first Lutheran Tenebrae service ever and I liked it. I’ve grown to appreciate all forms of Christian outward expressions of worship and I’ll head to the Syrian Orthodox one day just to experience the richness of our heritage.

For my wife, she’s quite used to such settings having grown up through the 12 Stations of the Cross as a Catholic.

Thanks to Ps. Sivin Kit, Bob, Alvin and Kia Meng for allowing me to participate as a guest.

I was very moved within my spirit towards the end as the candles were snuffed out one at a time as we inched slowly through the passion narrative. Trust the power of the imagination and a very powerful narrative to “speak” into one’s heart and soul. Despite the familiarity of the passage, there was a certain freshness which I cannot objectively describe.

I’m learning to be appreciative of high-church liturgy which are more on the contemplative side. That’s not to say I’m not accustomed to liturgy; even charismatic churches have their “liturgy” – opening prayer, “praise and worship”, Lord’s Supper / Holy Communion / Eucharist, announcements, sermon, benediction… or something like that.

I was again surprised to meet an old college mate, Jaime at BLC. Glad to touch base again face to face after so long.

The post-Tenebrae fellowship at OUG was very rejuvenating. Where else in which circle can one share openly without getting trashed? A safe spot to talk, discuss and disagree civilly. Thanks Steve, Bob, Alvin, Choo Ki, Sivin, Kia Meng and Daud for accepting me and for entertaining the views I bring to the table. However, I still remain steadfast in my understanding of the Great Feast and what it symbolizes as well as the issue of the nature of Christ and the Trinity. Thanks for allowing me this journey of deconstruction… :D

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One Response to Good Friday Revisited

  1. Paul Long says:

    Wish I could have been there!!

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