God of grace,
we come together on this somber day with heavy hearts.
We are reluctant to hear this story of Jesus’ suffering,
we would rather skip this and go straight to Easter,
to hear the happy songs and rejoice about your victory over death.
But that is not for today.
Help us, now, to stay with Jesus;
to feel with him as he is betrayed, rejected,
to watch as he is condemned, tortured and killed
because of his love for all humankind.
Thank you for the gift of your son,
which you freely gave,
even though you knew how he would be received.
Be with us now, in this hour of worship. Amen