Sermon: Crosses in the Context of the Family – Mark 8:27-38

It is hard to bear your cross, to maintain your identity on the home front. Sometimes I think the great challenge is not “Love your neighbour as yourself”, but actually, “Love your family as yourself.”  Often, we put our best effort to be kind when we have an audience in the wide world. But then we let our guard down and act unlovingly in private. Sometimes we can be people who are model Christians at church and at work, where everyone can see our loving and selfless actions, but when we get home, we act like tyrants…

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Solemn Good Friday Benediction

We have seen our Saviour in chains.
We have seen him crucified.
We have heard his cries
and witnessed his suffering and death.
It is finished.
Go from this solemn service remembering
all that Christ did for you.

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Good Friday Darkness Call to Worship

God of grace,
we have dragged ourselves to church with heavy hearts.
We are reluctant to hear this story of Jesus’ suffering,
and his death on the cross.
We would rather skip this somber day and go straight to Easter.
We long for happy hymns that speak of your victory over death.
But that is not for today.
Help us, today, to stay with Jesus,
to watch as he is handed over and condemned,
to not turn away as he is tortured and killed.
He will love us to the end.
On this day where the sins of the world are gathered,
and the sorrow of a Saviour breaks our hearts,

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Good Friday Prayer of Confession

We come to you, Jesus, burdened with our own sin.
Our own calls for revenge and violence,
which may or may not have included the words, “Crucify, crucify!”
Our own betrayals, with or without the thirty pieces of silver.
Our own denials, whether or not we have heard the cock crowing.
You know the sins we carry, secretly or openly,
the way they crush us, the weight of them.
We bring these to your cross…*

You carry our burdens, Lord.
These, the simplest and gravest of sins,
are magnified into organizations and systems,
amplified in the actions of corporations and governments.
Selfishness, revenge and violence unfold on the largest scale,

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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