Like Peter: Following Jesus on Good Friday

I’m working with our worship pastor to shape our Good Friday service. We are using a series of dramatic readings, shaped from the Gospel of John, to tell the story of Christ’s last days. I was looking for a responsive reading that would work well after Peter’s denial of Jesus in John 18:15-27. Despite many online resources, I couldn’t seem to find what I was looking for. So I created something new, borrowing from something old.

This responsive reading is simply built; it’s snippets of conversation between Jesus and Peter, taken from all four gospels. It’s designed so that the congregation walks in Peter’s sandals as he follows Jesus. In one minute, the reading reflects three years of discipleship. I want the congregation to connect with the idea that we are all like Peter. Our lives are full of moments of passionate belief followed by doubt, fear, confusion, and passionate denial. You are welcome to use this as you will.

St. Peter in Penitence, El Greco, 1580s

St. Peter in Penitence, El Greco, 1580s

Leader:     Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.

People:    I will follow you.

Leader:     Who do you say that I am?

People:    You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!

Leader:     No one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father. Will you go away like the others?

People:    Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life.

Leader:     I must wash your feet.

People:    Lord, you shall never wash my feet.

Leader:     If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.

People:    Lord, not just my feet – wash my hands and head too!

Leader:     I must go to Jerusalem, suffer many things, be killed and raised on the third day.

People:    No, Lord! This will never happen to you!

Leader:     If anyone wants to come with me, you must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.

People:    I will follow you. I will lay down my life for you.

Leader:     Tonight all of you will run away because of me.

People:    Even if everyone runs away because of you, I will never run away!

Leader:     Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.

People:    Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!

[pause]

Leader:     Weren’t you with Jesus the Galilean?

People:    I don’t know what you mean.

Leader:     Yes, you are with Jesus of Nazareth!

People:    I don’t know the man.

Leader:     I am sure you are one of his disciples.

People:    I am not!

One thought on “Like Peter: Following Jesus on Good Friday

  1. Powerful piece. I’ve passed it on to our pastor. Once again, I am grateful for unending forgiveness. As Father Richard Rohr says, “God doesn’t love us because we are good. God loves us because God is good.” Blessed Holy Week to you.

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