God of life, today we pause to remember the power of death.
Today we tell the story of what happens when someone angers those in power.
Today we tell a story of betrayal by a friend, trial by empire, execution as a way of silencing the one who names injustice.
Today we tell a story that happened long ago in a land far away.
Today we tell a story that continues to happen today in places close at hand.
As we remember the story today help us to see its truth.
As we tell of Jesus' trial and execution remind us of those who are found legally guitly for doing and saying the right things.
AS we tell of the friends who are conspicuously absent from the cross remind us how easily we slip away when the struggle for justice becomes dangerous or challenging.
As we look at the cross remind us of the power of empire in any age, and remind us of our duty as people of faith to proclaim a different empire, a different kingdom, a new way of living together.
God of life, today we pause to remember the power of those in charge to run the world.
But even as we remember that power we remember that day follows night, hope replaces despair, and life will conquer death.
And now, as we prepare to break bread together with our brothers and sisters in faith, unite us in heart and mind.
May the sharing of this story and this meal bring us together in a sincere desire that your Reign of Peace and Justice become a reality “on earth as it is in heaven”.
May the food we will now eat strengthen us in body.
May the fellowship strengthen us in heart and mind.
And may we leave this gathering ready to challenge the empires of our world, even if such a challenge leads us to a cross outside the city gates.
We pray in the name of the one who taught us all to pray together,
Our Father, who art in heaven...