CALL TO WORSHIP & OPENING PRAYER
From the busy-ness of our lives we have come here on a day that is different.
In the midst of the world which holds the promise of spring and new life, we have come to share a story of betrayal and execution.
Come and hear the tale, come and share the tragedy, come and embrace the darkness.
God of Light, God of Shadow, in our time together today,
keep us aware of your presence in the darkness,
help us to see meaning in this terrible story,
and keep the fire of hope alive in our hearts.
This we pray in the name of the man from Nazareth, the one who lived with a great Passion for your Way, the one whose death is nigh, the one who taught his friends to pray saying...
PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God of Passion, on this day of betrayal and death,
we remember those times we have been part of the crowd seeking our best interest over what is right and good.
God of Fidelity, on this day of fear and denial,
we remember those times when we choose the path of safety over loyalty to your Way.
God of Constant Presence, on this day of despair and loss,
we remember the ways we have wandered away from your presence, only to complain that we are abandoned.
God of the Cross, for all the ways we have missed the mark, all the ways we have come up short,
forgive us. Through your Grace bring us back into relationship. Help us find the path again.
...time of silent prayer...
Even in the face of betrayal and rebellion, even in the face of death and denial, even in the face of fear and despair, God's Grace knows no bounds. We ARE forgiven, we ARE called back into relationship, we ARE set back on the path that leads to the Realm of God.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
The story has been told, and now we return to the world where we live and wait.
The worship is over?
No, the worship continues while we wait and watch. Our worship will close after the stone has been removed and the flame of hope has been re-lit.
So we go out to wait, we watch for the hope that defies despair, the life that defies death, the beginning that defies the end.
While we wait, while darkness covers the land of faith, remember that no matter how abandoned we may feel we are not alone.
God has not and will not abandon us. Thanks be to God. Amen.