Thursday, April 17, 2014

Prayers at the Foot of the Cross (2014 edition)

God of hope, God of promise, God of light
on this day we gather to hear a story that speaks of hopes dashed,
promises left unfulfilled,
of death and darkness crushing life and light.
Today we remember a betrayal,
a trial,
a conviction,
an execution.
We remember that when one speaks out against the powerful there is often a price.
We remember a story that took place long ago in a far away land.
And yet....

Today we remember that crosses and injustices are not only a distant reality.
We remember that the world still strikes back against visions that,
somehow, are “not right”.
And so...

As we remember the old story today, help us also to hold in our prayers:
those who are punished for doing or saying the right things,
those who are condemned and rejected for being who You have made them to be,
those whom the world has called expendable, whom Jesus calls “the least of these”,
the ones we are called to serve, to protect, to nurture – as if they were Christ staring at us.
As we recall the powers of the world, may we always remember those who are crushed by that power
...time of silent prayer...

God of life and death, God of hope in despair, God of light in the darkness,
today as we tell the story, may we be reminded of its truth.
Today as we hear again of how few remained to watch at the cross,
may we be challenged to think of when we take the easier road.
Today as we hear the anguished words “it is finished”,
may we remember that it is not finished,
may we remember that as people of faith, people who follow the one on the cross,
we have a duty and a calling to share and preach his vision of a world transformed,
to pray and yearn and work for the day when the Kingdom is full and real around us.
And accordingly...

Even as we mark the darkness falling on this day, in this moment,
remind us of the hope and mystery that:
light replaces darkness,
hope defeats despair,
and life conquers death.
As we await the dawning of a new day, may we be filled with the passion of Jesus of Nazareth,
the passion for a world that could be so much more than it is.
And, filled with that passion, may we live it out in our daily lives,
willing even to risk a cost equivalent to a cross outside the city gates.
We pray in His name.

Monday, April 14, 2014

For April 20, 2014 -- Easter Day

Have you heard!?
Heard what?
The Great Exciting News from the women who went to the tomb!!
Tell us!
The Tomb is Empty! Christ is Risen!
Good News Indeed! HALLELUJAH!!!
This is the day that God has made.
We will rejoice and give thanks.

God of New Life, we gather to hear again the amazing news.
A story of hope over despair, light over dark, life over death.
God who shakes the ground on which we stand, we gather to ask ourselves what it means.
With fear we ponder the news that the world has been changed, yet we hear Your voice saying “Do not be afraid”.
God of Easter, in this time together,
fill us with hope,
remind us of the promise of life,
fill us with the songs of Good News.
And then when we leave this place,
may we be ready to shake the ground with words of hope,
may we be able to see angels around us bringing Good News,
may we be bold enough to sing and shout our praises to the world.
Christ is Risen!
Christ is Risen indeed! Hallelujah!

The earth has been shaken, the stone has been rolled away, the Good News has been shared.
The one who had been executed has been raised. Life and hope win out!
In the midst of our fear we have heard words of hope:Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised
Having heard the Good News we go out into the world,
to share the promise of Resurrection, to bring news that death has been defeated.
In the name of the God who created and re-creates us,
In the name of the Risen One who sets us free,
In the name of the Spirit that blows in and through us,
we live in God, who gives us life, and that in abundance.
This is the day that God has made.
We will rejoice and be thankful.
Christ is Risen.
Christ is Risen indeed. Hallelujah!

Christ Candle Responses for the Easter Season (2014)

As the first rays of dawn spread across the sky, shining in the empty tomb, revealing the wonder of resurrection,
so may the glory of resurrection shine in our hearts, souls and faces, revealing hope and promise to the world around us.