Good Friday, April 6, 2007
Offered by John M. Buchanan, Pastor
Holy and merciful God, how could we be anywhere but here this evening? Some of us are drawn by music composed to express our human response to the mystery of love that suffers and dies. Some of us have come to confess our complicity, our involvement, our responsibility for the death of your Son. Some of us have come because over the years we have needed to be in church on this day. And some of us have come to say thank you for what is good about this Good Friday.
O God, gather up all of our reasons, all of us, in your great love.
We thank you, O God, for all the blessings of our life, for the love of friends and family, for a beautiful world coming to life again, for art and music to express our deepest gratitude.
We thank you for our nation, and we ask you to be with and bless the men and women of our armed services this evening.
We thank you for your church, holy, catholic, which today, all over the world, remembers the tumultuous events of this day. Bless your church, O God; make it an instrument of the love and reconciliation and hope for which our Lord—its Lord—lived and died.
O God, we pray for peace: for the peace of the world, for peace wherever there is violence and war—in Iraq, Iran, in Israel and Palestine.
We pray for our peace, for peace that passes understanding, for peace of heart that knows that, in your love, there is no reason to be afraid.
We pray, O God, for all those who suffer this evening. Be with the poor and oppressed, be with the sick and lonely, the frightened and bereaved. Surround them, this night, with your healing, encouraging love.
O God, as we stand beneath the cross of Jesus, kindle in each of us new faith, new love, new courage, new resolve to live lives worthy of the love given to us in Jesus and bring us through the dark night of suffering and death to be light and joy and hope of the resurrection.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church