Sunday, April 22, 2007
Offered by John W. Vest, Associate Pastor
On this bright and warm spring day
we are reminded of the Easter light that fills our world
and fills our hearts.
Lord, we give you thanks for the earth this day,
for this wonderful yet fragile creation
that you perfected in your glory
and entrusted to our care.
Forgive us, God, where we have failed to fulfill this charge,
for the things we have done to cause damage
and the things we have not done to preserve and protect.
Sovereign God, remind us of the web of relations that binds this planet together,
created as a community,
a reflection of the communal love we experience in you.
And even as we are bound together in this circle of life,
so too are we linked by social bonds,
a common race of humanity
seeking your presence and your will,
responding in a multitude of ways to the love you share with us.
This week we are mindful of the violence and evil
that threaten to rip our community apart.
We have seen the sanctuary of education violated at Virginia Tech;
we have seen young lives destroyed before their time;
we have seen humanity demonized and vilified;
we have seen countless deaths across the globe
as wars rage and violence begets violence.
In the midst of all this, gracious God,
we look again for that Easter light.
Just as the sun warms our faces on this beautiful morning
may the light of the risen Christ warm our hearts, minds, and spirits.
May we remember with thanksgiving the many lives that were lost this week.
May we find strength and courage to love our enemies.
May we be granted wisdom to understand that sin and evil corrupts us all
and that we all rely on your grace and mercy.
May Christ’s resurrection remind us that nothing is beyond redemption,
and may we listen for your still, small voice
calling us to play a part in that redemption.
Bind our spirits as one,
in the love of community,
as you created us to be.
Hear us now as we join our voices together,
praying in unison the prayers of our hearts.
God of compassion,
you watch our ways
and weave out of terrible happenings
wonders of goodness and grace.
Surround with a sense of your present love
those who have been devastated by tragedy,
and hold them in faith.
May those who are lost in grief, confusion, and anger
find you and be comforted;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
And now, with the confidence of the children of God,
let us pray together the prayer that Christ teaches us.
Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church