Prayers of the People

Palm Sunday, March 24, 2013
Offered by John W. Vest, Associate Pastor

God of transformation,
we are reminded this day
that Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem
was more than a show,
more than a simple provocation,
more than the beginning of a cute celebration.

It was a signal that things are changing,
an unmistakably potent message to the powers that be
that the world as we know it
is becoming the world as it should be.

It was a radical act of defiance
directed against those in Jesus’ day who wielded power
through violence, oppression, and tyranny.
It is no less radical and no less tame
for those who do the same today.

This simple ride reminds us—
and tells the whole world—
that you are indeed coming to make all things new.
You are coming to turn weapons of war
into instruments of peace.
You are coming to release those
who find themselves in all manners of bondage:
chains of injustice;
chains of addiction;
chains of conformity and apathy.
You are coming to provide for the poor:
food for the hungry
and shelter for the homeless.
You are coming to assure the dignity and equality
of all who are marginalized or oppressed.
You are coming to end violence and divisions,
to provide safe communities
and opportunities for education.
You are coming to offer healing and wholeness,
comfort, consolation, and hope.
You are coming to transform all that we know.
You are coming to save us.

But like humble Jesus riding into town on a lowly colt,
you aren’t coming in grandeur;
you aren’t coming with thunder and lightning;
you aren’t making an epic entrance.
You’re coming through the mystery of love incarnate,
     through your church empowered by your Spirit,
     through lives transformed and inspired,
     through ordinary people like us,
blessed by you to do extraordinary things.

Come, gracious God,
into a world that longs for change,
a world that needs your love,
a world full of your own children,
a world ripe with hope and potential.

Blessed are those who come in your name, O God.
We have come.
We will go.

And now we pray—we pray for your coming kingdom
     emerging all around us,
using the words Jesus taught us:
Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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