Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013
Offered by Joyce Shin, Associate Pastor
Almighty God, you continue to amaze us. We wonder how reality can be so different today than it was yesterday. And yet it is. We thought Jesus died and descended into hell; you raised him from the dead so that he could ascend to heaven. When our Lord was crucified, we gave up on the possibility of justice; now we understand that your goodness exceeds justice; you offer us mercy and forgiveness. We thought we would feel lonely in his absence, but instead we are held in the company of his church. We thought we would never overcome grief, but on this day you have turned sorrow into joy and weeping into singing.
Hear, O God, our song, and let your whole world hear it too, for there is much trouble in our lives and in your world. Let those who have seen war in their lands and know violence on their streets and abuse in their homes hear the song we sing. Give them reason to hope. Assure them that every piece of wreckage may in time become a work of wonder.
Let those who think your world to be a stingy place, a place where second, even first, chances are absent, hear of your love, so generous, so abundant.
Let those who are have been kept down and those who have been excluded hear about your fierce loyalty to them.
Let those who have known only hard places in their lives hear that you rolled away the stone from Jesus’ tomb, opening the way to new life, and that you made water to flow from rock.
Let those who are tired and depleted be rejuvenated in body and mind and mostly in spirit.
We pray, O Lord, for all who are too tired, too hopeless, too despairing to sing of this good news. For them, Lord, put us to work, for we want our labors of love and the service of our hands to mend your world until all your children sing. Until that day, may we count nothing too small to do for you, nothing too much to give, and nothing too hard to bear.
In the name of your Son Jesus Christ, who goes before us to the cross and into new life, we pray these things and the prayer he taught his disciples to say: Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church