We are not eye-witnesses to an event,
as were Mary and the disciples;
we have not journeyed
through a dangerous city
to seek answers or consolation;
we have not seen angels
gathering at the rim of this day,
or wept in the garden this morning
because we could not find Him.
But we are here to attest to a story
that has not lost its power
during twenty centuries
of change and conflict.
We are here because those before us
carried this story
as if it were precious gold;
cherished it as if it were
the key to a hidden wisdom.
Sisters and brothers in Christ,
take your places here today
in celebration and in awe.
What we are about to hear again,
has the capacity to change the world.
Your very presence attests
to the rising up of life
from the tomb of despair,
and to the uncontrollable power of God.
So come, worship and celebrate the eternal name
of the Father,
of the Risen Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
— written by Ann Siddall
In prayer, let us confess to God as a community.
All-powerful and all-glorious God,
We have not been faithful to you in thought, word, or deed;
hear us as we call out to you in our weakness.
We read in Scripture that you are the one true King,
but in our decisions and actions,
we pledge allegiances to lesser kings.
We know that your story
is indeed good news for all humanity,
yet we so often fail to share with others
the reason for the hope that is within us.
Sovereign God, forgive us of our wrongs.
Have mercy on us,
soften our hardened hearts
and reform us by your Holy Spirit,
that together, we may learn to be a blessing to all
with the new life you offer through Jesus Christ, our King,
We pray in the name of the Father,
of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
How can we listen to the stories of those around us?
Who have we have assumed are closed to the story of God?
How would you articulate the gospel and the story of God?
Go out, and make known the mystery of the gospel.
Keep alert and pray at all times.
Draw strength from God’s power
and so, stand firm against all that would corrupt you.
And may God arm you with truth and righteousness;
May Christ Jesus give you words of Spirit and life;
and may the Holy Spirit draw you near to God’s presence
and bless you with honor and grace.
So that you in return, may be truth, hope and grace
to all you meet this week.
Go in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Jocelyn Catterson @ Flickr]