Most gracious God,
You are with us.
Most holy God,
You are present.
We draw near to You
and you to us.
You hear our hearts.
May we hear yours.
When we are filled with fear,
when grief threatens to overcome,
You groan with us.
You hold us.
As the budding of trees
and the blossoming of wildflowers
give us hope and joy and relief,
You celebrate with us.
With ready minds and trusting hearts,
we call to our community,
we call to You,
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
In the name of the ever-present
God, Immanuel, Spirit.
We invite you to hear from the Gospel of Mark 15: 33-39.
33 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon. 34 At three o’clock Jesus cried
out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which
means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said,
“Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” 36 And someone ran,
filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and
gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see
whether Elijah will come to take him down.”
37 Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.
38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from
top to bottom. 39 Now when the centurion, who stood
facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last,
he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”
The Good News of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
The grass withers and the flower fades,
but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Amen.
Sermon and Reflection
Will you let Jesus, the Messiah, enter your ache this Holy Week?
Where hope feels weary or foolish, will you let God (and others) groan with you and for you?
God, who is faithful,
You came to us,
You live with us.
We reflect this week on the life and gift of Jesus.
We wonder over Your never-failing love.
May Your presence renew hope within us.
May we look upon our city with compassion.
In humility, we will listen.
In service, we will love.
In passion, we will pursue justice.
In boldness, we will stand up.
For we know, oh God,
You have not forsaken us.
Draw us near to You
And bind us eternally.
In the name of the holy and Triune God,
Go in peace, and live the church.
May you find safety and rest this week.
[Photo by Anaïs Duvert]