The weight of pain, brokenness, despair and grief is profound after yet more bombings and killings in Brussels, Belgium, the almost obscenely routine massacres in Syria, Iraq, Sudan, the murders and kidnaps in Columbia, Mexico, the corruption and destruction of trust and order in too many countries to name on most continents of our shared, damaged yet inherently beautiful and wonderful world.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
by your cry of desperate honesty,
rid us of superficial faith
which is afraid of the dark and lonely times.
Help us to persevere through the darkness
so that we might discover profound joy,
give us, when we need it,
the courage to doubt,
to rail against heaven
until we know we are heard.
We do not ask for easy answers to hard times;
there are many who offer these.
We ask for a sense of your presence:
that will be enough
to let us know
that we do not walk or cry alone;
that will enable us to go through the dark
and find light again in the morning.
When we close our eyes to what we deem to be too unpleasant and disturbing,
Lord, have mercy. Awake us and disturb us.
In the name of “compassionate Conservatism” the government in the UK for 6 years has been seeking to balance the books of the country by removing support for many who are ill and disabled while giving tax breaks to the rich and multinational companies. Over 50 people have committed suicide as a result of these policies. We give thanks for those Christian leaders, charities and individuals who are finally forcing a halt to even more severe cuts.
When we close our eyes to the complexities of various situations and injustices being done in our name, Lord, have mercy. Awake us and disturb us and move us to action.
In thanksgiving we applaud the generosity of so many, often those with little to spare, who still share of what they have with others in great need. We give thanks for the thawing of relations between the USA and Cuba. We continue to pray for right relationships between them and for so many other countries in similar stand-offs. We give thanks for continuing support given to refugees fleeing genocide and war in the Middle East. We pray for wisdom and discernment along with a compassionate heart where families are divided by such mass migration. Assuage the fear kindled and promoted by so many in power seeking to divide and rule while keeping those of us in the first world, so much more comfortable and richer often at the expense of those in less advantaged countries struggling to survive and provide for their families. We pray for justice and equity for all in financial, trade and political agreements and not merely provide for the supra-national companies who increasingly seem to be above all aspects of the law governing the rest of humanity.
When we close our eyes to the complexities of various situations and injustices being done in our name,
Lord, have mercy. Awake us and disturb us and move us to action.
On Good Friday, Jesus said nothing in self-defence.
He took the insults,
the spit on the face,
the thongs on the back,
the curses in the ears.
He took the sight of his friends turning away,
Only the women remained with him …
He let them do their worst
until their worst was done,
as on Friday they ended it all…
and would have finished themselves
had he not cried,
‘Father, forgive them…’
Father God, through your Holy Spirit, help us live our lives in the knowledge that – because of Good Friday and Jesus’s resurrection on Easter morning – death is “a birthplace”.
As we pass towards the joy of Easter, let us remember this is only possible because Your Son, the Christ, accepted to go through the abandonment and hellish degradation and suffering of Good Friday. We so glibly and joyfully sing the Easter hymns but rarely pause to reflect on the profound cost and transformation this engenders for each one of us. So when we are cast down and feel nothing is going to plan, the world is going down the plughole, people are selfish, arrogant, self-seeking and so much more. Stop us, Lord. Hold a mirror up before us. Don’t let us turn aside into comforting platitudinous piety, but help us to confront ourselves and the evil we perpetrate and perpetuate.
Lord, have mercy. Awake us and disturb us. Move us to live out our prayer.
Raise us from greed to generosity
Raise us from falseness to friendship
Raise us from death to life.
Lead us from death to life
From the death of disease to the life of wholeness
From the death of despair to the life of hope
From the death of the body to the life of resurrection.
By your holy spirit help us to be channels of your love and grace for the world in which you have placed us. For on Easter morning, Jesus arose having conquered death. ALLELUIA! HE IS RISEN INDEED!