I choose the seat next to Christ, the one who makes all life holy. I choose to breathe the breath of Christ that offers grace to the world. I choose to live the flesh of Christ that outlasts sin’s decay. I choose the blood of Christ to flow in my veins and within my heart. I choose the living waters flowing from his side to wash me and the world clean. I choose the agony of Christ to charge my senseless sorrows with meaning and make my pain pregnant with power. During this time of sitting in your presence, keep me from the core of myself. I choose you, good Jesus, good Lord, Good Shepherd. Count me among the victories you have won. Even though the world may fail, I will choose to be seated with you, my Saving Grace. Amen.
Gracious God, when everything was dark and it seemed that the sun would never shine again, your love broke through. Your love was too strong, too wide, too deep for death to hold. The sparks cast by your love danced and spread and burst forth with resurrection light. We praise you for the light of new life made possible through Jesus. We praise you for the light of new life that shone on the first witnesses of resurrection. We praise you for the light of new life that continues to shine in our hearts today. We pray that the Easter light of life, hope and joy, will live in us each day; and that we will be bearers of that light into the lives of others. Amen.
We ask for your presence with all families in our communities. We ask for loving, strong bonds between the children, teenagers, and adults. We pray that each branch of family would demonstrate love for one another. We ask for healthy, thriving relationships between neighbors. We pray different cultures will understand and care for one another. We pray that the diversity of Your people will be celebrated by all. We ask for flourishing communities, where neighbors learn to love each other and come to know Jesus. We pray that we can be good stewards of Your love to each one of our neighbors. We ask that You help us to learn from our community as we seek to offer a place where all are welcomed and blessed. Amen.
God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within our heart. Bless us with discomfort at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace. Bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war, so that we may reach out our hand to offer comfort turning their pain to joy. And bless us with a desire to rise up and believe that we can make a difference in the world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done, to bring love and kindness to all people in our community and beyond. Amen
Lord, thank you for understanding me, just as I am. Thank you for accepting me even when I am a hopeless case. Perfect people in a perfect world have no need of your gift of hope. With my eyes on you, I want to see life as you see it. I don’t want to waste time being negative, focusing only on what can’t be or might change. Teach me how to find contentment even in these times of discontentment. With your perspective, we can all push past the impossible and find the courage to believe, that no matter what happens, your hope will lift your church to a higher place. In the precious name of your Son, Jesus, Amen.