Based on Luke 13:31-35
An amazing grace flows lavishly into our lives by your hand, loving God. And we are humbled and grateful for every way it has come – and especially for its offer to us through Christ. Whenever we gather to recall his work among us, we are mindful of his astonishing and gracious generosity. He gave his concern, his guidance, his protection, even his life, for us. Today we give a portion of our own treasure in response. Use our offering, we pray, to spread your grace beyond our walls – beyond our families and friends – into those hurting and broken places most in need of it.
Like all those who strive to be Christ’s followers today, we call ourselves Christians, hoping that as we claim his name, so we will live as he lived and love as he loved – with some of the same amazing self-abandonment. Help us to grow to share the breadth of Christ’s concerns, the depth of his compassion, the strength of his commitments, the selflessness of his service. Let us be especially mindful to spread our concern today, God, to our brothers and sisters in Christchurch, New Zealand, as they struggle to heal from the unthinkable gun violence that took so many innocent lives last week.
Whenever, wherever the foxes prowl threateningly, let us meet the danger as Christ did – by standing firm, with a protective instinct that never abandons our responsibilities to those less capable, less self-sufficient. Enable us to meet these challenges by trusting in your strength, God, as greater than our own. Borrowing that strength, let us bravely offer care and compassion, despite the cost and inconvenience, to any who would otherwise face the foxes alone and ill-equipped.
And help us to see that we, too, are held, no matter what our age or our place or our life circumstance, beneath Christ’s protective wings. Let his spirit go with us from this place today, giving us courage and commitment for whatever we must face. Send us out with the knowledge that just as you, O God, bet on Christ to defeat the fox, Herod, so you are counting on us, to prevail over anything that threatens the spread of the amazing grace and the sheltering love which Christ bestows upon the world.
We pray in the memory of the one who gathered us selflessly, protectively to himself, and who stands with us yet, as we say together now the words he taught us … Lord’s Prayer.