Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People April 28, 2019

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Based on Luke 24:13-16, 28-35, meeting Christ on the road to Emmaus.

Receive the offerings we have brought to this place, this day, O God.  We bring them in faith – trusting that you will receive and multiply and spread everything of value which we bring to you in Christ’s name.

After all, how many times, we who follow Christ have been astonished by the blessings that abound in his presence!  When we least expect it, when we least deserve it, or when we find ourselves wandering, farthest from the paths of hope, we who seek to walk with Christ have learned to hope that he may find a way to walk with us, as he did with the disciples on the road to Emmaus long ago.  And where Christ’s life-giving presence walks, hardships and heartaches ease and goodness grows.

We pray that Christ’s presence may be felt today in the troubled areas of the world where peace seems never to take hold, or safety to flourish.  Let the Prince of Peace enter in.  Let eyes, kept from recognizing him and his capacity to establish a reign of grace, be opened to the possibility he brings.  Let Christ walk with them.

We pray for Christ’s presence to be felt today among those who are angry or hurting or ill or lost or defeated.  So many struggle with more than they feel they can handle.   Let the one whose scarred hands heal, touch them and bring the cures which he alone can accomplish.  Let Christ walk with them.

We pray today for Christ’s presence to be felt among us.  Each of us has taken our turn in walking dusty roads we hope will take us away from abandoned hopes, and damaged dreams, and lost causes.   We, too, need the reassurance that we find in Christ’s presence.  Let broken bread, and the splashing of baptismal waters, and hymns sung with earnestness, and prayers uttered in honesty be the occasions for our recognition of Christ, here, in our midst – to set our hearts aflame with hope again.  Let Christ walk with us.

We pray all these things with gratitude for our Messiah – whose Spirit has not, will not, cannot die – but in fact, brings yet more life.  Using now Christ’s eternal words, we pray today, saying together… Lord’s Prayer.

Prayers of the People April 21, 2019

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Based on Luke 24:1-9

Hosanna! The night is over, dear God, and the dawn of new light and life has come.  How awed we are to hear the ancient story this day – that two thousand years ago the earth shook, a stone was rolled away, the tomb that had held your Son was unsealed, and your love was let loose. 

Of course those who had come to Jesus’ tomb that first Easter morning were initially stunned and unsure of how to receive news so astonishing and unexpected.  How could what was dead and lost be restored and raised to new life?  This was too good.  It was just too good.  And so, the women at the empty tomb left the site that first Easter awed, and perplexed.

And often, we are too, God.  We are perplexed about how to respond to all that is broken in our world that we fear is un-mendable – hardships real and deep, losses anticipated, all those things we worry over, and struggle with, and pray about.  But, the empty grave shows us that nothing can entomb your healing and restoring love.  Nothing can seal us off from you.  Your Easter promise of new life extends beyond Jesus’ empty tomb.  It extends across the years and reaches across the miles to us.  And your Easter promise extends even beyond this day of jubilant song and fragrant flowers, extends in fact, through every passing year of our lives, as time draws us all ever closer to you – for you maintain your diligent, loving pursuit of us, always. 

So send us out today, God of Life, with the good news of the resurrection.  Let us run with the message that He is risen!  He is risen, indeed!  If this is news that seems just too good, then let the word pass among us so widely, and so kindly, and so convincingly, that all the world will want to come and see.  For this news is the basis of every real, sustainable hope.  It teaches us that no matter what life deals us, it will not ultimately end in tragedy.  The end, will be surprising, joyous, eternal life, generously offered to all!  We pray in glad gratitude this bright Easter morning, and we sing together now the words that Jesus taught us to use when we pray … Lord’s Prayer.

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