As we walk the road toward Easter, we see earthly kingdom powers closing in on Jesus. As we walk the road toward Easter, we feel the viral spread of anxiety closing in on our lives.
We are worried and afraid.
Make us ready to go with Jesus. Give us the courage of the disciples to follow him. Give us the confidence of Martha to name his power. Give us the trust of Mary to share our grief with him. Give us the vulnerability of Jesus to shed our tears, trusting he weeps with us.
O God, we have come to meet you this day. We carry the weight of our lives, our troubles, and our responsibilities. Help us to know that you see us and all we carry. Help us to put it all down long enough to listen. Help us to set it all aside long enough to hear. Speak to us in living words. Quench our thirst with living water. Hold us all with living love. Amen.
One: When the psalmists did not know what to say, they built pauses into their prayers with the word “Selah.” (Say-lah.) As we enter a time of prayer, we will mark our silences with the same word. Selah. Many: Selah.
(a time of silence)
One: Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Many: It is a good feeling to be forgiven, to know God cares for us enough to take care of everything.
One: Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. Many: When we have done things well, God can see it. When we have been honest, God will know.
One: While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. Many: O God, you knew all the things on my mind, but they still weighed heavily on me.
One: For day and night your hand was heavy upon me. My strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Many: I can’t hide things from you. I don’t know what else to say.
One: And so we say it together. All: Selah
(A time of silence.)
One: Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity. Many: I opened my heart to you, Lord.
One: I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” Many: I did confess. I do confess.
One: And you forgave the guilt of my sin. All: Selah
(A time of silence.)
One: Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Many: It feels good to be forgiven.
One: God hears our prayers and forgives us. This is the Good News that brings new life. All: We thank God for it.