Gary Phillips, the pastor of Salem United Methodist Church where our family participates, has invited members of the congregation to offer daily prayers during April as part of the church website. I was asked to offer the prayer on this Good Friday. You may access the video of the prayer here: http://www.salemumcsc.com/
I offer the printed prayer as follows:
Loving and Eternal God, in the Crucified Jesus, you entered the depth and breadth of the world’s suffering and brokenness and into humanity’s sin and frailty. On the cross, you took on the principalities and powers of sin and death with courage, humility, and boundless love.
You responded to hatred, violence, and bigotry with compassion and forgiveness. You met the abuse of power by religious and political leaders with the power of love. Amid the anguish and pain, you reached out to a dying malefactor with the promise of paradise; you cared for your grieving mother; and you endured abuse and cruelty with magnanimity.
O Crucified Christ, remind us
- that no suffering is so traumatic that it cannot be redeemed
- that our deepest loneliness is known by you
- that no sin is so horrible but that you can forgive
- that our death has been swallowed up in your victory
- that you are with us through the dark valley of grief and loss
We praise you, O God, that in Christ Jesus you have defeated the powers of sin and death and opened to us a new future
- where love reigns supreme,
- justice and truth prevail,
- hope vanishes despair and,
- life outlasts death.
Through the presence and power of your Holy Spirit, create in us the mind that was in Christ Jesus and enable us to follow him with devotion and faithfulness.
In his name we offer our prayer. Amen