By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Today’s prayer was originally written for the week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2006 and can be sung, even, to the tune of ‘Auld Lang Syne.’ It leans on the story of Jesus, especially Jesus’ call for peace, justice, healing, and new life. 

The story-centered-ness of this prayer reminds me of what it felt like to experience Holy Week online this year. For our Maundy Thursday service, Alyssa and Miya performed The Pieta which took my breath away. At the time I could still hardly imagine we were going to have to livestream Easter worship instead of being together: everything felt unthinkable. The chaos of illness and death from the coronavirus was still mounting. All the while the story of Jesus’ last week was pointedly lifting up the way Jesus stood up to the Roman and religious authorities who did not side with those who were suffering, poor, outcasts in need of healing, reconciliation, resources, and hope. The song our soloists sang that night is a story of lament that met us where we were, not just with its haunting melody but with its words of anguish. 

Prayer is always attuned to stories, especially the stories of our own lives, but often our sacred stories too. We pray the story of Jesus’ life, we pray the story of God’s love, and we pray the story of our own lives all in an attempt to draw near to God, to allow God to transform us, to allow God’s story to enter our own. 

May today’s prayer echo Jesus story, and meet you where you are today, (and may the melody ‘Auld Lang Syne’ echo too).

Let us pray:

As Jesus prayed,
So let us live
Enfolded hand in hand
Encouraging and cherishing,
For peace is your command.

As Jesus lived
So let us act
In anger but in love,
O’returning bitter tables,
Giving justice space to move.

As Jesus acted,
Let us heal
The wounds within our touch
And call the spirit’s power down
For pain that seems too much.

As Jesus healed, let us receive
A new life here and now
Fulfilling every hope and dream,
Release from hatred’s vow.
—David Coleman, Scottish Environmental Chaplain