Christ, risen and seen.
Christ, known and revealed.
We approach the tomb,
expecting the stone to be immovable,
expecting to greet death and disappointment again.
Instead, like lightening,
you become a living testimony
to the life-giving power of God.
Instead, you uttered the words “do not be afraid,”
and peace came.
Instead, the rolled back stone
disclosed grace instead of the grave,
every tomb now trembling
with the possibility of your presence.
Divine love, no longer concealed,
earth dusted with glory,
lake and cloud, bluebell and budding maple,
each aglow in a haze of holiness.
“The whole wide world
pours down” (William Stafford) restoration
and “we awake eternally” (John Donne).
Your presence sticks to us,
just as spring mud sticks to our boots,
the earth thick with the weight of glory.
In this way, we trust you.
We bring to you now “the many anxieties
that sweep over life like the tides of the sea,
the biting necessities…
gutted dreams” (Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart).
In all this, draw near.
In all this, draw near.
In trust, we ask that you bend
over the body of the one
in need of mending,
that you issue the intimacy
of healing touch,
that you hear their cry,
our cry for relief, mitigation,
freedom, respite, comfort, calm.
In your message of radical love,
a love that has, in every season,
turned the world upside down,
we know that you call for peace not war,
gardening tools not weapons,
reconciliation not retribution.
Be within us, within Ukrainian battle fields,
within communities and households
held hostage by violence, trauma, hardship.
Be within hospitals still weighted down by shortages,
calling back even 79 year old nurses
from retirement to cover the impossible.
Be, too, within the mystery of what comes next.
We know you call us to action.
We know we owe one another our humanity.
We know our whole bodies are called to
“turn on the siren of our inner ambulance and go serve somebody” (Claudio Carvalhaes).
You call us toward, not away from the “pain of the world,
thick with loss, confusion and fear” (Carvalhaes).
Even when we are frightened,
even when life is unprecedented,
even when something unforeseen upends
what we thought was possible,
send us out into the wounded world
alive with the possibility of resurrection,
primed, prepared, ready to love.
Make way, O God, and hear us
as we pray the prayer Jesus teaches us saying…