Sunday 9th April 2017 – Palm/ Passion Sunday

Son of David,

You are welcomed

with shouts of praise,

songs of wonder,

and garments strewn to prepare the path of entry

to the Holy City.

You are welcomed

for the stories You will tell

that create a world of compassion

and equilibrium

for all to find their place within.

You are welcomed

as the healing You offer

transforms the lives of those

who have been burdened and excluded.

You are welcomed,

and yet it is Your welcome

that has made place and space

so that are included

in the heavenly procession.

 

The path You have worn,

Christ of Crowds

is not an easy path to walk,

and at time the branches of temptation have wound themselves

around the plans and relationships

we meet.

In sorrow we call to mind the places we have tripped

and in our hurt

have scarred and marked

those who would walk with us.

 

Welcoming Spirit,

You call us back to the crowd,

and restore us for the task of serving in Your name.

Amen

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Sunday 13th April 2014 – Palm/Passion Sunday A (5)

Lord of humility,

Being part of the crowd on Palm Sunday

is full of cheering and celebration.

It reminds us of bathing in the joy

of family gatherings and community events.

Crowds are often full of fun and cheerful conversation,

from the excitement of a concert or parade

to the time spent sharing stories

with those we haven’t seen for years.

 

Yet cheering crowds

can also be jeering crowds

and as we wander through the anguish, anger, hurt and guilt

of Your journey to the cross,

we take time to remember

the people and situations

where crowds are not always full of friends,

but instead hostile and uncomfortable.

 

We pray for those who are the casualties of war:

for those who do not understand the anger of the crowd

and the marching feet of soldiers;

for men and women who wait at home

uncertain if a loved one will return;

for children who will not know their parents;

for towns torn apart

by political divide.

Beyond the fear of the present time,

may they know Your peace in their lives.

 

We pray for those who are in prison:

for those who listened to the voices of the crowd

and found themselves in unanticipated situations;

for those who did not follow the crowd

and stand in opposition to the views

of their communities and governments.

Behind the walls and doors that trap them,

may they know Your justice seeking the best for all.

 

We pray for those who feel that they are watching

the crowds enjoy life,

while they stand and watch but cannot take part.:

for those who are bereaved

and feel that no-one understands;

for the sick and the housebound

who find their circumstances separate them from others.

for the homeless

who long for a place of shelter.

Remove the shells they have created

so that all may know

the love and security You offer.

 

Lord,

may our prayers be more that words,

but a reminder of Your invitation

to walk with Your crowd

and touch the lives of other in Your name.

Amen.

 

Sunday 13th April 2014 – Palm/Passion Sunday (3)

I’m looking at past material for this week, and I think that this is mostly mine.   If you spot bits of yours know that I am thankful for your inspiration.

 

Lord of waving branches

and paths strewn with the cloak of burden cast aside,

You ride into each moment of creation

and the world around responds to your presence.

With song and dance,

cheering and merriment

the waiting throng

receives the wash of Your love

as Your wander in the midst.

With story You revitalise.

With healing touch

You revive.

In silence

You embrace the inner fears and doubts.

In this moment

Your presence enlivens us

to be bold and spirited

in living out our faith in You.

 

Lord of the waving branches

while here in the crowds

we enjoy the humour and delight of Your presence,

Your story reminds us

that You are the one

who invites us to cast the cloak of burden aside

and instead allow You to share with us the fears,

worries

and anger.

 

For you are the Lord

who threw over the tables in Your frustration

that advantage was being taken.

Forgive us when we take advantage of others

because of their age or lack of experience.

 

You are the Lord

who humbled himself

to take on the burden of humanity.

Forgive us our pride.

 

You are the Lord

who was scourged, mocked and scorned.

Forgive us when we become frustrated with people around us

and fail to allow them courtesy for their failings.

 

You are a loving God,

who knows our weaknesses and our failings.

In the light of Your love

You offer us Your mercy and forgiveness.

 

Sunday 24th March 2013 – Palm/Passion Sunday C (4)

Lord of conversation,

in the prayers of life

we are drawn into a dialogue with You

as You encourage us

to root our knowledge of Your world

in the understanding of Your love.

Prayer foes not come easy to us all,

and so we thank You

for those who have made space

in their lives

to support and nourish the life of the church

and of individuals

as they build a relationship

of conversation with You.

 

Weeping over Jerusalem

and all that would lie ahead on Your last journey,

You lay before us

an example for our prayers.

For in Your prayers

the story of the need for peace;

the care of those who surround;

and the needs of Your own life

are each afforded time

and words and mediation.

 

So this morning

we weep for cities in conflict;

for places where dictators hold power,

and people feel the weight of oppression;

for those who feel they have no voice.

 

We weep for the economies of our world

as budgets bring further hardship and crisis;

where businesses can see no future

and ordinary people feel disadvantaged

and abused by financial policies.

 

We weep for countries where weather

can devastate life;

for those within the UK

who find this colder time a hardship;

and those beyond our seas,

whose homes and livelihoods are devastated

by conditions that destroy

livelihood and habitat.

 

We weep for the unwillingness of the Christian church

to recognise the similarities that unite

and instead the delight

in the divisions and anger

that thrive in our differences.

 

May the tears we weep in Christ’s name

offer the opportunity for hope

to grow in all life.

Amen.