Father God, you sent your son into the world, not to condemn the world but so that the world may be saved. We thank you for this good news, the center of our faith. We thank you for the freedom to meet here to worship you.
Jesus, life of all the world, source and sum of all creation, we give you thanks and praise for your work in this broken world. Where there is hatred and devastation, even there we see signs of the new world to come. We see pockets of beauty amidst devastation; hear of miraculous escapes from certain death. We see people giving of what little they have to help others. We see people risking their lives to fight against tyranny and even natural disasters as they work to put out fires, hold back floods. We pray that we may continue to see signs of this hope in all the coverage of despair. We pray that you strengthen us to be, in some small way, one of those agents of hope to others.
Jesus, living word we give thanks that you who know our every need, give us life. We give you thanks for all the seemingly ordinary ways in which you bless us every day; for waking up each morning with a whole new day to explore, for our jobs, for an unexpected smile, for chances to get together with friends and loved ones, for the signs of spring after a long winter. We pray that you may help us to be more aware of what we have than what we lack, and give us the strength we need to hold out that focus of hope to those who may have lost sight of spring. While despair can be contagious, so can hope be contagious. Help us to hold on to our hope and spread to those we meet in our daily lives.
We thank you for the freedom, gladness, and truth which allow us to let go of our fears and guilt. Help us to remember that, through Jesus, we have already been forgiven. Help us to forgive ourselves, to let go of all those feelings of not being worthy, of failure, and bask in the freedom that brings. Help us also to extend this forgiveness to anyone who has hurt us or wronged us in any way. Make us open to all people, even those we might normally avoid.
Jesus, life of all the world, you are Lord of every nation; by your Holy Spirit’s power make your Church your incarnation till our lives of truth and grace show our world your human face! Amen
this prayer uses parts of Margaret Clarkson’s hymn Jesus, life of all the world which can be found at 776 in the Book of Praise of the Presbyterian Church in Canada