Living Word, who speaks creation into existence We are tired of hearing condemnation from every angle. Gently awaken us to listen for the one Voice that gives life. Fill us with what we need to carry into the course of this day. Help us to listen to one another more than we speak. Rather than increasing any conflict, make the words you speak through us create understanding. Multiply opportunities to experience emerging justice through the power of your mercy. Amen. Psalm 29:4
Living God, who raises all to new life, Slow us in these moments, turn us around, for we don’t recognize you. You aren’t found where we expect you. You don’t appear as we desire. Clear away our expectations, open us to ways we don’t understand. Send torrents of living water through the desert valleys of today. Strengthen us to live amongst selfish and deadened politics. Bring us to meet new formed community in gardens of grace where resurrection prevails and death is no more. Thanks be to Christ.
Unfolding Truth, who often is hidden in desolate places, Lead us to further knowledge of your ways in this moment of quiet. Help us to do nothing in order to find everything; not to squander our precious time, but in attending to your Presence, allow you to reveal the message of your cross. Comfort all who are dealing with unknown futures. Restore our hope in finding the way that imparts life out of death. Remind us of your goodness. Amen.
Releaser of Captives, whose grace goes out ahead of us. In stillness and silence, your powerful Presence reveals all that holds us from living fully. Open our hearts to your leading through this Holy Week ahead. Give us an honest clarity at our private rationalizations and our comfortable self-deception. Help us surrender ourselves with you so that we can be purified of our idols and addictions. As we break free, we trust that others gain their freedom also. May we go forth as monks in the world, gently and firmly, placing each step with mercy and peace. Amen.
Ancient of Days, who accompanies us on our inward journey, We draw near to you in this silence, waiting for your love to carve away our excess, so that we may find what is truly valuable. Your relentless grace guides us into our interior shadows, softening away our hardness with your compassionate Presence. Make this Ash Wednesday be the doorway to a season in which our inconsistencies are revealed. Unbind us from any fear, envy, pride, sloth or perfectionism. Release us into your creative light so we can become more fully yours. Remind us that this path is not a solitary one but for the whole community. Amen.
Source of all Hope, available to us in every realm on earth and in heaven, Your Presence makes real your encompassing love. Even when we are swept away into lives that are not of our own choosing, we do not despair. You give us clarity, comfort and conviction, placing a right spirit within us. Answer in us questions for others. Make our lives a portrait of your ways. Amen.
Divine Hope, who is found both beyond and within us, As we begin this season of preparation, we admit how often we fear silence, fight stillness and resist the unknown. Move us beyond the exterior material in our lives toward the inner rooms of our hearts. As we explore in these depths, adjust our seeing toward each new reality that arises out of shadow and darkness. Through our sense of relief, stir us to passion for others, leading us beyond mere survival to fullness of joy. Amen.
Blessed Provider, who picks up the pieces of our lives gathering an abundance where we saw not enough, Soon we will be together at table; families, friends and foe. For some of us, the empty places at our tables reflect what has happened in our hearts. Change us to be those who trust rather than fear, turn our yearning into gratitude. Move us to respond to your grace by giving before we take. Fill us with your Loving Presence. And if ever any hostile encounter threatens to separate; extend our arms to reach out in love through your life-giving Word. Amen.
We cannot be still. We cannot wait. Too many young people are dying, like the leaves that have fallen to the ground. Remind us to take in your breath, to notice something of your Presence; to acknowledge Love that arrives in flowers, candles and tears. We stand and watch at these altars of remembrance. Stir in us, move us to speak for those whose voices are no more. And give us hope for the mystery of your work so deep below the surface. In you mercy, so be it.
Creator of Beauty, who colors outside the lines to a new season, As this season changes the earth, new light comes in through open spaces and dark nights blanket us in. Teach us to accept, adapt and change in response to both. Reveal new patterns and designs in our relationship with you until the colors of your mercy extend hopeful layers to all people. And together, we breathe thanksgiving. Amen.