Monday, April 17, 2017

An Easter Prayer of Confession

Dearest heavenly Father,

Even as we celebrate your risen Son this very morning, our hearts are already turning to forgetfulness and doubt. We stare with widened eyes into an empty tomb, and yet we choose death over the resurrection life you offer us. The angel asked the women at the tomb on that first Easter morning, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” And so we ask our own hearts the same question. We confess that we are searching for life in places that only offer death. We cling to our selfish ways, to our idols and strongholds, holding tight to our sins even as we stumble beneath their great weight.

We confess that it all seems too heavy, too much to bear. The weight of the world, of the hurt, and the pain, and the sickness, and the loss. We stumble beneath all we have piled high on our own shoulders; and yet the only thing you have asked us to carry is our cross. You urge us gently to leave our sins in their tomb; and we ignore your beckonings. Paul's words are familiar to us: because we too do the very things we don’t want to do. We speak harshly, when a gentle word is required. We judge, we compare, we covet, we slander, we idolize.
 And even still, you sent your beloved Son to die for us. To sweat drops of blood and defeat death so we might share in His communion with the Father. To tenderly take our hearts in his hands and cover us in his grace, calling us righteous, even when we are decidedly not. We confess that we are unworthy of your forgiveness, and we thank you Lord that today we don't have to be worthy, because Jesus was.

Lord, remind our hearts this Easter morning that resurrection is here. We want to live in the reality that you have defeated all the darkness. When we doubt, like Thomas, you enter through all our locked doors and invite us to touch the very places you were broken for us. You invite us to put our hands into your wounds, right into holes - the broken holy places that prove not your death but your victory over it. So we pray that this Easter, and every day from here on out, we will live in the freedom you offer us. We praise you because you have defeated death, and because you extend to us the holy and undeserved privilege of living resurrection life forever.

Amen

When you were dead in your sins… God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands; He took it away, nailing it to the cross. - Colossians 2:13-14

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