Emily Hull McGee

April 7th, 2024

Forgiving God, your Son’s disciples cowered behind locked doors, yet your presence was with them: Jesus extended his peace, and the Holy Spirit, her breath. So in the locked doors of our hearts and lives, would you be present among us? Come to our fearful places, our grieving corners, our empty rooms, our unending corridors that keep us moving but not arriving. Breathe the breath of peace upon all your people, but especially those beholden to their spears and swords, those who want for vengeance not for reconciliation, those locked down by their anger. Speak to your church in need of a word of life, so that we may know the power of your love and the glory of your resurrection.

Crucified God, in Jesus, your hands and side bore witness to the pains of death, yet in him, you have transformed us by the newness of life. Thomas needed to touch to believe, and often we do too. So in the wounds of our hearts and lives, would you comfort us? Offer your gentle hand upon those whose scars of abuse or neglect, trauma or rejection define them. Make us eager recipients of your touch when it arrives by others seeking to serve as Jesus did, and courageous givers of our hands and feet to bring about your kingdom here on earth. Gift us with the type of doubt that draws us ever nearer to you and the blessing of those who have not seen yet have come to believe.

Uniting God, you gave the Psalmist a word of unity to proclaim into all time and space, yet too often our world and your church fall short of this call. So in the fractured spaces of our hearts and lives, would you bind us to one another and to you? Fill us with your abundant life as lavish as oil running down the head or cool dew falling on the mountain. Gift us with beloved community as broad and deep and wide and long as your colorful humankind, one body with many members. Turn our weapons of cleaving difference into tools of binding unity. Tear down the dividing walls of hostility that we erect, and call us again and again to move beyond the barriers of our making. Remind us that we do not have to create unity in the church, because Christ has already done that. Return us to the words of life that say, “there is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” 

As Easter people in this world,

May our hands fill with meaningful work.

May our feet go to the suffering.

May our hearts be unlocked and set ablaze for the sake of the world you so love.

May our minds be the same mind in you as in Christ Jesus.

May our tables be long and wide and crowded.

May our ordinary life together become extraordinary living together because of you, the living God. 

May our joy be precise. 

Then and only then, o God, might we rise and say: “now to you who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we could ask or imagine, to God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever,  

… the Christ Jesus who taught us how to pray, saying…