Lent -- Forgive Us Lord, and Remember Us

Prayer for Good Friday

Lord, standing at the foot of your Cross on this Good Friday,
we look back to see all those things that led you to the Cross
and how you remained undeterred.

When you declared that you came to announce freedom
to the poor from their chains of poverty,
the affluent among the pious deeply resented it.

When you spoke about God's inclusive love
and reminded a worshipping congregation
about the widow of Zariphath and of Naaman the Syrian,
those who took pride in their election and Covenant
sought to kill you then and there.

Your attempt to point out the original meaning of the Sabbath
by indulging in forbidden acts of healing on the Sabbath
earned the wrath of fastidious religionists.

Your proclamation of the nearness of the Just Reign of God
and your criticism of all audacious and indulgent authority
incurred suspicion from the powers-that-be and their collaborators.

It became clear to you that those powers-that-be and their collaborators
would do away with you.
They would have you killed on a rugged cross.

You were deeply troubled. Yet you remained undeterred.
You retained your confidence in God:
that God would vindicate you
that God would turn this most hideous act of human rebellion
into a means of redemption for those very same rebels.

Lord, we are amazed.

2000 years hence, O Lord, our sin is to assume
that those powers and those religious and cultural values
which inspired the conspiracy to have you removed
were strange and unusual phenomena.

We say that if we had been there, we would not have done this to you.

But we too resent your bias towards the poor.
We find loving people of other faiths difficult.
We erect barriers of fear and suspicion.
We do not accept inclusivity and justice as Gospel values.
We continue to indulge in all that sent you to the Cross.

Forgive us Lord.

Our only solace is that you prayed for our forgiveness,
understanding that we are blinded through an ignorance
of which we are seldom aware.

May the acceptance of your forgiveness
lead us to follow the path you set before us.

Remember us in your Kingdom. Amen.

Copyright 2008 Local Church Ministries, Worship and Education Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115-1100. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.

Forgive Us, Lord, and Remember Us, was written by the Reverend Dr. Dhyanchand Carr, a Global Ministries/WCM Board member. Dr. Carr, a New Testament professor was President of Tamilnadu Theological Seminary in India.

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Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3869
blains@ucc.org