A Resurrection of Hope
As we enter the second Holy Week touched by COVID-19, the national officers of the United Church of Christ share a message on the journey, a prayer to sustain us and a reflection for Easter.
While We Wait
As we journey through this Holy Week, let us take our time. This is the second Lenten Season effected by COVID-19. Between last year and now we have suffered so much loss. Our world has shifted drastically. Globally, over 2.5 million people have died because of this virus and many more have died for other reasons, yet our rituals of mourning for them all have been interrupted.
Let us not bypass the temple in our zeal to reach the empty tomb. Let us take the time to search our hearts and examine our actions. Let us ask the difficult questions: What would Jesus say about our communities of worship? Are we living sanctuaries of prayer? Is there healing in our midst? Are there any tables to turn?
Let us not rush past the Mount of Olives where Jesus often went to pray. Let us spend time with God in prayer, sharing our own anguish and grief as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane. Yet nevertheless, we go.
On our journey to the Cross let us accompany Jesus. Let us covenant together to guard one another against the temptation to lose our focus when our ways are misunderstood. Let us be purposeful in our actions and steadfast in our love.
And as we keep our eyes on Jesus even at the foot of the Cross, may we remember death could not hold him. Resurrection comes. Death has lost its sting. And even the grave becomes a journey into the presence of God.
~ The Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister
Hold Us in Your Presence
Holy One, as we wait in the shadows of this Holy Week, we pause for prayer as Jesus and the disciples did so long ago. Holy God, we are mindful that the season of Lent is an invitation to draw closer to you, to be present and intentional in contemplating the Holy. We are saddened by the events that surround us, holding our grief and pain, even as we remember the grief that marks the way to the cross and the death of Jesus. Hold us in your presence as we weep. Keep us through the valley of the shadow of death, with the knowledge, O God, that your presence with us is a source of peace and love – even through hardship. We tarry through the journey to the tomb believing in the purpose and the power of the resurrection we will celebrate. Rest with us on the way. Grant us peace and revelation through this Holy Week and beyond, as we covenant to journey together through the love of God made known to us through Jesus Christ. Amen.
~ The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, Associate General Minister
A Resurrection of Hope
As resurrection people, we can experience once again the hoped-for coming of the risen Christ: joy on the other side of our sorrow; daylight on the other side of our long night of mourning.
— The Rev. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President. (See and hear his complete message in the video below.)
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