Prayers of Adoration & Confession

We breathe deeply now, focussing in on our breath.
The breath of life. Chest slowly rising and falling…heart beating… feeling our mind relaxing, our jaw unclenching, our shoulders lengthening… the world can wait… those trivial things clamouring for our attention… they can wait…

This is our time with you, o God.
We breathe deeply…of your grace… and our minds turn towards Bethpage and Bethany… dusty villages outside Jerusalem… Our minds turn to you, Jesus, holy One. With your mind now turned toward Jerusalem…

Surely you don’t want to go there, Jesus, holy One. Not to Jerusalem… not that path… not through that gate…

And on this path, the gates of holiness are open wide,
And on this path, the gates of holiness are open wide,
And on this path, the gates of holiness are open wide!
Open wide!  Open wide!  Open wide, the gates are open wide!

You’ve been walking so long, Jesus, holy One.
Walking so many paths… opening so many gates… changing so many lives with your love… open wide.

We confess, O God, that we resist your wide open love.
There must be a catch… surely this is not for us… we walk tentatively along this path… looking for a side-track… a diversion… a different path…

And on this path, the gates of holiness are open wide,
And on this path, the gates of holiness are open wide,
And on this path, the gates of holiness are open wide!
Open wide!  Open wide!  Open wide, the gates are open wide!

Hear again Christ’s word of grace to us …
“My arms are open wide”
Your sin is forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

Dave Hall, offered for worship 28/3/21, Palm Sunday B

Prayers of the people

Hosanna, Hosanna,
save, save.

God of our past, present and future,
We are good at the good stuff! We love waving flags and singing songs, shouting and supporting a team. We’re good at Christmas. At Angels singing, a baby in the manger and giving gifts.

But it’s too easy when our team is losing for us to leave before the siren blows, and at Easter to look away so we don’t see the blood and the pain, Jesus on the cross.

See our world and the growing crisis of flood and drought, storms and fires, that are happening before our eyes.

See the people around us, the suffering caused by COVID. Illness, age, and mental health.

See unemployment, homelessness, see the bigotry behind racial intolerance and the denigration of women and the LGBTQI community.

See the inhumanity we inflict or ignore, of greed, and the power hungry, of war and the Refugees who flee persecution. Of religious conviction of whatever brand, that moves into terrorism.

Jesus, God’s only Son,
you knew, as you rode the donkey that the people waving the palms and shouting Hosanna, would turn their backs on you.

If we turn our backs or refuse to see, we can do nothing to change these things, we can only look on. We are the custodians of your continuing creation, and we pray for the strength to look, to see, and to do.

Your kingdom come, your will be done in the world.

In the name of Jesus, the one who rides on the donkey.

Hosanna, Hosanna,  Save, Save.

Amen

Helen Burnham, offered for worship with a Baptist church friend (name to be provided), 28/3/21, Palm Sunday B