A benediction for Holy Week.
Creator God, eternal essence of perfect love,
we confess that we have been Palm Sunday people,
shouting praise, though we are blissfully unaware.
We’ve made assumptions about you,
tried to create you in our image
and cram you into tidy boxes that
make us comfortable.
When you broke all of our molds,
our shouts of praise turned to cries for crucifixion.
You weep for us, we who know not
the cost of our peace.
We confess that we have tried to do
this our own way, all too often
serving the church of self-improvement,
the church of upward mobility,
the church of self-sufficiency.
Forgive us for craving our own kingdom,
for aligning ourselves with a lesser gospel.
Forgive us when we preach that gospel to others.
Convict us to move with the righteous anger
of Jesus, who drove out those who sought to ostracize
and take advantage of the seeking and the hurting.
May we be a church that is energized by readying your
house to receive those who might feel like outsiders,
and may we run towards them without hesitation
the way you ran towards us while we were still a long way off.
As you took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it,
remind us that we as your body are chosen, blessed, broken and given.
May we follow the example of Jesus as you cultivate within us
a willingness to wash each other’s feet,
to humble ourselves and step into others’ pain
as you so readily put on skin to step into ours.
Give us the eyes of your love, which sees all of it
and refuses to turn away.
We confess that we are tempted to gloss over Good Friday,
that when faced with your cross, we have
recoiled and scattered and denied.
We confess that we cannot stand the sight of ourselves.
In pain, you carried the weight of our sins.
Make us a people who stay to the finish to hear you say
that grace has been accomplished—
the law has been fulfilled once and for all,
and that by your wounds, we are healed.
We confess that after the trauma of Good Friday,
we long to return to normal on Saturday.
We reach for what makes us feel safe and secure,
even as we wonder what all of this means.
Give us grace to sit with our questions,
with our uncertainty, with our now and not yet.
God, make us an Easter Sunday people.
May we recognize our Savior, risen and victorious,
and know his love ever more profoundly,
and may we leave our whitewashed tombs behind us,
boldly stepping into this new and mysterious and abundant life
as ones who are dearly loved and made whole.
Thank you for the gift of friendship with your spirit,
in whom we live and move and have our being.