By Bill Wallof
Father God, we praise you for your rich mercy and saving love, for we are a people who thirst for mercy and hunger to be loved. Too often we have relied on the power and wisdom of this world to define our lives and as a result we find ourselves trapped in prisons of our own making, divided by walls of hostility, shackled by fear and greed.
We praise you for not leaving us alone, floundering in the rubbish of the world’s wisdom; for into a world that loves darkness you have sent a light, your son Jesus Christ. He comes as a servant, serving the selfish and undeserving. He reigns in humility among a people of pride and conceit; he is the only one who has not bought Satan’s lie of self sufficiency. In a world so defined by disobedience, we praise you for Jesus’ obedience, his steadfastness to the point of death, even on a cross.
We praise you for the cross of Christ:
-It is like a mirror in which we see who we are and to whom we belong. Help us to lift our eyes so as to look at the cross. May it be more than a mirror belonging to a blind people.
-The cross is like a search light penetrating the darkness of night exposing the dangers that threaten to tear down and destroy life as you created it. May we not turn from the light in fear of what we might see.
-The cross is like an antidote to the toxins of this life. We have all been poisoned. May we submit ourselves to the healing power of Jesus’ cross.
As we lift our eyes to the cross in this Lenten season, may we have the same mind that was Jesus Christ. May we find hope and encouragement in the fact that the cross is now empty. Comfort us with the sure knowledge that darkness will not prevail and that death is never the last word. Strengthen us with the knowledge that the humbled one has been exalted and all the world will eventually be drawn to his sacrificial love.
We pray in the name of the One before whom every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, Jesus Christ is Lord … Our Father….
“When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.” Presbyterian Hymnal P. 100-101
(Prayer by Bill Wallof)