April 6, 2007 | Good Friday

Prayers of the People

Dana Ferguson, Executive Associate Pastor

We like to think, O God, that if we had been there, we would have treated you with the respect you deserved: that we would have found majesty in lowliness, greatness in meekness, truth in service, and glory in sacrifice; that instead of crucifixion, there would have been a coronation; and that the triumphal entry would not have been mocked by Good Friday. But we know that the outcome would have been the same, for we, too, are hungry for a hero and crave the spectacular.

This day reminds us of the worst that can be and the best that can be. So walk among us, we pray, surprising God of peace. If we remain speechless as Christ passes by, if we stand by the road in timid silence, confront us with the moment of decision, O God. If we are too proud to follow, cast out our vanity and let us become modest disciples. If we are too angry to follow him, dispel our hostility and let us become makers of peace. If we are too hesitant to follow him, exorcise our fear and let us become bearers of courage.

Although the savior may not have appeared as we would have expected, we watch the parade now in awe—in awe of your love and sacrifice for us. In you, O God, we find a cause we can live for, a self we can live with, and a redeemer we can die with. Indeed, we are blessed ones. And so we would not gather this day, O God, reminded of the messiah who came to serve without our also lifting up the needs others. We pray for those whose voice is stamped out by the crowd, for those who lack the courage to face the crowd, for those places where there is no reason or room for a parade, for those who stand at the tomb weeping, for those who feel Easter will never come. Be with all of these your children and wrap them in your peace and comfort.

Lead us into the days ahead comforted by the assurance that, just as you did not forsake them, you will not forsake us, and strengthened by the certainty that you can change us, as them, from fickle friends into faithful disciples. We ask this and all things in the name of Jesus Christ, who taught the disciples to pray together, saying,

Our Father . . .