While I was a seminary student at Emory University's Candler School of Theology, the Dean of Worship compiled some of the prayers written by students and faculty that were used in the worship held there every week. This prayer for Lent was written by a classmate, Katye Fox, around the year 2000.
O God of Wounded Body,
You know what it is
to be wracked with pain and anguish
for you came and experienced that utter misery for us.
Rub your salve of forgiveness and healing love into
the gashes of our hearts,
the slices in our souls,
and the scars on our flesh,
so that we may be freed from our sufferings
and be moved to bring recovery to our neighbors who endure torment.
In the name of Jesus,
who brings us wholeness through your woundedness and grace.
We departed worship this past Sunday with the story of the Passion of the Christ ringing in our ears. It is a story of betrayal, of suffering, of despair, and of apparent failure, that finally closes with little semblance of hope. In fact, there is really no hope at the end of Friday's events, except for a couple of words Jesus offered back on a Galilean road about rising again and a prediction he made earlier this week about rebuilding the Temple in three days. Like those first disciples, most of us would choose despair in light of the sparse evidence before our eyes that the story could possibly be redeemed.
Yet, when we gather again on Friday, to prepare our hearts for what is to come, and again on Sunday, the story does continue. My prayer is that the hope offered by the very Word of God will carry us this week, and every week, as we confront daily the evidence of the brokenness of our world. God, in Christ, is at work even now putting all of this back together. May the grace and peace of waiting and anticipating be ours. Scott