Mar 4, 2012

A Prayer at the Start of Holy Week

Here’s a prayer for the start of Holy Week.  It was written by Rebecca Sharpless for use on Palm Sunday in the Lakeshore Baptist Church.

Prayer for Holy Week

Surely you felt enormous pain, sharp as a centurion’s sword, when your friends betrayed you—not just the one that Scripture foretold, with his fatal kiss, but even the one you called your rock, who swore that he didn’t know you. What human couldn’t feel hurt at that? We can identify, albeit feebly, with your anguish in the garden, asking that you not have to do what your father was asking—demanding—that you do. And then, you seemed to demonstrate that you were mortal, dying at an executioner’s hands. Just like a regular person—a criminal, at that, convicted on trumped-up charges by an indifferent judge.

We wonder if you knew how the story would end, as we do. Our knowledge of Easter is what allows us to bear observing Holy Week year after year. Easter is, maybe, the time when Jesus the human is also most fully God, capable of resurrection from the dead and somehow, mysteriously redeeming us in the process. But to get to that point, we have to go through the trials and frailties of your flesh, just as we do our own every day.

God, as we move through this week, give us the gifts of concentration, of focus, and of empathy, as we seek to determine where your astonishing story, which is at once so familiar and yet so incredible, fits with our own narratives. We believe wholeheartedly that your passion and death have significance beyond our comprehension. Allow us to be touched and awestruck by the holy events of this week and to claim them once again for our own lives.  Amen.

— written by Rebecca Sharpless, and posted on the Lakeshore Baptist Church website. 

For more worship resources for Palm/Passion Sunday, click on Palm Sunday in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.