Friday, April 10, 2009

urban Easter prayer

This Easter, we are gathering with our neighbouring Baptist church. They are struggling and this Easter could literally be a story of death for them. Equally, we are talking with them about partnership and some new forms of church, so this Easter could equally be a story of life.

There’s not much point talking if we first can’t worship together. So Easter Friday is at their place and Easter Sunday at ours, with both pastoral teams planning both services together and sharing bits at each place.

As part of that, we wanted some way to pray in our shared life and our shared mission. So we grabbed a wooden cross and took photos of it at various geographic landmarks between the two buildings – construction site, new Police station, fastfood outlet, well-known development currently growing weeds, local pub facing council housing and a sports stadium. Six slides became a visual backdrop – good-friday-urban-prayermed (click to move through each slide)

Some hard work followed, research into the lives, history and narratives that shape each place and then the seeking to weave these narratives into the events of Easter Thursday and Friday, in the form of a urban Easter prayer. This is the result – our Easter prayer as we consider the cross in our Christ’s church city streets.

A: Jesus, On Easter Thursday,
you prayed for us, you sweated drops of blood for your church
prepared yourself to be dragged from prison to passion, from trial to tribulation

B: Jesus, On Easter Friday
you carried your cross,
you walked through your city streets,
you were willing to love your neighbours, criminals to your left, crucifiers to your right

A: Jesus, This Easter, show us what it means to pray,
to weep for your church and Christ’s church
to carry our cross, to walk our city streets,
to love our neighbours, our communities from Colombo Street to Brougham Village

B: Jesus, (click) these are our neighbours,
shopkeepers building right beside us at Beckenham Baptist
A: And so we remember our neighbours
we pray God’s peace on those who shop and those who build
we pray wisdom on those who plan our cities
and smooth process for those who seek consent
Help us live your cross in our communities this Easter

B: Jesus, (click) these are our neighbours
the new police station being built
A: And so we remember our neighbours
we pray integrity for our police
we pray restoration for those criminals behind bars
B: We pray redemption for their victims,
grace for those who suffer. And justice in our courts,
Help us walk your cross with our neighbours this Easter

A: Jesus, (click) these are our neighbours. McDonalds and so many fast food outlets stretched down Colombo St
B: And so we pray for those who flip burgers and fry fries
for those seeking work in a credit crunch
for those who fear the loss of their daily bread
A: Lord, forgive us our fast food, instant takeway attitudes
Jesus, may our neighbours find You as their daily bread this Easter

B: Jesus, (click), these are our neighbours, developers at Sydenham Central
David Henderson who risked. And the Council who resurrected
Help us show your cross to our neighbours, rich and poor, this Easter

A: Jesus, (click) these are our neighbours
those who live in council housing in Brougham Village
B: We pray protection for the vulnerable
safety for the easy led, deliverance for those addicted
freedom for those enslaved by debt and habit
Help us carry your cross to our neighbours, rich and poor, this Easter

A: Jesus, (click) these are our neighbours
the Canterbury crowds, who walk to AMI Stadium,
cheering for winners, jeering for losers
B: Jesus help us look at the crowds as you looked at the crowds,
To feel your compassion for the harrassed and helpless
To weep for your city this Easter,

Posted by steve at 09:56 AM

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