This is the season of the church year when we celebrate the New Life made possible by Jesus’ resurrection… It is a time where we imagine and wonder and celebrate with God all the ways in which God makes the seemingly impossible possible. We are invited to join God in new things God is doing which are unimaginable wonderful. It is a season of joy.
And yet… Many of us aren’t feeling joyful. Many are mourning and suffering both in our communities and around the world. We remember in our prayers the people of Sri Lanka and the families of those murdered in Church and Hotel bombing there on Easter. We remember those who are grieving losses in our own communities.
We remember the community of Notre Dame in Paris, as well as those around the world who considered that an important and holy place as they recover from the tragic fire. We remember the faithful of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem which suffered a fire on the same day as Notre Dame. We remember the faithful of the three churches in Landry Parish Louisiana which were burned in arson hate crimes March 26th, April 2nd and April 4th.
And yet, we have faith in God’s promises. We are grateful for the progress made by First Presbyterian Church of Englewood in neighboring Palisades Presbytery in the 3 years since it suffered its own catastrophic holy week fire.
Let us pray… Almighty God, keeper of promises, comforter of the afflicted, walk with us in this season, surround us in your care, shield us in your arms, keep us in your promise. We pray that you would comfort those who mourn, that you would sow possibility, sow life, so prosperity where we can see only death and disappointment. Use us, even us, in your plans, planting in us the seeds of Joy even when the fruit of that Joy is more that we are yet ready to bear, that we may see your goodness as we trust in your promises, praying in the name of Jesus Christ the Risen Lord. Amen.