April 16, 2020
A daily prayer during this COVID-19 crisis
During these difficult days, Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar and the members of the Extended Cabinet are sharing a daily prayer based on the Revised Common Lectionary for the week.
You are welcome to use these in worship or in your own devotions.
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
Prayer of Confession based on John 20:19-31
We confess O God, We find ourselves hidden behind closed doors, like the locked doors of the Upper Room where the disciples hid. We are afraid for our safety, but rather than being fearful of crucifixion, we are worried that we will be unable to breathe, on a respirator, separated from family and friends. We need our mentor and guide. We yearn for normalcy. We are grieving. We need your peace. (silent reflection)
Words of Assurance:
Hear the Good News! Closed and locked doors cannot stop Jesus Christ. He enters into the places where we are fearful and breaths into us the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. Amen.
“Breathe on Me, Breath of God” Words by Edwin Hatch and music by Robert Jackson
Breathe on me, Breath of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love what thou dost love, and do what thou wouldst do.
By Rev. Megan Stowe, Central Massachusetts District Superintendent