An Easter Prayer

Tod & Ana Gobledale - Australia

 An Easter Prayer
by Tod Gobledale
based on John 20: 1-18

ALL: Good news!
     Glad tidings!
     Christ is risen!...

ONE:   Gracious Lord,
            Like Mary we celebrate your resurrection.
            As you were made known to her that first day of the week long ago,
            Make yourself known to us today.
            We rejoice as you call us by name, O Lord,
            And we follow you.

ALL:   Good news!
            Glad tidings!
            Christ is risen!

ONE:   Loving Lord,
            We tell the Easter story again and again,
             From the shouts of Hosanna on Palm Sunday, into the shadows of Maundy Thursday.
            Who will keep watch with you?
            Who will stand with you?
            Your disciples disappear into the darkness.
            Their resolve dissolves.
            Denial.
            Detained.
            Assaulted.
            Battered.
            Like a detainee of today shuttled from pillar to post.
            From Pilate to Herod, from court to court.
           Crucified.
            Yet, even from the cross you plead for us,
            “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”
            We rejoice as you call us by name, O Lord,
            And we follow you.

ALL:   Good news!  
            Glad tidings!
            Christ is risen!

ONE:   Lord of life,
            We rejoice this Easter because death has loosed its grip on you.
            The tomb cannot hold you.
            The stone is rolled away.
            The burial cloths testify to your triumph over death.
            We sing our hymns of rejoicing to you,
            Because even as you are freed from death so are we.
            We rejoice as you call us by name, O Lord,
            And we follow you.

ALL:   Good news!  
            Glad tidings!
            Christ is risen!

ONE:   Lord of justice, 
            Even as we rejoice, we pause.
            For we know all is not right in the world.
            All is not as you desire.
            You are crucified again and again, laid in a grave, a stone sealing your tomb.
            You weep with children who are left behind as they hunger and thirst for basics of life.  
            In them you are crucified anew.
            You weep with the elderly who are neglected, forgotten, alone.
            In them you are crucified anew.
            You weep with the workers whose jobs are sent abroad in the name of globalization.  
            In them you are crucified anew.
            You weep with the victims of violence.
            In them you are crucified anew. 
            Yet, we rejoice as you call us by name, O Lord,
            And we follow you.           

ALL:   Good news!  
            Glad tidings!
            Christ is risen!

ONE:   Risen Lord, you have conquered death.
            In our baptisms we die to an old way of life and are born into new life in you.  
            We are not afraid
            Not afraid to face up to the powers and principalities that confront us,
            Not afraid to work for justice,
            Not afraid to say,  “This evil shall not stand.”
            Not afraid to say, “No longer shall the powerful go away sated and satisfied and the weak go away hungry and hopeless.”  
            You are risen today and we proclaim you Lord of all.
            We rejoice as you call us by name, O Lord.
            Swell our hearts that they might be full of your love.
            Open our eyes that we might recognize you in our world.
            Unplug our ears that we might hear your cries.
            Strengthen our hands that we might reach out to you.
            Fortify us that we might have the courage to face the task
            Empower us to truly follow you.

ALL:   Good news!
            Glad tidings!
            Christ is risen!
            Christ is risen indeed!
            Alleluia!
            Amen.

Tod and Ana Gobledale
The Gobledales serve the Common Global Ministries Board at Churches of Christ Theological College (Seminary) in Australia.  They are accompanied by their 16-year old son, Mandla, who attends Rowville Secondary College, the local high school.  Their 19-year old daughter, Thandiwe, continues her university studies at Pomona College, in Claremont, California.