An Easter Prayer

I am currently enjoying reading various collections of Puritan prayers.  Boy, they knew how to pray well.  I love to read their prayers and then, inspired by them and reflecting on God’s Word, write my own to be used in our worship services.  Here’s the prayer I wrote for our Sunday evening Easter Communion service.

Our gracious Heavenly Father,

This Easter time, we call to mind the Passion and Triumph of your Eternal Son.

Our saviour, Jesus Christ,

Was lifted up upon a common criminal’s cross, is now ascended to the highest heaven;

Was the Man of Sorrows, crowned with thorns, is now Lord of Life wreathed with glory.

Once no shame was deeper than his,

No agony more bitter,

No death more cruel;

Now no exaltation more high,

No life more glorious,

No priest more effective.

His death is our life,

His resurrection our peace,

His ascension our hope,

His intercession our comfort.

Fill our hearts afresh with the knowledge of your love for your children in Christ.

Give us the assurance that

In Christ we died,

In Him we rose,

In his life we live

In his victory we triumph,

In his ascension we shall be glorified.

For your glory and the praise of Jesus Christ,

Amen.

Easter Joy

For all the chocolate, the family get togethers, the games and fun, it’s all too easy to miss the REAL joy of Easter.  Chocolate is good, but it doesn’t last forever.  Fun and games with family and friends are wonderful, but arguments break out and sooner or later everyone has to go home.  But the real story of Easter speaks of an unshakeable, unending, perfect joy.  Jesus himself guarantees it:

“You have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16v22)

I have very much appreciated reading Tony Reike’s reflections on this distinctly, uniquely Christian Easter joy.  I hope you do too.   Do read the article in full if you have the time.  If not, here’s a snippet:

Every such joy seeker, in pursuit of treasures that will not fade or rust or break or be stolen, must pay careful attention to Easter — not with a nod-off-through-the-sermon kind of attention, but with a real, earnest, eager attention riveted on Christ. If we miss the significance of the resurrection, we scamper past the greatest joy in the universe.