A Prayer for Holy Saturday

Triune God, who loves in freedom and hast chosen us from all eternity to be your creatures and your partners: in humility majestic and in powerlessness almighty, you have made our humanity your own. In Jesus, you came closer to us than we are to ourselves, yet more like us though so greatly different from us; and in him rejected by his own and destroyed by law, religion, politics, you lived our life, you died our death, and you occupied our grave.

God the Son, for us, between your dying and rising, you lay buried in a tomb and descended into hell. Cursed for our sin and extinguished by our perishing, you suffered all our agonies of pain and judgment and abandonment, succumbing to the evil one who held us in the grip of fear and guilt, and our world in bondage to injustice and to death.

God the Father, for us you freely gave up your beloved Son, sacrificed and surrendered him to death; and thus bereft, you added to our tears of shame, bewilderment and rage your own infinity of broken-heartedness and indignation at the tragic, proud estrangement of your children, and the wasteful corruption of your beautiful creation.

God the Spirit, for us you held together the forsaking Father and forsaken Son with unifying, resurrecting bonds of love, while death’s hostility, our hearts of sin, and all the hatred of a crooked universe tore your divine family asunder. And still you groan beyond all utterance for creation’s liberation, interceding for your church when our faith stumbles and our tongues fall silent before the continuing tyranny of evil.

God the Three-in-One, whose unity is realized in communal exchange between the Father, Son and Spirit; eternal Lord, whose changeless, ever changing being is fulfilled in the dynamic of history and becoming: across the abyss of separation on the cross and in the grave you have reconciled the world and swallowed up our death, making space for our humanity within your divine community. Hear our prayer for a world still living an Easter Saturday existence, oppressed and lonely, guilty of godlessness and convinced of godforsakenness. Be still tomorrow the God you are today, and yesterday already were: God with us in the grave, but pulling the sting of death and promising in your final kingdom an even greater victory of abundant grace and life over the magnitude of sin and death. And for your blessed burial, into which we were baptized, may you be glorified for evermore. Amen.

~ Alan Lewis, Between Cross and Resurrection, 455

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