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Our interim pastor, the Reverend Greg Skiba, delivered an Easter sermon that was well worth pondering.  Entitled “Transforming Mystery”, it started with the disagreement in the four Gospels on who went to the tomb on Easter morning.  It went on to address what Easter’s really about.  Hearing the following led me to request a written copy:

Whenever courageous faith faces down death, it is a sign that Jesus was NOT locked up forever in the tomb, that death could not hold him.  It’s a sign that he is working with us to overcome hatred with compassion, destruction with acts of patient kindness, replacing fears and memories of inner pain with healing peace, and bringing reconciliation to broken lives and relationships.

God of Grace and Goodness,

Your majesty shines throughout the universe.  Your power is everlasting. You created me and love me more than I could ever imagine.  Amazing!

And you sent Jesus to show us what you look like and how you act and how you think.  You made a perfect replica of yourself so we could have a perfect example.  Amazing!

And you remind us that we can be like you.  You send powerful speakers to tell us that death has no power over perfect love, over compassion, over kindness, over peace, over your ability to reconcile brokenness.  Amazing!

healers-view

Incredible Imagineer,

Live in me today as you lived in Jesus.  Give me the ability to love when I feel petty or selfish.  Remind me that these impulses, wholly human, are not the way you want me to be.  As Jesus overcame death, let me overcome my sin and my ungraceful qualities.

Lord of Light and Love,

I bring Mike and Amy to you for healing.  For Mike, we would love a diagnosis of something minor.  We would be thrilled to find that his malady is curable, treatable, that he can live a long and healthy life.  For Amy, whatever caused the fever and seizure let it be gone never to return.  For both of these people, let them grow in strength and faith.  Let them sing your praises for the wonderful things you have done.

Bestower of Blessings,

You have given us so much. As we strive to be good stewards of the earth and to solve the problems of poverty, hatred, injustice; remind us also to care for ourselves and to find your joy.  Grant us the humility to recall that all we have is from you.  Lord, I love you so much!

health-wellness

I pray in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

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Amazing Almighty,

This is the day Christians remember that Jesus rose from the dead.  I sure don’t know how THAT worked, but I know it came from  you.  Amazing!  This is the reason believers say you can do anything.  And relying on that level of ability gives me great comfort.  Amazing!

easter_empty_tomb1

Loving Lord,

I bring my friend, Amy, to you again today.  You know she has a fever of 103F and hasn’t awakened since her seizure on Friday.  I know that fevers mean the body is working hard to heal something.  I know sleep is healing.  I trust you, and I ask you to continue to be the healing energy for Amy.  Be the wisdom of the medical team, I pray of thee.  Be the compassion of those taking care intensively of Amy. Be the love, as I know you are, among all members of Amy’s family.  It would be pretty cool if Amy awakens today and the bed could be empty, like the tomb.  (Just sayin’)

empty bed

Generous Grandother,

You fill our Easter baskets to overflowing with your love for us. We are grateful for all that we have.  And thank you for taking good care of Jill and Doug as they drove to Colorado. Continue, I pray of thee, to bless us to your purpose, your service.  Lord, I love you so much!

I pray in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

I received an email message this morning from Amy, a colleague in Raleigh, NC.  Amy & I have been corresponding on an issue for which I often help colleagues around the country. This email from her this morning closed with “Have a great day – and a blessed Easter weekend!”  She usually closed her email with “Blessings”. 

So, I wrote to her about the amazing group of praying colleagues & friends God has provided to me.  I told her we’re willing to pray for any/everything.  She offered a prayer of joy that she’s been kept on through two expected layoffs because someone else chose to leave (someone who would have been kept on).  This time, she’ll begin on May 1 to drive 35 minutes to another town. She wrote “since you offered, can you remember me in your prayers for safety on my new drive on the high way each day?”  Well, you know me.  There’s a tickler on my calendar beginning the Monday of that week.

(By the way, gentle reader, feel free to comment in order to request prayer.  We love to pray!) 

And just now, another of my prayerful colleagues, Shirley (in the Atlanta area), sent this and it reminds me that Easter is this coming Sunday: 

March jonquil

 

I’ll look when I get home this evening to see if our jonquils have poked their new life above the soil of my northern Midwestern environs, but I’m doubtful!

Everpresent Energy,

You are always in motion.  This morning, I’ve had many emails that remind me of your perpetual creation.  I adore you.  You ARE amazing!

Loving Light,

You clearly want my attention.  Here I am, focused on you and the beauty of your creation.

Lord, I pray today for Amy.  Let her use her 35 minute commute starting May 1st to commune with you.  Make her car her monastery, and keep her eyes on the road and her heart on you.  Let her know true peace and clarity as she travels.  Let her rejoice in the knowledge that she will have 70 minutes each day to spend time with you.

I bring Susan to you.  Keep her well and happy as she and Matt travel to Peoria to spend Easter with her parents.  Give Matt and Susan the chance to show Susan’s parents how good this coupling is, how it is your plan that they be together.  Help Susan’s parents take comfort in this knowledge.  I pray too, Lord, that you will make manifest the way for Sarah to come to the wedding.  Let us be your conduits for this, Lord.

 

people praying

I pray for all those putting their lives on the line in statements of justice and peace.  As they act on their knowledge of your plan for love, harmony, your peaceable kingdom, may they know true peace

I bring Lindsey to you. I’m excited that she’ll be back with us for Easter.  Your enthusiasm shows through this saint, Lord.  We welcome her back to us as we will commemorate the welcoming of Jesus’ presence back to his disciples on Easter.  It is such a glorious and happy time, Lord.  I barely can wait for it.

Abundant Affirmer,

I think of all my colleagues and friends and family who are part of my group of prayerful saints.  I am grateful for Shirley and Janice, Jon and Pat, Chuck and Lisa, Thea and Susan and Lindsey.  I know you made them all, just as you want them.  I am grateful.  Thank you for all this and more.  I love you so much.

I pray in Jesus’ holy name,

Amen.

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

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