April 21, 2020A daily prayer during this COVID-19 crisisDuring 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.
Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.
Their eyes were not open, but they thought they were.
They thought they knew what had happened in Jerusalem.
Some women … were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.
The tomb was open, but he was not there.
They thought they knew what had happened at the tomb.
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
He opened the scriptures to them, but they did not know why.
They thought they knew what had happened in the past.
Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?”
Let us pray.
We think we know.
We think we know what is happening. We watch the news, fake and real.
We think we know what has happened in the past
enough to live fully and courageously in the present. We learn about earlier pandemics.
We think we know so much. We make decisions and criticize those made by others.
And then, when we least expect it,
on the worst days and in the worst situations,
when we think we know everything and cannot bear it, …
You open the sacred story to us all over again.
You open and empty the tomb all over again.
You come and sit in the empty seat at our table in our home with bread in your hands
and open our eyes all over again.
And the only words we can muster
to describe this stunning recognition of our own unknowing are
This is our prayer — for hearts strangely warmed --
because this is your gift not at the end of the day, but at the beginning of all things --
for the opening up of everything you are, everything we are, and everything that comes next.
Let it be so. Amen.
By Rev. Jill Colley Robinson, Vermont District Superintendent