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great prayer of thanksgiving: Enduring Love

L:    The Lord of Light be with you.
P:    And also with you.
L:    As Christ was lifted up to save us,
let us offer our hearts to God.
P:    We lift them to the One 
       who feeds us on the Bread of heaven.
L:    Pilgrims of Lent, continue to offer praise
to the One who leads you into life.
P:    We give thanks to God, whose love
       is constant through all eternity.

You spoke the Word,
Enduring Love,
and life flowed from
that emptiness called chaos,
becoming goodness and beauty.
You showered the earth
with your peace and kindness,
filling our lives with light.
We grew impatient in the garden,
grumbling that there was nothing for us,
and hearing the cries of seduction,
offered our lives to their deadly songs.
You sent prophets to us,
so we might be drawn to you,
but like disobedient children
we closed our ears to their words.
Hearing the silent cries
of our deepest hearts,
you sent Jesus to us,
to lift us to your presence.

So with wilderness wanderers
and ungracious grumblers,
with those who have been offered life,
and all who seek to follow your Son,
we lift our voices in thanksgiving:

P:    Holy, holy, holy, God of everlasting love.
     All those gathered from every corner of the world 
          sing your praises.
      Hosanna in the highest.

      Blessed is the One who comes to save the world.
       Hosanna in the highest.

Holy are you, Merciful Creator,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, Light and Life of all.
Knowing how we choose the shadows,
he became the Light to illumine
the way back to you.
Hearing our hearts breaking in grief,
he became the Love
which would defeat sin’s evil.
Seeing you weep
over your poisoned creation,
he became the Compassion
which would save the world,
including your children.

As we remember his life, his ministry, his death;
as we follow him through Good Friday into Easter,
we speak of that mystery known as faith:

P:    Christ came to call us back to you;
       Christ died to save us;
       Christ will come again to lift us to you.

Silence our foolish grumbling,
so we might hear you
calling us to the Table,
where the simple gifts of
the bread and of the cup
are filled with your Spirit.
As you heal us with
the brokenness of Jesus,
send us to bring hope to the world.
As you satisfy us with
the joyous taste of grace,
may we go forth to offer
mercy and peace to everyone we meet.

And when our pilgrimage has ended,
when we join our sisters and brothers
of every time and place around your Feast,
the redeemed of the Lord will lift their voices
forever singing of your steadfast love,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.

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