Great Living God, God of Resurrection and of New Beginnings, we honor you on this Easter Sunday.
You teach us to look for life amongst death, hope in the midst of fear, love when surrounded by hate.
You know what it is to lose someone…a child, a trusted friend, a lover. You walked with Mary in the Garden, and you know the pain of the disciples, waiting in the upper room.
And through the power of Christ's resurrection you give us power to have new life, new beginnings, new relationships, and you give us hope of reunion with those we love.
You know what it is to be afraid, of death, of illness, of violence. Just as you were present with Jesus on the cross, you are present with us even now.
And your perfect love drives away our fear, calling us to be, like Jesus, bold in the face of our fears.
You know what it is to witness destruction…both natural and human-made. You mourn with us the loss of lives and homes and ecosystems as a result of tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, and the wars we wage.
And as the green blade rises from the seemingly-barren earth, you break forth with new life, fresh life, peaceful and creative life.
You know what it is to suffer injustice, to be oppressed because of skin color or gender or sexual orientation or age or class. You suffered alongside the Hebrews; you worked with those who were sold into slavery, you cry with those who are persecuted in Iraq and Uganda.
And even now your Christ is setting us free from prison, breaking the chains that keep us in hell, giving us wings that we, too, may set the oppressed free.
You are a God of Resurrection life, love, hope, and justice. We praise you on this holy day and pray that you will give us grace to live as Easter people.
We pray because of Jesus, the Risen One, Alleluia, Amen.