Gracious God, we come into your presence thankful for the rest, restoration, renewal and revival you have offered to us. As we start a new day give us the mind and the patience to prepare ourselves to retreat and offer ourselves for realizing where we stand and where we need to go in relation with our life and our relationship with God. Open our hearts merciful God to new thoughts and creative expressions which will help our spiritual forming and nurture. Amen.
Confession (All together)
Understanding God who knows every step we take and yet gives us the freedom to be ourselves in every way and manner, help us to realize the Godly and ungodly acts around us. We accept our inability and our inconsistency in understanding what God and belief are. We have based our faith on a powerful God forgetting that Jesus underwent the struggle of being human even while he was divine. Forgiving God we tag along with Christ on the cross in disbelief knowing that it will lead us to true belief. Amen.
The cross is the symbol of violence and the symbol of peace. It is the chance of retribution and that of reconciliation. The right of one is the wrong of another. God always offers a way where there seems to be none anywhere. May God who felt powerless and confused on the cross in God’s effort to understand human suffering forgive our efforts directed towards capturing power, holding on to it at any cost and causing hurt to others in the process. Amen.
We pray powerless God who chose to be powerless and confused for the sake of humanity and showed us true love is when we give up our power and our positions. Help us to give up power in churches and instead to form communities of love, sacrifice, caring and understanding. We pray for churches which are undergoing turmoil based on arguments on basic fundamental human rights and governance. We are very well part of such churches and we seek your guidance our friend God to do good and dispel harm in our communities of faith. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We pray for Lance Naik Hanamanthappa who was rescued six days after being buried alive in the Siachen glacier. We pray for his family who are undergoing mixed feelings and are confused to the core on the happenings. We hope that you help him recover and come back to a life to be lived with his family and friends. We also pray for peace on our borders with Pakistan and China and friendly relations with Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Nepal. May we stop trying to become a super power and rather be a super peer concerned about the good will of our neighbours just as we are about our citizens. Lord in our mercy. Hear our prayer.
We pray for gender justice in India and the world. It is after all based on the concept of patriarchy which is associated with power and conquest. May this wrong notion of power end and bring about a life based on Christ on the cross where we are shown the vulnerability, the powerlessness, the love and the sacrifice of God. May we as a church come together to speak against gender violence and bring about equal participation in church and society. Power and might can never be a criteria for the church and for living a harmonious life. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We pray for those affected by the Zika virus and various diseases all over the world. We realize that these are the result of our wish to conquer the world and markets. Pharmaceutical companies, media, governments and middle men come together to make sure that people are always dependent on vaccines, medicines and money to escape all forms of viruses. May Christ on the cross be a model for a more sustainable and ecofriendly living which gives space for all forms of creation to exist side by side not based on power but on powerlessness. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We pray for those who are still in abject poverty because of wrong government policies and decisions. It is a sin that people on earth are dying of hunger and there is no justification for this. We pray that governments and dispensations encouraging war to capture power will turn around and encourage peace because we can’t capture one another as everything belongs to God, who by God’s own decision chose to give up everything. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We pray for the UTC community. Help us O God to prepare ourselves to accept each other, live with one another knowing that those who want to be first have to be last and those who want to be served, have to serve. May we this day and in the days to come accept each other whole heartedly and work as sisters and brothers with the model of Christ on the cross as our inspiration. We pray for those who are sick, recovering from ailments, undergoing stress, trying to overcome fears and putting in their best in studies and their life on this campus. May we hold hands and live as one despite coming from different backgrounds and churches. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Affirmation of faith (In unison standing)
We believe in God, the powerless initiator who
created heaven and earth.
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the compassionate Holy Spirit,
born of the ever sacrificing Virgin Mary,
suffered under the powerful Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the powerless dead.
On the third day he rose again without power;
he ascended into heaven because he lowered himself,
is seated at the right hand of God,
and will come again to assemble the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the one powerless church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
Closing hymn- On a Hill Far Away (The Old rugged cross)
Our God, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we have forgiven those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Closing prayer and benediction
How nice it is to put off all burdens and pressures from our shoulders. The pressure of administration, church work, studies, research, teaching, living and praying need not be done alone but can be a collective effort. How good it is to know that even Christ was confused even up till the cross. Go in peace, knowing that we know nothing and yet that is something. We cannot have everything in life but through God we share the gift of something which will be our everything this day and in the days to come. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit rest and abide with us now and forever more. Amen.