After finishing the Gospel of John, I wrote this embodied prayer to encourage our congregation to engage their physical experience with the mental and spiritual memory. I invite you to pray this prayer with us today:
As we remember and celebrate the stories of witness that we have read throughout the gospel of John, we lift up our prayers of confession today, praying with our bodies, minds and spirits.
If you have ever been like the Blind Man sitting on the side of the road, If you’ve ever accepted disappointment and lost all hope, cover your eyes.
If you have ever been like the Woman at the well, ashamed of your mistakes and thirsty with desire, place a hand over your mouth.
If you’ve ever been like Mary and Martha, and sat weeping when Jesus did not answer your prayer, place a hand over your heart.
If you’ve ever been like Peter, angry with Jesus for not doing things your way, raise your fists and say, "why Lord?”
This is what it feels like to live in a world destroyed by sin and actions of hate.
But remember how the story changed for Peter? Jesus completely turned his expectations upside down. Lower you hands and open them praying, “Use me, Lord.”
Remember how Jesus came and wept with Mary and Martha and offered all around them the gift of new life. Place your hands on your heart and pray, "Restore my heart."
Remember how Jesus asked the Woman for a drink at the well, and offered her the gift of new life even knowing every bad thing she had ever done? Make your hands into a bowl and pray, “Jesus give me a fresh start.”
Finally, remember how Jesus gave sight to the blind man, wipe the mud from your eyes, and open them, praying, Thank you, Jesus. Amen.