Thoughts and Comments


An Easter prayer for inclusive and reconciling United Methodists

By the Rev. Meg Wilkes

Creator of all glorious life we know and understand, and of all glorious life we do not know or understand, we come before you in this season of promise mystified and satisfied in your goodness and grace. We come today with trust in you and hope for your church and your people called Methodists. You are perfect and your love endures all things, even death.

In this season of rejoicing, we are especially aware that you have been rejected and despised and misunderstood, and we believe, as the Scriptures testify, that you walk with those who are rejected and despised and misunderstood, even us. We celebrate your victory over sin and death.

We believe that you have called us to a special work of hope within your church to stand with all of your children, broken and yet beautiful together, equal in our need of grace and regeneration. We stand in our faith that your love is greater and wiser and stronger than anything that might separate any of us from your love in Christ Jesus.

With your guidance, we are calling for justice and compassion. We are leaning on, and into, your righteousness, which is in Christ alone. We ask you to continue to bathe our hearts and minds first and foremost in your love, even as Christ has taught us that your greatest expectation of us is love—that we love you and love our neighbors as we love even ourselves.

Stay close and speak purely, Holy Spirit, as we continue to make meaning of the revelation of yourself to us, in Scripture, in all of creation, and in one another. We ask for you to heal our broken hearts, to forgive us for our wasted energy and misplaced emotions and to hold us and carry us as leaders and servants on behalf of all of your children.

May we, as gathered and scattered disciples of Jesus Christ, first be still and know that you are God and then be grateful for your extravagant gifts and finally remain hopeful that you are always making all things new.

And so, as we go about the business of your church in the paradoxical shadow of the cross and shimmer of the resurrection, show us what is important in teaching, in ministering and in validating your image and presence in all of your children, with whom we worship and adore you, and with whom we are intricately related in this unfathomable spiritual reality of our Risen Lord.

May it be with your church as it is in Heaven. Hallelujah. Amen.

Rev. Wilkes is an ordained deacon in the South Carolina Conference and minister of Christian education and spiritual formation at First United Methodist Church, Clover, SC.

Publication: South Carolina United Methodist Advocate; Date: April 2016; Page: 9
The original version of this prayer opened the February 16, 2016, Reconciling Ministries of South Carolina gathering. It was adapted for publication in the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate.