[Credit: Jyoti Sahi, Resurrection (Risen Lord, from a tribal Tryptich, 2007 Collection of the artist.]
Welcome to On Earth Peace’s 2021 Easter prayer and worship resource. You are invited to set aside time to engage this material with your mind, spirit, and body - to go away for a while as Jesus so often did. Take time to breathe, wait in silence, and allow these prayers to infuse and work in you. Some elements may transfer well for congregational worship. Please email us at [email protected] to let us know how this prayer resource impacted you or your community.
This page includes passages from Cliff Kindy’s book, Resurrection Peacemaking: Plowsharing the Tools of War: Thirty Years with Christian Peacemaker Teams and quotes from conversations with Cliff. Used with permission.
Please join us on Good Friday (April 2, 2021) for an OEP Community Meetup with Cliff Kindy on the theme of Resurrection Peacemaking. Click here to RSVP!
On Resurrection Peacemaking
Resurrection is the power and essence of Easter. Nothing is impossible when the powers of death have been defeated. Think of the specific powers of death that you see or experience. Despite them, we are called into the spirit of Easter and resurrection. It’s in our hands: Nonviolence is more powerful than violence. We can rise in Easter power. - Cliff Kindy and Matt Guynn
Nonviolence is rooted in the love of God for the world and for each human being. I see that resurrection love-power most clearly in Jesus, so I try to disciple my living after his life. God throws out a lifeline of love. It is a resurrection love that we are invited to emulate in our interactions with others. - Cliff Kindy
Opening to the Presence - Prayer
Whether praying alone or as part of a worship service, you are invited to read this prayer aloud, leaving space for devotion and reflection between stanzas. Feel free to replace pronouns to make it fit the context.
In the midst of this world
broken and blessed
We breathe in the One, in spirit and presence.
Breathe deeply, at least three deep inhalations and exhalations, activating your whole body.
Breathe in the presence of the One who became human, the Son of Man, the Human One,
Jesus, savior, brother, teacher, lord.
Breathe deeply and invite Jesus to become real for you, now.
Let the whole life of Jesus infuse our prayer.
Remember moments in the life of Jesus which are especially meaningful, challenging, or bring joy or wonder.
We follow Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane.
In silence: Remember the costs we have felt or feared from following Jesus. Pray with him,
“Let it be as You, not I, would have it. If this cup cannot pass by, but I must drink it, Your will be done!"
We follow Jesus to Calvary.
In silence: Remember the crucifixion of Christ, and all those who are degraded, beaten, persecuted and killed by the forces of violence and death. If appropriate, remember the way that we, too--that you, too--have paid the cost of following Christ in his liberation work.
Share or record brief phrases or feelings or thoughts.
Lord, revive us again. Open us to the possibility of sharing in your resurrection power.
[Grid Buster, 1989. Carpet, carpet padding, stereo arrangement of Gregorian Chant and vacuum cleaner noise, framed reproduction, picture light, surge protectors, 17 x 10 feet. Courtesy of Lynn Aldrich]
Scriptures for reflection/prayer
Philippians 3:10-11:10I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Solomon 8:6 - (NIV): Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Colossians 2:15: 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
I Corinthians 15:54-55: 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
Acts 2:24: 24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
[Credit: The Resurrection copyright 2013 Janet McKenzie www.janetmckenzie.com]
Christ is risen, shout Hosanna - "Christ is Risen! Shout Hosanna" Recorded in the homes of the AACRC Worship team, mixed and produced by Noah Livingston. Easter, 2020
Loma Linda Academy - The Stone that the Builders Rejected
Shawn Kirchner, composer
Performed by Loma Linda Academy Choir (2014)
Kirchner is pianist/organist at La Verne Church of the Brethren.
His choral compositions are performed throughout the United States and abroad in concert halls, churches, schools, and on radio, television.
O the stone that the builders rejected
became the cornerstone of a whole new world.
A grain of wheat may be knocked to the ground
and suffer through the winter’s cold,
only to rise right up again
and bear its seed a thousandfold.
Never can our journey fail;
a little child will lead the way,
whose eyes are filled with a shining light,
to whom the night is bright as day.
The love that rolls the stone away
gives us life and that we may sing
“Grave where is thy victory?
Death, o death, where is thy sting?
[Drawn from Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 11:6, John 12:24, I Corinthians 15:55]
Resurrection power is the renewable energy for nonviolent peacemaking. Nonviolence depends on the tools we each carry in our hands, hearts, and minds. Nonviolence depends upon courage, creativity, imagination undergirded with a deep spirituality. Resurrection nonviolence can be understood as the resulting compost from plowsharing the tools of violence and injustice. … so, hook up your plow to any renewable, spiritually undergirded energy source, and begin turning the compost from wartime residue into the rich soil of our future!
As I walked in the woods this morning behind my house, meditating on resurrection peacemaking, I was reminded of another woods on another day - the north woods of Wisconsin, twenty years ago, where I was part of the winter training unit of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). There was at the time a naval installation in those woods, built over a particular kind of stone that extended out into the Great Lakes, which the US Navy used to transmit signals to its nuclear submarines. It was called ELF - Extremely Low Frequency, referring to the sonar technology. CPT was supporting the Anathoth Community Farm in its long-term resistance to the site.
It was a cold January day, bitter cold, with several feet of snow on the ground, as we gathered out in the woods, shared in native ceremony with indigenous partners, and prepared to enter the installation as an act of prayerful and creative nonviolent action. I was shivering in my boots from both the weather and the uncertainty of what might happen as we entered to ceremonially reclaim the forest from the military.
[Photo credit: Rick Polhamus]
While standing there, I heard echoing in my head a sermon Susan Boyer had preached weeks before, about Jesus in the temple, reading from the scroll of Isaiah about liberation of the captive, healing of the blind and redistribution of land (the Year of the Lord’s Favor), saying, “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Today. TODAY. Propelled by the song of that work of liberation happening TODAY, I put on my playful “liturgical vestment” (a strip of yellow calico) and moved forward with my friends to the driveway into the installation, where we encountered police who alerted us that if we proceeded to the site we would be arrested. Filled with a sense of resurrection power I proceeded toward the ELF site. After our arrest, months later at our court hearing, when asked if I had indeed walked onto the site, I responded that I did move forward and climb the fence - but it was different than walking; I was dancing in the spirit of resurrection power.
[Photo credit: Rick Polhamus]
What are the places where you are called, today, into resurrection power? Have you shivered, like me, on the cusp of taking that step? What might be possible if Jesus came alive within you and your community with a resurrection power that liberates the captive, heals the sick, redistributes wealth and land? Resurrection power vibrates our entire beings, so they shiver with the work and mission of Jesus, lending confidence we might not have personally, to step up and step out in creative nonviolent power.
Stand or otherwise engage your body.
How could you stand or sit to open to resurrection power? (How do you stand or sit on a normal day, in the midst of your normal life?)
What stance will you take with hands, arms, hands, chest, legs to become a vessel of resurrection power? Take that stance and open to prayer.
Breathe, or hum, in resurrection power.
In your mind’s eye: See arrayed around you the forces of death or violence that you feel most keenly. Be specific.
Pray aloud or silently, asking for God’s strength and the power of revived life, even in the face of these forces, powers, principalities, detractors. Feel God’s blessings rise, God’s power rise within you. Take nourishment and new life.
Ask for a vision, a call, a nudge from God in this particular Easter season. What is God calling you to undertake, begin, speak, or create?
Go forth in the spirit of Christ who conquered death.
You, too, are called and sent in that same power.
You will receive a vision or a dream of this resurrection power.
God will grant you the strength to rise and live it.
Worship resource created by Matt Guynn with Dennis Duett, On Earth Peace, 2021. Worship and prayer elements were written by Matt Guynn and may be used in other settings with attribution (Matt Guynn, On Earth Peace). Please simply email us to let us know the context in which you used them. Contact us at [email protected].