Invitation to Prayer
Reverence stands in awe of something – something that dwarfs the self, that allows human beings to sense the full extent of our limits – so that we can begin to see one another more reverently as well. An irreverent soul who is unable to feel awe in the presence of things higher than the self is also unable to feel respect in the presence of things it sees as lower than the self (Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World, 21).
The Psalm (Psalm 34:8-10)
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
The Scripture Reading (Luke 23:32-34)
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
In his life Jesus kept company with sinners. And in his death he continued to do so. Executed between two criminals, Jesus’ death is a powerful reminder that he did not simply die for sinners. He died with them. And with his dying breath he spoke the same word of blessing that he had spoken in life: Father, forgive.
In what specific way do you need to know that Jesus is standing with you today?
We give you thanks, Lord Jesus, that you do not stand at a distance, waiting for us to pull ourselves together before we can receive your grace. Instead you stand with us, right where we are, speaking forgiveness and offering us life. As we move through this day, empower us to live that way: meeting others where they are, extending mercy and grace. Amen.