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Jen Pollock Michel

( author + writer + speaker )

Holy Week Prayers: Healing the Divide

Passage for Reflection: Matthew 26:36-56 Father in heaven,

In the beginning, You called into being a world filled with light and life. The skies, the oceans, the dry land: they were populated by the many creatures You made, but it was only into the Man that You breathed Your Holy breath. He came alive, formed by dust, formed by breath, formed into the pattern of His Creator. Man and Woman, they were shaped into the contours of the Imageo Dei. Man and Woman, they were imbued with conscience and compassion and commissioned with the care of the world.

But we have failed our task; we have abdicated our responsibilities.We do not love or worship or trust or serve as we were made to love and worship and trust and serve. The threads with which we have been made - blood and breath, muscle and bone - are fragile and easily unraveled. In our spirits, we script any number of good deeds, but our bodies are sluggish and sleepy. We cannot keep watch with you one hour.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

We praise You, Father, that Jesus came to heal the divide that has severed our spirits from our bodies. Indeed, it was Your Son, Jesus, whose Spirit willingly gave His body to the suffering of the Cross. He gave a back to its blows, a head to its thorns, two hands to their nails, and a side to its sword. And the prayers of the Garden, in anticipation of the suffering that lay before Him, though they were sorrowful, do not mean that He was reluctant in His sacrifice, only pained that it had ever become necessary.

The healing of spirit and flesh, intention and action, is present in a meal: the body broken, the blood spilled. We eat and are satisfied. We drink and are cleansed. Our bodies, along with our spirits, are present at the table; both participate in the celebration of the redemption by which we are formed into a new people called into Your  possession and purposed for Your good works.

In the days that lie ahead, as we remember Your broken body laid in a tomb, then bursting forth with breath and radiant life, let the sin and sluggishness of our bodies be put to death. And once dead, let us be raised up into holy purpose and action; commission us once again with the care of all of Your creation, and let your people reflect the resurrected beauty of Your Christ.

He is our blessed hope.