God of the resurrection and of the resurrected people, we bless Your name and raise the standard of our affection. This is Your day.
Let Your praises rise this day. Let Your glory rise this day. Let the fragrance of Your sweet Spirit rise this day.
Because we have entered into Your house with the stench of death, with dirt in our hair and tear- stained faces. We have left graveyard experiences for the light of Your abundant life.[i]
We have come from dark places and dead places, cold people and dead relationships. We have come with dead dreams and dead hopes.
We have come with shovels and coffins and grave markers because we need to bury some things. We need to let go of some persons and situations.
And we have covered the smell of decay with perfume. We have hidden the body under a nice suit or dress. But, You don’t look at the outward appearance but the heart.[ii] And You will give us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.[iii] You are the God who makes exchanges.
Now, give us the faith to believe, to take off the sackcloth of mourning. Give us the courage to run to the tomb and look in, to take You at Your word and believe that You are not there, that we are not there but have risen with You.
In the name of Jesus, who is the resurrection and the life, we pray. Amen.
[i] John 10.10
[ii] First Samuel 16.7
[iii] Isaiah 61.3