The Miracle by Queen
our beginning and our end,
you break through the locks
of gated communities
and hardened hearts:
accept our doubts,
heal our desire for certainty
and, by your Spirit’s gentle touch,
make us a people
forgiven and forgiving;
through Jesus Christ, the Giver of Peace.
by Marina Tsvetaeva
translated by Ilya Kaminsky
The Angel Handed Me a Book
by Paul Valéry
translated by Carolyn Forché
Placing a book in my hands, the angel said, “It holds all you would wish to know.” And he vanished.
So I opened the book, which wasn’t thick.
It was written in an unknown alphabet.
Scholars translated it, but produced very different versions.
They disagreed even about their own readings, agreeing neither upon the tops or bottoms of them, nor the beginnings, nor the ends.
Toward the close of this vision, it seemed to me that the book
melted, until it could no longer be told apart from the world that surrounds us.
It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the religious authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As God sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive them, they aren’t forgiven.”
Thomas, the one called Didymus, one of the Twelve, wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger in the wounds left by the nails, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe.”
After eight days his disciples were again in a house and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus entered and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand into my side. No more disbelief. Believe!”
Thomas responded to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus replied, “Do you believe because you see me? Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.”
Then Jesus did many other miraculous signs in his disciples’ presence, signs that aren’t recorded in this scroll. But these things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Child, and that believing, you will have life in his name.
Forgiven by Ben Harper
by Bruce Sanguin, adapted
O Holy One,
It is good news indeed
that there is no hiding from the Risen One.
He comes as Destiny’s servant,
walking through walls of fear,
breathing the fire of the Holy Spirit
into our unbelieving hearts and
offering us a peace
which surpasses all understanding:
the peace of renewed purpose,
of a blessed unrest,
of realizing that the Easter story
is about our own resurrection after all,
and that there is work to done:
proclaiming God’s love,
healing the brokenhearted,
speaking out for creation,
and above all,
opening to the evolving push and pull
of Spirit’s call.
O Risen One, breathe on us,
set us on fire and send us out,
that we might rise from our graves of fear
and go forth boldly as your Easter people.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father/Mother who art in heaven,
Our Creator, you are all around us and within us.
hallowed be thy name.
We praise you with many different names.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
Help us live as we understand we should from knowing you
in harmony and connectedness with each other,
on earth as it is in heaven.
With all creatures of the earth,
and with the earth and the universe itself.
Give us this day our daily bread,
Help us to use your resources wisely
So that we might be sustained.
and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Help us take responsibility when we fail to live harmoniously,
And help us understand and forgive when others let us down.
And lead us not into temptation,
Let us know you well enough that we are not tempted
to live outside of your love.
but deliver us from evil,
and empower us to work together to overcome evil.
for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.
We believe that you created the world
and that you will be all around us and within us forever.
We are open to you.
Forgiven by Alanis Morissette
The love of the faithful Creator,
The peace of the wounded Healer,
The joy of the challenging Spirit,
The hope of the Three-in-One
surround and encourage us
today, tonight, and forever.
May the blessing of God – the Creator, the Healer,
and the Spirit,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.