Monday of Holy Week; 6 April, 2020

Scripture: Isaiah 42:1-9

Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
    he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry or lift up his voice,
    or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
    and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
    he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be crushed
    until he has established justice in the earth;
    and the coastlands wait for his teaching.

Thus says God, the Lord,
    who created the heavens and stretched them out,
    who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
    and spirit to those who walk in it:
I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
    I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
    a light to the nations,
    to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
    from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord, that is my name;
    my glory I give to no other,
    nor my praise to idols.
See, the former things have come to pass,
    and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth,
    I tell you of them.


Poem:  ‘The Coming’ by R.S. Thomas

            And God held in his hand
            A small globe. Look, he said.
            The son looked. Far off,
            As through water, he saw
            A scorched land of fierce
            Colour. The light burned
            There; crusted buildings
            Cast their shadows; a bright
            Serpent, a river
            Uncoiled itself, radiant
            With slime.

                                    On a bare
            Hill a bare tree saddened
            The sky. Many people
            Held out their thin arms
            To it, as though waiting
            For a vanished April
            To return to its crossed
            Boughs. The son watched
            Them. Let me go there, he said. 

Music and imagery (click on link): Arvo Pärt, “Wallfahrtslied (Pilgrim’s Song)”


Prayer: “Choices” by Kate McIllhaga

God of the heights and the depths,
we bring to you
those driven into the desert,
those struggling with difficult decisions.

   May they choose life.

God of the light and the darkness,
we bring to you
those lost in the mist of drugs or drink,
those dazzled by the use of power.

   May they choose life. 

God of the wild beast and the ministering angel,
we bring to you
those savaged by others’ greed,
those exhausted by caring for others.

   May they feel your healing touch.

Christ tempted and triumphant,
we bring ourselves to you,
tired of difficult choices,
anxious about the future,
drained by the loss of a loved one.

   May we feel your healing touch.

May we feel your healing touch,
know God’s presence in all things
and receive the crown of life
through the Holy Spirit of compassion.   Amen

© 2023 The Congregational Church of Hollis, UCC