Merciful God in this Holy week
when our world is in turmoil,
faced with an unseen foe
where thousands fall by the wayside
when there seems to be no end in sight
with mounting infection, more deaths, no cure.
Where can we turn to, but to you, our God
who had been our help in ages past,
our refuge, our comfort, and our strength?
And we hear you say:
“If my people, who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and pray,
seek my face and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven
forgive their sins and heal their land.”
We confess that we have taken so many things for granted:
in our human relationships
in the interaction of nations
in our relationship with the rest of creation.
We have not done what you required:
to do justice, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with you.
We implore your mercy and lovingkindness;
turn your eyes once more toward us
that in your compassion
there may be healing
and restoration to wholeness.
There are those more unfortunate than us,
with no resources on their own.
May a cup of water given in Jesus’ name
and a bread broken to be shared,
become channels of your grace
to our neighbours
and to a world in dire need.
May your blessing and protection be with those
n the frontlines who have chosen to serve,
putting their lives at risk
so that others may live.
Restore us, O God, that we may be restored.
Heal us, that we may be healed from Covid-19 and its devastating effects.
In the name of Jesus, who by his wounds we are healed,
and who overcame death. Amen.
—Written by Bishop Reuel Marigza, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, a United Church Mission & Service partner. Bishop Marigza previously served as General Secretary of The United Church of Christ in the Philippines, with whom the United Church shares in mutual recognition of ministry. Bishop Marigza also served as a member of the United Church’s Partners Council.