January 8, 2012

Liturgy Reflection & Benediction 01.08.12

Liturgy

There is a time for everything
and a season for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted,
a time to break down, and a time to build up,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace,

God has made everything suitable for its time.

Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.

Eternal Father, you have placed us in a world of space and time,
and through the events of our lives, you continue to bless us with your love and generosity.

Grant that in this new year, we may know your presence, see your hand at work through us in your city, and live in the light of the event that gives us joy forever – the arrival of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

We pray in the name of the Father,
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Congregational Prayer

Let us pray to God together as a community.

Lord, we have come to see that our lives fall far short of your glory.
Have mercy and forgive us.

Lord, you have given your life for us, and poured out your Spirit,
yet we fail to return your love with all our heart.
Have mercy and change us.

Too often we are selfish and proud,
ignoring you, Lord, and neglecting your call to serve others.
Have mercy and cleanse us.

Lord, when we do not truly trust and obey you,
we are overwhelmed by self-pity, fear and worry.
Have mercy and deliver us.

In Christ we are given a sure hope and secure love,
yet we follow the false hopes and desires of this world.
Have mercy and forgive us.

Father, through the redeeming death of your Son on the cross,
by your Spirit and through your word,
transform and renew us to follow you with joy.
All this we ask, confident in your unchanging faithfulness. Amen.

Reflection

What are the things that we submit to in our lives? How do we submit to God’s authority?
How can we love others the way God did and not base it on what others accomplish?

Benediction

May the almighty and merciful Lord direct us in this new year;
May He make it prosper and maintain us in peace,
that we share his generous love and mercy to all along our path.

May the Holy Spirit intercede and accompany us on the way,
that we live our lives to serve as Christ served all
and breathe peace, joy and health into our homes and neighborhoods.

We go forth in the name of the Father,
of the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.

[Photo by t.tum (tatumshaw.com) @ Flickr]

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