January 10, 2010

Liturgy Reflection & Benediction 01.10.10

Liturgy
O God of new beginnings and wonderful surprises,
thank you for the gift of a new year.
May it be a time of grace for me,
a time to grow in faith and love,
a time to renew my commitment
to following your Son, Jesus.

May it be a year of blessing for me,
a time to cherish my family and friends,
a time to renew my efforts at work,
a time to embrace my faith more fully.

Walk with me, please,
in every day and every hour of this new year,
that the light of Christ might shine through me,
in spite of my weakness and failings.

Above all, may I remember this year
that I am a pilgrim on the sacred path to You.

May we live and serve in the name of the Father,
of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Congregational Prayer
Let us pray,
We go forth with renewed hope,
Trusting in the redeeming love of you, oh God.

You do not leave things as they are;
With you, all things are made new.

God, all of creation responds to your presence;
The world is alive with possibility.

We open ourselves to this truth;
With Christ, we trust our whole lives to this power.

Nothing is beyond the reach of you, our God;
Neither evil, nor hardship, nor death.

Christ is born!
He is born into our world,
and we are here for this very reason,

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

Reflection
What would it look like to “imitate” Christ this week? To your friends? At work? At school?

What would be the cost of your “imitation” of Christ?

What would it mean to be Spirit empowered and led this week?

Good news for some is bad news for others. King Herod needed to realize that there are some things that he should let go. Who can you release from your “grip” today? Whom can you surrender?

Benediction
May the Lord bless you with an aching heart.
An aching heart that beats with His
as He longs to gather all of His children.

May the Lord bless you with burning eyes.
Eyes that travel to and fro
and view the troubles of the world
as opportunities,

eyes that see the people that are often unseen,
and eyes that can look forward
more than they look backward.

May the Lord bless you with a deep, abiding sorrow.
An anguish at the numbers of lost,
of the found who have fallen aside, and for the found
who continue to deceive themselves.

May the Lord richly bless you
with a childlike humility to know
that the Spirit within you knows no boundaries.

May He dwell in your thoughts,
replacing doubt with trust,
and move you to change the world.
To soothe the aching heart,
salve the reddened eyes, and turn sorrow to Joy.

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

   – by Doulos Christou

[Photo by Kerstin I @ Flickr]