March 30, 2014

Liturgy Reflection & Benediction 03.30.14

Liturgy

We believe we need a shepherd.
Because we are sometimes timid and other times overconfident,
because we often don’t know the best path yet pretend we do,

because we rush into dead ends or lead others into hazardous places,
because our brightest ideas are seamed with darkness,
because the things we crave may not be what is good for us,
we need a shepherd.

We believe in Jesus, the best possible shepherd;
his wisdom leads us to the best opportunities,
his word comfort us when we are anxious or afraid,

his arm steadies us when we feel weary and heavy-laden,
his wounded body displays the cost of our rescue.

We believe in Jesus, the best possible shepherd.
We believe that we do not find him but he finds us,
that we are under his care by virtue of sheer grace,

the love he gives us is to be shared with others,
that he treasures our name and prepares a place for us,
that his fold transfixes earth and heaven.

We trust Jesus, the good shepherd,
and praise him, in the name of the Father,
of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Community Confession

In prayer, let us confess to God as a community.

God of life and all living things,
your breath fills the universe and brings it alive;
We praise You, O God, for the gift of your Spirit

Your love shines through all creation and makes it one;
We praise You, O God, for the gift of Your Spirit

Your presence fills every corner, your voice fills every silence,
and your heartbeat lives within every living thing;
We praise You, O God, for the gift of Your Spirit

Yet, we often fail to value the life of other people,
other creatures and the world you have given to be our home.
Lord, forgive us.

We often fail to recognize the connectedness of all things,
and bring pain through division, exclusion and selfishness.
Lord, forgive us.

We often deny your presence, ignore your voice
and forget your love for us and all that you have made.
Lord, forgive us.

Father, we remember your mercy
and look to your Son for forgiveness.

May your Spirit breathe new life into us, empower us,
and guide our steps this day and forever.

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

Reflection

What do we lack in our lives?
How can we live more sustainable lives? What do we need to change?
How do we prepare for the valleys of darkness?

Benediction

Go now, and embrace the hope to which God has called us.
Recognize Christ in friend and stranger,
and as Christ has been gracious to you,
so be gracious to those in need.

And may God give you a place of rest on rich pasture;
May Christ Jesus be the shepherd king who binds your wounds;

And may the Holy Spirit give you wisdom
and reveal to you the fullness of the one who fills all in all.

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

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

[Photo by karina y @ Flickr]

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