God, our shaper, thank you for calling us into community in this city.
Thank you for its color and vibrancy, its texture and life.
Thank you that we can’t do all that you’ve asked of us on our own.
But it’s together with all the people here that we’re asked
to build your commonwealth of justice, peace and fullness of life.
We offer to you our hopes for our church
and place them before you now.
We pray for partners in this community with whom those
hopes could be made real and place them before you now.
We pray that you will take from us any pride,
any assumption that we know best,
and that you will give hearts open to receive your word and life
from the friend and stranger we will meet this week.
In all our work, keep us humble,
conscious that we without you are nothing
and without our neighbors we are but a clique.
Bless our partnerships and our dreams.
In the name of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit, may your kingdom come. Amen.
In prayer, let us confess to God as a community.
Father, we pray to you.
For your love and goodness, we give you thanks, O God.
You of heaven and earth,
You who made all things and called them good.
Each day you shape the earth in wonder and mystery,
Surrounding us with goodness and growth.
For your creativity and goodness, we give you thanks, O God.
Yet, we admit to you our dry and anxious spirits,
and we confess our anxiety and worry.
In your grace, Jesus Christ, nourish and renew us.
In your love and goodness, Lord, have mercy on us.
Give us healthy lives, lives reflecting your vibrance,
lives ready to bear the fruit of goodness and love toward all creation,
so that we may be living proof
that you are alive and well, flourishing in our city.
For your grace and goodness, we give you thanks, O God.
Let us use your gifts to make new lives possible among us and beyond us.
May your Creating Spirit dwell with us, O God, and we pray
in the name of the Father, of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Are you burned out from your work, and is it a kingdom-building kind of work?
What would it look like to lay your burdens down, and take up Christ’s cross instead?
Go now into the world, strengthened by the gifts
with which Christ has fed you.
Be generous to others, for Christ has given extravagantly.
Live by God’s word, avoiding lies and violence.
Walk in God’s paths and never stray.
And may God’s wonderful love be with you everywhere;
May you feed and care for those around you
as Christ Jesus feeds and cares for you with his body and word;
And may the Holy Spirit confirm the truth in you
and fill you with God’s presence always.
We go in peace to love and serve
in the name of the Father,
the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by kronicred @ Flickr]