Lord Jesus Christ,
who is, who was, and who is to come,
we pray for the virtue of hope,
that amidst the trails and difficulties of this world,
we may keep our hearts fixed upon you,
who reigns over the cosmos.
May your grace enliven us, strengthen us, and defend us,
as we await your coming glory.
In the name of the Father, the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit, amen.
In prayer, let us confess to God as a community.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that
I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
What are the moments and circumstances in your life that make you feel hopeless?
How can we embrace and live the promises that God gives us?
Go forth with this truth lodged firmly in your heart:
There is nothing you can do or say
that will separate you from the love of God.
In Christ we see the power of God’s transforming love;
The love that was in Christ is the same love that is in us today.
In every moment of our lives, God knows who we are,
And with patience and love, offers us what we need.
Like Christ, we will open ourselves to God’s presence;
We will place our lives in God’s care;
We will follow Christ
in the pursuit of compassion, justice, and peace.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by MarianMio @ Flickr]