God of all,
You call us together from north, south, east, and west;
from places of joy and sorrow;
young and old alike:
sinners who desperately need your grace.
As your Holy Spirit gathers us together,
unites us as a community, and gives us strength,
we humbly set this time apart
from anything normal, routine, or worldly.
We dedicate this time, this time right now,
to a holy and heavenly and peculiar purpose:
worshipping you through Christ Jesus.
May our every thought, word, and action
be true worship to you and sustain us throughout our week.
We give thanks
in the name of the Father,
of the Son and Holy Spirit, amen.
In prayer, let us confess to God as a community.
Great and Mighty God,
It is good for us to be humbled by your greatness.
We are nothing when compared to who you are.
Though we are weak and overwhelmed by our sins,
your grace enables us to become more like you.
In our sin and failure,
have mercy on us, O God.
May we remember the Mighty One, Jesus Christ,
who stands between us and makes a way for us to be redeemed.
His blood is our peace,
His righteousness our strength,
His condemnation our freedom,
His Spirit our power,
His Kingdom our heritage.
Lord, let us know your grace, feeling its strength.
By your grace,
overcome our evil natures,
set us apart from sin’s entrapments,
support us in life’s trials,
May our days be framed by character that you have molded,
and not by anxiety, hurry, and the pressure of life’s circumstances.
May we live with a clean conscience and continual hunger
for your righteousness.
Father, we ask that these things would happen by the power of your Spirit and the blood of your Son,
and we pray in confidence to you,
our God in community, Holy in One.
What are the areas in our lives that require the wise choice?
How does God choose to use the things we don’t think are capable or relevant?
Now go, all you who are loved by God,
hear his call to serve others
as he has served you;
hear his invitation to be part
of his plan to rescue the world;
and join in community with all
who walk in the footsteps of Jesus.
Help us to receive Christ’s life,
walk in his strength,
and follow his ways every moment of our lives.
May God’s care embrace us,
Jesus’ words embolden us,
and the Holy Spirit’s presence renew us
today and always.
We go forth 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 sasha void @ Flickr]