We believe in an innovative God,
who does not wait for us to find ourselves
but comes seeking the lost and calling us into a new way.
We believe in Jesus of Nazareth as God’s crucial initiative,
that when he calls us to follow, Christ also gives us the power
to become, both in creed and deed, the children of the living God.
We believe in the Spirit by whom Jesus still comes to us,
calling us to follow him into an obedience which is true liberty
and to a humble service which is the fruit of holy friendship.
We believe in the church as the fellowship of Christ’s people,
called to respect and support one another
through joys and tribulations as we travel the road
towards the building of God’s future.
Because Christ has called us,
in this we truly believe
in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
In prayer, let us confess to God as a community.
If it was easy to follow Jesus,
we would not need to ask for forgiveness.
But it is difficult—
difficult to say ‘yes,’
difficult to be graceful,
difficult to be loving.
Yet whatever we do, God loves us enough to forgive us
and to feed us with the Bread of Life.
God, our sun and shield:
we may long to be in your house,
but our deeds show how difficult it is for us to remain with you.
Called to follow,
we search for paths to take us back to our old ways;
given the words of eternal life,
we weakly proclaim the gospel to others;
offered the path of salvation to walk upon,
we stumble down the rocky roads of our world.
Forgive us, Guardian of our lives.
Strengthen us with your Spirit,
so we may follow Jesus Christ,
the One we have come to believe is our Lord and Savior.
Today, receive the Bread of Life;
today, hear the words of eternal hope;
today, trust in the One who hears your prayers,
and showers grace and forgiveness upon you.
We thank you and pray
in the name of the Father,
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
What are ways we can excel in becoming servants to those in the city of Austin?
What would our dialogues and conversations with others about Christ look like if they were shaped by gentleness and humility?
If you have found some of the good bread of Christ here this day,
then don’t hesitate to share it with others.
For this is bread that increases the more it is given away,
and nourishes us best in the presence of goodwill and joy.
Go on your way in good spirits, for the best is yet to come.
The grace of our Savior,
the love of our Creator,
and the friendship of our Enabler,
will be with us
this day and evermore.
Live this week in the name of the Father,
of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Filippo Minelli @ Flickr]