we journey with you together in faith:
sometimes with confidence and hope,
sometimes with faltering steps;
from places of clarity
to the shadows of mystery;
never still, never certain
but ever-changing and growing;
never quite knowing what the future might bring,
but trusting that you hold us in love,
we thank you for your merciful presence.
journey with us:
be our path and our destination.
In the name of the Father,
of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit, we pray.
In prayer, let us confess to God as a community.
As a community of believers, Holy One,
we open ourselves to your restorative presence.
We are surrounded by beauty,
yet we often fail to wonder.
We are to be symbols of hope,
yet we often succumb to despair.
God of patience, have mercy on us.
We are blessed beyond measure,
yet we allow greed to shape our generosity.
We are uncommonly free,
yet we often bind ourselves to yesterday’s failures.
God of our past, our present and future, have mercy on us.
We are gifted and graced as a people of faith,
yet we often fail to let our light shine.
We are loved beyond measure,
yet we often fail to pass on your love unconditionally.
God of abundance, have mercy on us.
In these moments of shared silence,
encourage us to lay down our burdens,
release our fears, forgive our failures, reclaim our hopes,
and align ourselves with your profound wisdom.
All this we confidently pray
in the name of the Father,
of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
What is our image of Christ and how has it been shaped?
What have we made Lord in our lives instead of Jesus?
Sisters and brothers,
we stand surrounded by all those who have gone before,
an enormous cloud of witnesses.
Let us drop every extra weight,
every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace,
and let us run with endurance the long race set before us.
Stay focused on Jesus,
who designed and perfected our faith.
He endured the cross and ignored the shame of that death
because he focused on the joy that was set before him;
and now is seated beside God on the throne, a place of honor.
In the same way,
let us also focus on the journey ahead.
Go into the days of this week
strong in the presence of the Holy Spirit,
and confident that God goes with you.
Go forth, and remember the love 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 asya baranova @ Flickr]