we trust in your power,
even as it is often found in weakness;
in your wisdom,
even as it is expressed in seeming foolishness;
in your wholeness,
even as it comes to us amid brokenness.
We do not ask this day for
displays of strength, exercises of intellectual prowess,
or manifestations of miracles.
We come only to worship you.
Be with us this day, O Lord, sinners that we are,
that we might become your saints, your body,
your children, your church.
For this community of your Spirit is built not upon our
own abilities, knowledge, or restorative skill, but upon you,
in Jesus Christ, whom you gave up for all of humanity.
We thank you and pray 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 our 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 the invitations that distract us?
How do we hide our weaknesses with our strength?
What and who do we put our weight on and in?
Go now, with God’s foolishness and weakness
as your only wisdom and strength.
Proclaim Christ crucified through the work that you do,
and seek riches only in the love of God’s Word
and in zeal for God’s kingdom.
And may God’s just demands be your nourishment and delight.
May Christ be the power and wisdom of God to you.
And may the Holy Spirit keep you, in thought and word,
in God’s good grace.
We go 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 Theo Gosselin @ Flickr]