Holy God, we thank you
for your gifts of mercy and life.
We remember you are a generous God,
and want us to flourish and live life freely
and abundantly in your service to our world.
Heavenly Father, by your remarkable gift of grace,
you allow us, finite beings, to bear nothing less
than the fruits of your Holy Spirit.
So help us live today, in vibrant ways,
in verdant ways, planted in the courts
of the Lord, where we experience
your glory and grace.
By your presence, may our community
be for many a little echo of Eden,
the first fruits of your coming kingdom.
We pray to you,
our God, the Creator,
Christ, the Savior,
and Holy Spirit, our breath of life.
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, and align ourselves with the profound
covenant you have made with us.
All this we confidently pray
to our God in community,
holy in One. Amen.
Sermon and Reflection
What would it look like to create out of gratitude?
How can you be present with gratitude entering into this week?
May grace and peace be ours in abundance,
in the knowledge of God and of Jesus, our Lord.
May we be thankful for simple things, for friendship,
for health, for daily bread, for good news.
May we rise above the corruption of power
and become participants in the divine nature.
May we go from this place to pursue goodness,
wisdom, holiness and love.
God the Creator, call us to the work of the kingdom.
God the Redeemer, keep us from stumbling.
God the Sustainer, transform and inspire us.
Let us leave, thankful and serving
with the love 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 Samantha Zanardo @ Flickr]