O God, help us use this season of Lent
to examine our attachments,
and to sense where you invite us
to live more simply and deeply.
Shine the light of your love
into the private corners of our lives
where we have acquired so much clutter
that it has begun to restrict our freedom.
Grant us the strength to free ourselves
from appetites and needs that drive us
into taking, having, and wanting
more than we need or have time for.
Teach us that in letting go we
become free, rather than deprived,
generous rather than covetous,
and spacious rather than restricted.
We offer you our Lenten observance,
and today we place our feet on the road
to Easter, and walk the Way that you
have walked before us.
We begin our worship today
in the name of our Creator, God,
of our Savior, Jesus,
and our breath of life in the Holy Spirit,
Lord God, we confess that all too often,
we fear vulnerability when we feel powerless,
and at times we are scared when we face change.
Forgive us, God, for abusing cheap thrills
or hurting others instead of resting
in the palm of your hand.
Our world can be frightening, unsettling and confusing.
Jesus, your life was lived out during a frightening,
unsettling and confusing time, and you showed
over and over again that we are called to love.
Forgive us when we are overwhelmed
by fear, and bring us back to seek love.
Holy Spirit, you plumb the depths of God,
whom we can never hope to fully comprehend.
Turn our hearts of discontent toward God’s love,
so we can see what richness he wants for us,
and so we can share it with our neighbor.
Holy Spirit, we invite you to search
the depths of our hearts to teach us
how to live kindly, openly and wisely.
We pray in the name
of the Father,
of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit,
Sermon and Reflection
How can I make space to rest in God praying for me during this season of Lent?
What is my small part next to God’s small part in creating goodness from the shattered bits of life?
As you go from here into the week ahead,
with whatever joys and challenges it holds,
do not be discouraged or disheartened.
Remember the glory that awaits you as a child of God.
Hold on to that truth;
live in that hope.
And may the peace of God,
the blessing of Jesus Christ,
and the presence of the Holy Spirit
be with you and among you.
May the love of God,
the grace of Jesus Christ,
and the presence of the Holy Spirit,
be among you and within you.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Sean Yeh @ Flickr]