Loving God, we come to this sacred time and
space today carrying hard and heavy burdens.
Burdens of grief and loneliness, of depression and anxiety.
Burdens of exhaustion, stress, and overwork.
But we have good news!
Your ways are not the ways of this world, and
what we assume are weaknesses are actually
the places where we find strength, fortitude, and hope.
Allow us the space this morning to embrace
our vulnerabilities, and to treat ourselves
with love and kindness, as we grow into
the people you created us to be.
We gather now and pray
in the name of God, our creator,
Jesus, our loving savior,
and the Holy Spirit, the breath of life.
Dear God, we work hard to protect ourselves,
to arm and shield ourselves from the hurt of this world.
We put on a brave face, hide our damage
and our emotions, and act tough and composed.
But you, oh Lord, see us for who really are.
You know us in the deepest parts of our souls.
Help us to understand and nurture those hidden
parts of ourselves and bring them out into the light.
We don’t just hide from ourselves.
We also hide from others, and sometimes
we push them away because it seems
easier than admitting to our weaknesses.
Teach us to show our vulnerabilities
to each other and to let others in,
so that we can fully connect to our
families, workplaces, and community.
We close ourselves off from our neighbors.
We ignore the homeless, the poor, and the oppressed.
We outcast people who are not like us.
Help us to really see the beauty and humanity
in those who have the least, so that we may
give our time, money, and love with abandon
and bring your kingdom to this earth.
We ask in the name of
God, our Creator,
Jesus, our Redeemer,
The Holy Spirit, our Constant Friend.
Sermon and Reflection
What or who am I struggling to accept in my journey now?
How can I welcome vulnerability, both mine and those around me, this week?
Go now, and live as one body in Christ.
Be at peace, and care for one another;
Suffer with one another, and rejoice with one another.
Give your attention to the voice of God, and proclaim
the good news of freedom to all.
And may God delight your heart and sharpen your vision;
May Christ Jesus keep you, thought and word, in his grace;
And may the Holy Spirit be the fountain that sustains and
binds you together as one.
This we pray, in the name
of the triune God,
Holy in One,
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Margriet Zwarthoed @ Flickr]