We are here by God’s invitation,
to be fully present, to be here and now,
to bring all parts of our heart to the table.
Invite your joy and your grief.
Invite your peace and your fear.
Invite your confidence and your insecurity.
God has invited all of who we are here today.
This is a safe space and a sacred time
Where our complex and competing feelings
Meet with a confident and faithful God.
Our God believes us, even when others don’t.
Our God hopes in us, even when we don’t ourselves.
Bring all parts of yourself, bring all your stories,
for God is here to be present with us.
We pray in the name of our faithful God,
of our loving Savior,
and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide.
Lord, you are comfortable in tension,
but we are often frozen with ambivalence.
Help us acknowledge our conflicting feelings.
Help us hold our light and dark together.
Lord, you relate to us in such a generative way,
but we often relate to you like a marketplace transaction.
Help us name our disengagement and apathy.
Help us relate more vulnerably with you.
Lord, you embrace and transform suffering,
but we often resist or wallow in it.
Help us have the courage to name our suffering.
Help us soften our grip of control.
We ask in the name
of the Father,
of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Sermon and Reflection
What tensions am I holding in life right now?
How have I been relating to God as a result?
What would it look like to be present with God in a non-transactional way this week?
God has invited us to open up our tension,
suffering, and ambivalence this morning.
As you leave, continue to allow God
to hold those spaces with you.
Throughout the week, practice the presence and compassion
of God toward your vulnerable parts, and invite others to do
the same, for together, we find meaning in community.
God has already prepared these tender moments
for us and is waiting to meet us there.
Go and meet with God authentically this week
in the love of the Father,
of the Risen Son,
and of the Holy Spirit,
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Margriet Zwarthoed @ Flickr]