brothers and sisters in Christ,
why are we here today?
We seek community,
we seek forgiveness,
we seek understanding,
we seek wholeness.
Let us work together in this space to be the
body of Christ, united in mind and in heart
to create a sanctuary for the Holy Spirit
and for our souls that long for rest.
We come together this morning to bear witness
to the love that knows no bounds and seeks
to lead us to green pastures and still waters,
where we can be renewed.
We pray this together,
in the name of the Father,
of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit,
Lord Christ, we thought redemption would be a one person job.
We didn’t expect to be invited into this. Seeing your outstretched
hand, hearing you speak our names, and declaring we shall join
you in your journey seems unimaginably scary.
We confess that we do not see ourselves as you do. We see
our flaws, vices, and un-qualifications outweighing our true self.
Help us to accept the invitation to see
ourselves and others as you do.
We confess that we distract ourselves from your call by toiling,
wasting our labors, and burying ourselves in frustration.
God, shake us free from our need to control.
Help us to walk away from what holds us captive.
We confess that your goodness makes us want to
run and hide our shame. We do not know why you
should call us when we feel completely inadequate.
Lord, clothe us in your righteousness.
Open our eyes to see the vision of your Kingdom.
We fail sometimes in the most basic ways, yet you
still want to sit at the table and collaborate with us.
Help us get back up when we fall, to not get distracted
in the details, and to confide in you, our dear Friend.
Even when we we try and fail, you beckon us onward.
Give us the faith to listen and the courage to throw
our nets back into the water.
We ask of you, our God in community,
Holy in One,
Sermon and Reflection
What net are you caught in?
What net do you want to be caught up in?
How can we weave a net together?
That which is gentle and life-giving,
is also ravaging and unpredictable.
May we hold fast to our anchor.
May we hold fast to Christ who calmed the chaos,
who walked over destruction, and who napped
peacefully amid the storm.
Even in the unpredictability of life, may we be saturated
in the grace of God, and cradled in the ebb and flow of mercy.
May we never forget that we are caught up by the one who sees us
as an asset, not a liability. When we step out of the flow, let us leave
behind the things it has washed away. We no longer need them.
May you look into the eyes of your Savior
who drew you from the water and named you.
Be overwhelmed by the smile that shines love
on you, like a mother for her child.
His peace is your peace.
Her love is your love.
Their joy is our joy.
So go forth and be thankful this week,
in the name our Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Olga Wysopal @ Flickr]