Welcome, Vox family, to
this sacred space and time.
Let’s take a moment to pause
and welcome the Spirit.
If you entered with shame today,
release it, for God does not define you by shame.
If you entered with pain today,
acknowledge it, for God cares about your pain.
If you entered with fear today,
welcome it, for God will see you through your fears.
God is in our vulnerable places, and
God’s love is so vast and so full,
there is plenty of room for
our shame, fear, and pain.
Join in God’s great love this morning, beloved ones.
In the name of God, Our Creator,
Christ, Our Redeemer,
And the Holy Spirit, Our Breath of Life.
When you know something like the back
of your hand, you really, really know it.
But how often do you look at something familiar without love?
How often do you look at your face in the mirror with criticism?
How often do you see your body and feel shame?
How often do you consider your life choices and fear regret?
Our God is not a god of shame.
Our God is not a god of guilt.
The world is critical.
The world is shaming.
The world is hard.
Our God is not these things.
Our God is a God of Love.
It’s easy to dwell on the world’s messages,
and to internalize secret hate. We don’t even
know how often we direct that hate at ourselves.
Our God is a God of acceptance.
Our God is a God of Truth.
We bring our attention now, to this time and place,
and center ourselves on God’s goodness.
We pray in the name
of the Father,
of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit,
Sermon and Reflection
What role does shame play in your current temptation?
Where might your vulnerability in life right now lead you to acts of courage and love?
As you leave today,
remember who you are:
A holy and treasured being,
fully loved and liked by God.
When life is difficult this week––
and know that it will be difficult––
remember who you are.
When you are confronted with
pain, stress, and anxiety,
remember who you are.
If old wounds reopen, if shame takes hold,
if new struggles emerge, remember who you are.
Remember and take courage.
God is with you, knows you,
cares for you, and will see you to the end.
And remember God has given you
this beautiful community to share
in your burdens and your joys.
So go now, in the name of
our loving God,
the forgiving Christ,
and our guide, the Holy Spirit.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Kevin Bower @ Flickr]