Our God, our Shepherd,
Our Meadow, our Brook–
May your love be a tempest,
Blowing through our plans,
Bursting upon our assuredness,
Simplifying want into trust.
Guide your beloved flock, O Lord,
Through the darknesses we fear,
Through the darknesses we choose,
And remind us that even the darkest valley,
At last, will open into dawn.
Teach us to dine with our enemies;
May it be grace that runneth over
The confines of our expectation,
And loving-kindness that anoints
Your children’s’ heads like oil.
Goodness and Mercy, come quickly–
Collect this broken world to yourself,
And teach us to dwell in the house of the Lord, forever.
In the Name of the Father,
And the Holy Spirit,
The violence in the world is old,
Our place in the world is ever new.
Work in us, Good Shepherd, and
Give us the foresight to distinguish
The wolves beneath the willow;
Give us courage as you scatter
what prowls in wait.
The goodness in the world is old,
The threats to it seem ever new.
Guide our simple steps, high upon the cliffs,
Or low in the craggy plain.
Light the way to the valley’s end,
Sustain our flagging hearts as
Fears crowd out the hope within.
The call to find rest in you is old,
The barriers to that peace are ever new.
Forgive us our unbelief,
Forgive our desertion
Of the call upon us.
Redeem us out of the places you found us,
And refine us into a communal fire.
We ask in the name
Of our God our Provider,
Christ our Protector,
And the Holy Spirit, our Guide.
Sermon and Reflection
Who or what are we being led by? In what ways are we being led by envy instead of gratitude and contentment?
How can we allow ourselves to receive the goodness and mercy that is chasing after us?
Go now with your trust in the good Shepherd, and
let us love, not just in words, but in truth and action.
Believe in the name of Jesus Christ, and love
one another, just as he has commanded us.
May God be at your side, even in valleys of wilderness and death.
May the resurrection of Christ Jesus be the cornerstone of your life
through all seasons, and may the Holy Spirit abide in you and tend
to you with love and mercy all the days of your life.
Let us go forth this week, praising and serving
in the name of the loving Father,
of the Risen Son,
and with the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Lainmoon @ Flickr]