Loving God, we gather as one people, yet we all
come with different stories and lives this week.
Some of us are struggling, some of us are thriving,
yet we are all here to listen to you and to one another.
Help us let go of our past, that we may turn toward
you and live a life of healing, faith and grace.
Merciful God, forgive us of our sins against
our loved ones, our friends, our neighbors.
Help us call out our fear and hatred, our anger and
self-pity. Lift the burden they place on our shoulders.
Patient God, help us set aside our pride and arrogance,
and enter a season of healing and understanding.
As we pray and remember you, restore us to be a simpler
and more receptive people, that we may see you plainly.
May we learn to be a better community
for each other and for our world.
Rekindle the sign of hope within our
eyes, that all may see and experience
the love of Christ in all we do.
We pray in the name
of God the Creator,
of Christ the Risen Savior,
and of the Holy Spirit, our Breath of Life.
We invite you to hear from the reading of Acts 11:4-10.
4 Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying,
5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision.
There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven,
being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me.
6 As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey,
reptiles, and birds of the air. 7 I also heard a voice saying to me,
‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8 But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord;
for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’
9 But a second time the voice answered from heaven,
‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’
10 This happened three times; then everything was
pulled up again to heaven.
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!
The Good News of Christ. Praise be to you, O Christ!
The grass withers and the flower fades,
but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Amen.
Sermon and Reflection
Who in your life is loving you into more expansive ways of seeing?
Why do you think we are addicted to judging our distinctions?
May we go out from here and live lives
worthy of the one calling which we all share.
In humility, gentleness and patience, may we
speak only what is true and loving and grow
into the unity that is ours in Christ.
And may God, the Creator restore our hearts;
May Christ Jesus, the bread of life, sustain us always;
and may the Holy Spirit unite us in the bond of peace.
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
in the name 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 Matt Bower @ Flickr]