This morning, let us begin our liturgy with a contemplative meditation.
For families, we invite your children to participate as well.
Close your eyes, and notice your breath.
Bring your shoulders up to your ears,
and release them down to your back.
Take a deep breath in, filling your chest and lungs.
Slowly release and notice your breath as it exits.
Take another deep inhale and pause.
Exhale even more slowly.
Take one more deep breath in.
Now audibly sigh out your exhale.
Allow your breath to return to its normal pace.
Notice how you physically feel in this moment.
Acknowledge your body.
Do you have any pain or tension?
Do you feel tired? Or alert?
Whatever your body is feeling,
welcome these experiences.
Now shift your attention to your mood.
What emotions are you experiencing?
Are you feeling excited or anxious?
Maybe joyful or cranky?
Maybe all of the above.
Notice the range of what you feel –
the positive and the negative.
Welcome all of these thoughts and emotions.
Take one final deep breath in.
Exhale and release.
Slowly blink your eyes open.
Let us end our meditation by reading this prayer together.
Holy One, we welcome your presence.
Come sit with us, be with us,
and share in this sacred time.
Gently wash over us with your fullness,
so we have space for you,
for ourselves, and for each other.
We ask of you, our God in community,
Holy in One.
We invite you to hear from the reading of Mark 1: 14-15.
14 Now after John was arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee,
proclaiming the good news of God,
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled,
and the kingdom of God has come near;
repent, and believe in the good news.”
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
How do we live in the wake of freedom?
How do we #staywoke and avoid daydreaming in our current season of justice-seeking?
May God give you the strength to live in true hope,
to proclaim the disruptive and inconvenient
Gospel of God’s love for a people, and to walk
towards the kingdom that is coming into this world.
May you sit at the feet of the Savior, Jesus Christ,
to know his presence; then follow to walk with him
in the tension of joy and sadness,
peace and destruction,
prosperity and poverty.
May the presence of the Holy Spirit direct you
to new springs of hope along the journey,
and be our constant companion as we learn and
relearn to love God, each other, and ourselves.
Go now from this place, and walk in the blessing
of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Samantha Duffy @ Flickr]