Lord Christ, we arise this morning and
thank you for the privilege to be alive.
Knowing what it cost you on the cross,
we thank you for the simple gift of life.
We give thanks for our breath.
Holy Spirit that fills us and connects us,
we thank you for breathing into us.
We give thanks to think and to imagine,
as we are created, we thank you for
allowing us to imitate you in our own way.
We give thanks to enjoy and to feel happiness.
To know joy, to laugh and be with friends,
we thank you for always wanting to be with your people.
We give thanks to love and to be loved.
We stand, the bewildered recipients
of your magnificent affection.
We thank you for loving us.
We give you thanks for all things
for they were never ours to begin with.
We release this time, this place, and our hearts to you now.
This has always been for you and because of you, Lord Christ.
We exhale our gratitude and gladly come to sit at the feet of our Savior.
In the name of
God the Creator,
Jesus the Son,
and the Holy Breath of Life.
(Naomi Jackson, adapted from Marcus Aurelius)
We invite you to hear from the reading of Luke 18: 10-14.
10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and
the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself,
was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other
people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’
13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even
look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying,
‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’
14 I tell you, this man went down to his home justified
rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be
humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”
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 have we devalued others through our lens of contempt?
Does our lens of comparison lead us to competition or curiosity?
How can we put on a lens of mercy toward ourselves and others?
Breathe in humility, exhale gratitude.
Go into the world with soft hearts and loose hands.
Remember that the work of God is not bound to the
rule of scarcity, and that you are no exception.
Love is not divisible. Love is exponential.
Remember that Christ saw the suffering amongst
the proud and the fishermen among the Pharisees.
Christ, the indistinguishable human and divine
does not weigh our light against our darkness.
Look at one another and tend to the work
of smoothing over the highlights and shadows.
Blend away the harsh lines of division.
As God is loving you into the person you are
meant to be, love each other in humbleness.
May we live into our call of loving and being loved.
May we live into our call to be whole and resurrected.
May we leave this place and give all the more freely
what was never ours to begin with.
In the name of the
and Luminous Holy Spirit.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Martin Canova @ Flickr]