Vox, God loves all parts of you. Your inner light and darkness,
heaviness and ease, they are all loved and welcome, so allow
your whole selves here today.
Our shadow-selves are necessary parts of us that reinforce
our humanity, connection to our community, and to our Lord.
Allow this darkness to be brought into God’s light
so love can fill them instead. Let us prepare to open
our hearts and receive God’s word as a community.
In the name of
our gracious God,
the loving Son,
and the solace of the Holy Spirit.
We invite you to hear from the reading of Luke 6:20-26.
20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
22 “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you,
revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice in
that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that
is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
25 “Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. “Woe to you
who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.
26 “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that
is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.
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
Think of an achievement, success or possession in your life right now that you’re afraid to lose. Can you imagine God’s love for you even without that thing?
Reflect on a part of yourself that you’ve made an enemy. What would it look like to practice love for that part of yourself?
Vox, this week and beyond, may we be open to love
the people and the parts of ourselves we’ve made an enemy.
Let us lean into God’s love when it is difficult to love ourselves.
May we see ourselves made in God’s image, perfectly lovable and already loved.
Let us live with curiosity among the seven billion versions of God’s image.
In the name of the Father,
of the Son,
and the Holy Spirit,
let us walk with grace as ordinary saints.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Elo Vasquez @ Flickr]