As we enter into this time and space,
let us invite our bodies and minds to settle in.
Let us feel our feet grounding,
and our breath inviting Life.
We are wired to be pattern-makers,
We use our patterns to learn and find meaning.
God, show us your hand in the patterns we’ve learned.
When our patterns are torn or become
blinders to see those around us, we fight
the disruption and look for familiarity.
Jesus, remind us of the ancient patterns
you rewrote when you showed Love.
We are not meant to hold onto one pattern forever.
They are dynamic, shape-shifting, and world-redefining
moments happen often when we are not looking.
Spirit, open our hearts to the lessons
we are learning and unlearning.
We gather in divine patterns,
united in the love of God,
We invite you to hear from the reading of Acts 9:32-41.
32 Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers, he came down also to the saints living in Lydda.
33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed.
34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up.
35 And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
36 Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas.
She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. 37 At that time she became ill and died.
When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs.
38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there,
sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” 39 So Peter
got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs.
…[Peter] then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.”
Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. 41 He gave her his hand and helped her up.
Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. 42 This became known throughout Joppa,
and many believed in the Lord. 43 Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.
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
What is unfinished in your life?
What would you change if you invited God into that?
As we reflect on the year that’s been,
and anticipate the year that’s to come,
may you find yourself present
with evidence of God’s hand.
Where you have begun healing,
may you become restored.
Where you have found healing,
may your gratitude rise to God.
Where you have found connection,
may you seek to flourish that Love.
Where you have created boundaries,
may you preserve in your self-care.
Trust yourself to gather up what you need close,
and to toss away all that pulls you away from grace.
May you be guided and blessed
as you learn the difference.
May you shine with the Love of God.
In the name of our holy God,
three in one,
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by matt.bower @ Flickr]