As we gather from our week,
we hold true to your promise that
when two or three – or two hundred –
of us gather, you are there.
Be among us and within us.
Yet we admit that we do not always act
as one body, and we let interpretations
come before community.
Show us another way to live as the church.
Teach us how to work through our differences
and, together, discover your truth.
We created insular, homogenous groups
that hold up corrupt, earthly power structures.
We have kicked some people out,
while never letting others in.
Forgive us for marginalizing
those who are not like us.
Teach us how to welcome
back those we have outcasted.
Show us the ways of your divine kingdom,
where power is turned on its head, and the
least of these become the most cherished.
We pray in the name of
God, the Creator,
Christ, the Risen One,
and the Holy Spirit, the Breath of Life.
We invite you to hear from the Book of Psalm 70:1-5.
1 Be pleased, O God, to deliver me. O Lord, make haste to help me!
2 Let those be put to shame and confusion who seek my life.
Let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire to hurt me.
3 Let those who say, “Aha, Aha!” turn back because of their shame.
4 Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. Let those who
love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”
5 But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay!
The Good News of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
The grass withers and the flower fades,
but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Amen.
Sermon and Reflection
What is our lament in this current moment and season?
How are we moving away from or toward God’s active presence as we live in this gap?
Go now from this place, looking at those
around you as reminders of your own salvation.
In faithfulness, treat everyone you meet with
kindness, as though they had something to teach
you about yourself, because they probably do.
Welcome these lessons, as best you can,
with open hands, receptive to the work
God is continually doing in your heart.
Explore the wilderness and know you will
never be lost; you are tethered irrevocably
to the One who loves you, gave you breath,
and watches over you at every moment.
So go this week, to love and serve
the name of the Father,
of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit,
Go in peace, and live the church.
May you find safety and rest this week.
[Photo from Vox Archives]