Light of ancient, light of old,
search us, and know our hearts.
Try us, and tell us what
anxieties we wrought.
For on a day called “today,”
our consciousness is concealed.
Brother bemoans brother,
Sister bemoans sister,
Church bemoans church,
state bemoans brother.
With dimming eyes, we grope
just as the rooster crows.
We scatter, we hide,
we close shut our eyes.
The cool wind blows. “Where are you?”
Your voice, it calls forth from inside.
With bated breath we pray:
Refining Fire, complete the good works you began in us.
Good Shepherd, lead our way in trouble and in peace.
Gracious Creator, gather us to your bosom so we may
recall the love in your eyes and warmth of your breath.
With the sustaining hope of the saints before us,
those beside us, and those to come, we pray, amen.
We invite you to hear from the Gospel of Mark 1:4-8.
4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the
forgiveness of sins.
5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all
the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were
baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair,
with a leather belt around his waist, and he
ate locusts and wild honey.
7 He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is
coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie
the thong of his sandals. 8 I have baptized you with water;
but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
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 area of your life is in need of truth-telling?
How are you invited to consent to God’s unconditional love in this year?
Vox, though the days are evil,
we have a great high priest
who is able to sympathize.
Our suffering servant was tried and grieved
and proved a path that was and is and is to come.
A path of peace and justice,
of healing and equality,
of righteousness and humility,
and love and dignity for all.
The omnipresent has not abandoned us
to construct some other path.
Let us trust that the Word is true.
That it is better that the Helper has come.
That light and flame pass the borders of flesh bringing
forth gifts and fruit to progress our hearts and minds.
To ready us for the days ahead only ever in
and through the bonds of His love.
Keep going then, where the Spirit is guiding you.
Trusting that the Giver will give you
all that God gave to Christ,
chiefly His unfailing, unceasing love and friendship.
In the name of God, our Creator,
Christ, our Savior,
and Holy Spirit, our Breath of Life.
Go in peace, and live the church.
May you find safety and rest this week..
[Photo by Mark Olsen]