Let us begin our time together with a breath,
And with a breath, begin a time to relax and be free
within the sanctuary of God’s divine authority.
Our response will be highlighted in yellow.
Release us, merciful God, from our
false impressions of Your divine authority.
You do not press down with force.
You do not belittle. You do not shame.
You do not turn away in coldness
or disconnect from our deepest needs.
Lift from us, O God,
whatever heaviness we carry –
in our hearts, in our bodies –
from authorities – past or present – whom have not reflected
your loving-kindness, your transforming power,
your perfect intuition, your listening ear, your steady Truth.
May your Divine authority calm the storm
inside us before we are overtaken by the
illusion that our own power might save us.
Let us look upon Jesus, as we choose trust over distress,
as we yield our compulsions to control our lives, to control
others, and, absurdly, we confess, even to control you.
May your Divine authority free us from our
bitter thoughts, our destructive ways, and open
us to see anew your true expression of power.
In the name of God, the Almighty,
Jesus, our Benevolent Authority,
and the Holy Spirit, our guide to divine restoration.
We invite you to hear from the Gospel of Mark 1:21-28.
21 They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath
came, he entered the synagogue and taught. 22 They
were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them
as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
23 Just then there was in their synagogue a man with
an unclean spirit, 24 and he cried out, “What have you
to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to
destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.”
25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out
of him!”26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying
with a loud voice, came out of him.
27 They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another,
“What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands
even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 At once his fame
began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.
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 ideas about authority am I being invited to let go of?
How can I use my authority to care for and restore freedom to others?
Vox community, let us open ourselves
to a new way of thinking about authority.
May we support each other in the process
of letting go – of the hurt we’ve felt under
rogue command, of the regrets we’ve had
in our own blunders and insensitivities.
Let us welcome God’s divine authority,
Together may we soften under your power,
not because we are dominated,
but because we are treasured.
Because we trust that your work is good.
As we move through our week –
transform our thoughts,
comfort our spirits,
stir our wills to serve.
Let us live your revelation
of authority, as Jesus lived.
We pray this in the name
of the Boundless Creator,
our Perfect Teacher,
and the Spirit which transforms us.
Go in peace, and live the church, Vox community.
May you find safety and rest throughout the week.
[Photo by Annie Spratt]