God, your voice is but a whisper,
and we struggle to hear it
amid the clatter of life in its many forms,
that works to claim our attention.
We pray that this morning may be a time
of quiet reflection and devotion to you,
when we can still our hearts and minds
and strain our ears to hear only you.
Grant us mercy this morning in our struggle.
Grant us focus, that we may be single-minded
in our worship of you.
Grant us grace, that we may be easy on ourselves
in our weakness and failures.
What are you trying to say to us this morning?
What name are you calling out to us?
The name that is for our heart alone:
Beloved. Forgiven. Child. Chosen.
We pray that we would hear
your voice this morning,
in the name of the Father,
of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit,
We invite you to hear from the Gospel of Mark 8:29-33.
29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” 30 Jesus warned
them not to tell anyone about him.
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man
must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders,
the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that
he must be killed and after three days rise again.
32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside
and began to rebuke him. 33 But when Jesus turned and
looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me,
Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns
of God, but merely human concerns.”
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 experiences do you find most difficult to validate or legitimize?
Where were you most surprised by where love or connection showed up for you this past week?
Lift up your eyes to receive the benediction.
May God give you the strength to live in true hope,
to proclaim the disruptive and inconvenient
Gospel of God’s love for a people, and to walk
towards the kingdom that is coming into this world.
May you sit at the feet of the Savior, Jesus Christ,
to know his presence; then follow to walk with him
in the tension of joy and sadness,
peace and destruction,
prosperity and poverty.
May the presence of the Holy Spirit direct you
to new springs of hope along the journey,
and be our constant companion as we learn and
relearn to love God, each other, and ourselves.
Go now from this place, and walk in the blessing
of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Go in peace, and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Casey Horner]