God of all things,
we arrive as a collective
embodying an abundance
of every human need.
God of limitless compassion,
we bring our broken hearts before you.
Restore the distorted vision in our eyes
to see what you see in ourselves and each other.
God of limitless dreams,
we bring our broken dreams before you.
Restore the frayed edges of hopes
where we are jaded and cynical.
God of limitless delight,
we bring our bodies before you.
Restore our ragged, worn bodies
to the joy you made in us.
In the name of God, our Protective Father,
Christ, our Hope of Transformation,
and the Holy Spirit, our Eternal Breath.
We invite you to hear from the Gospel of Luke 24:36b-48.
36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood
among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They
were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a
ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why
do doubts arise in your hearts?
39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself.
Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and
bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said
this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still
wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here
to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
43 and he took it and ate in their presence.
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I
spoke to you while I was still with you — that everything
written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and
the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their
minds to understand the scriptures,
46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah
is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day,
47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be
proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from
Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.
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
How do we see the marks of death we see in ourselves? And how have they been transformed?
How do you need to reintroduce yourself to your community?
Where do you need to experience restoration?
This week, open us to the thin spaces
where heaven touches earth and sacred
enters profane, where eternal meets
temporal and where death transforms life.
Might even our own bodies be sites for this?
This week, may we see our physicality,
our temporality and fragility, not as
evidence of our failings, but of our divinity,
a gift from the God who
chose to become one of us,
who chose to become human.
Go forth this week, in the name
of our Creator God,
our Created Savior,
and the Creative Spirit, Holy in One,
Go in peace, and live the church.
May you find community and belonging throughout the week.
[Photo by Garry Knight]