Jesus walked in the Light of Love,
when there was darkness,
when there was pain.
Jesus loved the sinner,
and showed us that the lost can always be found.
So we wonder, can’t it be both?
When we wake up tired, can’t we still get up?
When we’re scared, can’t we still walk toward the challenge?
When we’re angry, can’t we still love?
When we’re joyful, can’t we still be sad?
We gather this morning to explore the “both,”
the duality of our nature, our experiences,
the messages of love in both the light and the darkness.
God, open our hearts to hear your word.
Jesus, clear our eyes to see your way.
Holy Spirit, give us courage to face it all.
In the name of the Triune God,
Holy Three in One,
We invite you to hear from the reading of Psalm 23.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.
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 are the green pastures you’re invited to remember from this past year?
How have you seen glimpses of God’s grace and hope in the midst of the valley?
Let us leave with a benediction.
Go live fully. Live and be reminded
of the God who lived fully among us:
Christ, God and human.
Go laugh, go play, go sing, go and dance.
Feel invited into the rhythm of life, and ask
others to join in.
Stretch into yourself, and feel
the vibrations of God’s Spirit.
Join into the dance that has been
going on before and will continue after us.
And when you can not push through,
fall on the waves of God’s grace.
Remember that we have an Advocate and Guide
who will never leave us. The peace of the Lord
is always with you, now and to the end of the age.
Leave in the name of
God the Father,
Christ the Son,
and Holy Spirit, the Rhythm of Life.
Go in peace, and live the church.
May you find belonging and community this week.
[Photo by NeONBRAND]