Let us begin by taking a deep breath
to welcome you, Precious God.
[Pause for a breath]
We hold true to your promise that
when two or three – or two hundred –
of us gather, you are there.
Reveal yourself to us,
this mixed up group of
saints and sinners,
artists and accountants,
veterans and activists,
students and teachers.
The questioning, the fervently sure,
the ones who tried to get away
and the ones who never left.
Be among us and within us.
Teach us how to abide in community,
so that everyone here today may know
and understand that they truly belong.
We begin our worship today
in the name of our Lord God,
of our teacher Jesus,
and of the calm Holy Spirit,
We admit that we do not always act
as one body, and we let interpretation
come before community.
Show us another way to live the church.
Teach us how to work through our differences
and, together, discover your truth.
We created insular, homogenous groups
that hold up corrupt, earthly power structures.
We have kicked some people out,
while never letting others in.
Forgive us for marginalizing
those who are not like us.
Teach us how to welcome
back those we have outcasted.
Show us the ways of your divine kingdom,
where power is turned on its head, and the
least of these become the most cherished.
We pray in the name of
God, the Creator,
Christ, the Risen One,
and the Holy Spirit, the Breath of Life.
Sermon and Reflection
What does it look like to receive from God rather than barter with God?
How can we use our power and privilege to include rather than exclude?
Go now from this place, looking at those
around you as reminders of your own salvation.
In faithfulness, treat everyone you meet with
kindness, as though they had something to teach
you about yourself, because they probably do.
Welcome these lessons, as best you can,
with open hands, receptive to the work
God is continually doing in your heart.
Explore the wilderness and know you will
never be lost; you are tethered irrevocably
to the One who loves you, gave you breath,
and watches over you at every moment.
So go this week, praising
the name of the Father,
of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit,
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Maya Beano @ Flickr]