thank you for never leaving us alone
in the work you call us to do.
We thank you for leading each of us here to Austin
and everyone who works and is connected
within our small community.
Thank you for the richness of experience,
the diversity of gifting,
the depth of hope,
the quality of commitment
all held here.
And yet, remind us to never keep
what you have given to ourselves,
instead, giving freely to our
friends and to those around us.
We pray that our friendships
will be honest, open and true;
that we will never fear vulnerability with each other
but help to build each other up;
through sharing our experiences
reflecting on your presence in them
discovering who we really are
and working out what we should do.
Help us to listen well to each other
to speak words wisely
to hold silences sensitively
to be as willing to learn as to teach
so that in all things you are glorified.
Let your kingdom come.
In prayer, let us confess to God as a community.
O God, teach us of our need to live in peace,
to love others and to walk the right paths.
We seldom heed your wisdom,
and instead, turn back to our selfish ways.
When friends hurt us,
we hurt back;
when someone hits us,
we strike back;
when family members ridicule us,
we spread gossip about them.
God of mercy, forgive us of our wrongs.
Lead us to a different life:
a life of forgiving, not revenge;
a life of peace, not anger;
a life of love, not hate.
Grant us your mercy for all we have done,
and help us walk in your new ways of living,
God in community, holy in One,
What are the idols in our lives that we need live and move in a different direction from?
How can we live out a rhythm of life as a community?
Christ has no body now on earth but ours,
no hands but ours,
no feet but ours.
We are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion
cares for the people of the world;
we are the feet with which Christ is to go about doing good;
we are the hands through which Christ now
brings a blessing.
We promise this day to keep awake,
to live each moment to the full,
to look with eyes of compassion,
and to act with kindness.
In the name of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by image noise for the painfully alone @ Flickr]