O Lord who is greater than the most powerful forces in this world,
enable us to be still and know that you are God.
O Father, who answers out of the whirlwind of everyday life,
breathe in us your Holy Spirit to strengthen, comfort, and guide us in the midst of our storms.
O still, small voice, speak to us this hour,
that we might become bearers of your peace in our homes, in our communities, in our world.
We pray all this in the name of the One who can calm the raging seas.
In prayer, let us confess to God as a community.
O loving God, you draw us with cords of compassion and bands of love
for we have wandered from your ways and forgotten your promises.
Because you first loved us, you offered us all your blessings when you announced…“Blessed are the poor in spirit”
but we have been rich in pride.
You promise, “Blessed are those who mourn”
but we have not paused with the sorrow of our rebellion against you.
You promise, “Blessed are the meek”
but we are a stiff-necked people, living as if we deserve anything.
You promise, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness”
but we are filled to the full with many other things.
You promise, “Blessed are the merciful”
but we are harsh and impatient, critical and intolerant.
You promise, “Blessed are the pure in heart”
but we have impure hearts, bent towards others instead of you.
You promise, “Blessed are the peacemakers”
but we have chosen resentment over grace, ill-will instead of mercy.
You promise, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness”
but our lives do not challenge the world around us.
You promise “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you
and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me”
but our words and choices have hardly made it known that we are yours.
Your promises are sure, yet your ways are not our ways.
You do not delight in holding our sins against us,
but instead, longing for us to grow into greater maturity,
you run towards us with forgiveness.
Forgive us Lord, for what we have done
and for what we have left undone.
Jesus, we believe in the power of the cross to cleanse us,
and we receive your gift of freedom.
Help us to forgive ourselves, as you forgive us,
so that we may also be able to forgive others.
We pray in confidence to our God in community, holy in One.
What does mourning look like for you?
Ask for God’s comfort for you or someone you know in mourning.
Gracious and loving God,
make us one in the body of Christ,
and thankful for bringing us together to remember you.
Send us into the world to do the work you have given us to do:
to find the lost and lonely, to heal broken souls,
to free prisoners, and make the powerful care.
Grant us strength to persevere in our daily work,
to proclaim your truth in all we say
and do your good news in Christ Jesus our Savior.
We go in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Gideon Tsang @ Flickr]