We come not always knowing what to expect.
We come rejoicing in God’s generosity and care.
We come to pray and sing and celebrate the hope of God’s promise.
We come to share our knowledge that God reaches out to each of us and welcomes us to be disciples.
We come to help the world become a better place.
We come to worship.
Confession & Words of Assurance
God, we are so conditioned to respond in kind. We are so worried that when the reckoning comes, we will find ourselves left with the short end of the stick. And not without reason. The powerful take and take and lie and lie and oppress and oppress seemingly without consequence.
Teach us to love with skill.
Teach us to love with precision.
Teach us to love with abandon, trusting that when we step into the ocean of Your abundant love we will receive the blessings of Your abundant life.
Believe the good news of the gospel:
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God!
Treat Others With Kindness
Luke 6 27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful,just as your Father is merciful.
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Loving God, we see so many opportunities to show Your love to the world, and yet we hesitate, not sure if we should get involved, so we return to You and hold others up to the light.
We pray for first responders, medical staff, scientists and so many others who have helped make our lives safer, healthier and stronger. We know they are tired and have to give out of pools that are almost empty. We pray that our respect will help them find renewed energy, and that they will sense Your strength flowing through all they do.
We pray for the vulnerable, the hurting, the captive, the ones who seem to have agency in their lives but are restricted by situations or people who can’t see the need. Help them find a way out, a way of compassion and assurances that they are never alone.
We pray for our children, our elders, our friends and family. Sometimes things in life make us question each other, wondering why we make the choices we do that lead to disagreements. Help us listen to each other and find the path that represents Your way of walking together.
All of these prayers and so may more we pull together and pray the prayer tradition has taught us…
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Go now, turning grudges into grace.
Turn fractures into forgiveness.
Turn hardness into hearts broken open by love.
And may the love of God, creator, redeemer and sustainer be with you always. Amen