Posted by Eileen
(Once a month I get to lead the first part of worship at our church. I welcome the people in my own way. And though the ordained minister gives the full sermon, I give my short reflection on the scriptures for that particular Sunday which leads into the prayer of confession by the congregation. Here is the part I did last week with what I call the sermon from the molehill. The congregation’s responses are in bold print.) * The Caps made it easier to read, since I had just had cataract surgery and for this post I left out the hymns.
Welcome those of us who have experienced the love of God fleshed out in Jesus.
Welcome those of us who seek to know and serve God better.
Welcome those of us who encounter God in the beauty of nature.
Welcome those of us who experience God in the tenderness and joy of human love.
Welcome those of us who find God in the search for truth called science.
Welcome those of us who find ways to help those in need, regardless of who they may be.
Welcome those of us who fall, but with the grace of God get back up. Welcome those of us, who like Thomas, have a hard time believing in miracles, but keeping following Jesus no matter how scared we are.
Welcome those of us who question, but still seek. Welcome those who are in their “let’s sample the pleasures of the world” phase of life. Welcome those who wish they were somewhere or even “anywhere else” right now. Welcome all of us here today, because every one of us is a beloved child of God.
TODAY IN THE SCRIPTURE IN GENESIS,21: 14 – 1, WE HEAR AND FEEL THE HEARTBREAKING DESPAIR OF HAGAR, WHOSE CHILD IS NOW WITHOUT SHELTER AND FOOD AND EVEN WATER. THERE ARE MOTHERS TODAY IN OUR OWN COMMUNITIES LIVING IN THEIR CARS WITH THEIR CHILDREN.
WHO WILL BE THE HANDS AND ARMS OF GOD FOR THEM? WHO WILL EMBRACE THEM IN THE NAME OF JESUS TODAY?
IN TODAY’S GOSPEL OF JOHN , CHAPTER 4: VERSES 7-14, JESUS OFFERS THE LIVING WATER THAT IS THE LOVE AND GRACE OF GOD TO A WOMAN, WHO IS NOT ONLY DESPISED BY THE JEWS AS A HERETICAL SAMARITAN, BUT IS AN OUTCAST AMONG HER OWN PEOPLE. WHO ARE THE OUTCASTS IN OUR WORLD TODAY? WHO WILL TAKE THE LOVE OF GOD TO THEM?
JOIN ME NOW IN THE PRAYER OF CONFESSION FOLLOWED BY MOMENTS OF SILENT PERSONAL REFLECTION AND RESPONSE.
Lord, we have lived for ourselves and been blind to you in others. We have turned from our neighbors and refused to share their burdens. We have ignored the pain of the world passing by us – the hungry, the poor, and the oppressed.
Forgive us and free us from our selfishness so that we may hear and respond to your call to love our neighbor. (Moments of Silent Confession)
Forgive us O Lord, and give us the grace to change, we ask in Christ’s name.
WE WERE FORGIVEN WHEN JESUS CHRIST GAVE HIS LIFE FOR US LONG BEFORE WE WERE EVEN BORN. OUR PART IS HEARING AND RESPONDING WHEN GOD IS CALLING US TO GROW AND CHANGE. SO LET US NOW ACCEPT AND REJOICE IN HIS FORGIVENESS AND RESPOND TO HIS CALL TO CHANGE.
WE ARE FORGIVEN! WE ARE FORGIVEN! THANKS BE TO GOD! LORD, OPEN OUR MINDS AND HEARTS AND FILL US WITH THE GRACE TO HEAR AND RESPOND TO YOUR CALL TODAY. AMEN
Tags: . seekers, change as growth, experiencing god in relationships, finding God in Science, Forgiveness, forgiveness and response, God in love of neighbor, God in Nature, Hagar, love of neighbor, love of the outcast, metanoia, mothers and children living in cars, Samaritans considered heretics
Posted by Eileen