Whatever Our Shape, Abilities, or Struggles

We are created by God!
We gather assured of God’s love and dream for humanity.

We are created in God’s image.
We gather assured that whatever our shape, our abilities, or our struggles, we reflect the image of God.

Our mental or physical characteristics are never punishment for sin. Never. God created each of us out of love and hope.
Within you, within me, within all people, the essence of God can be found.

Let us pray:
Creating One, we are humbled by your confidence in us. Encourage us as we strive to manifest who you dream we can be. Amen. 

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Posted in Call to Worship, Invocation, John, John 9, John 9:1-41, narrative lectionary, Uncategorized

Living Water

Turn the tap and water comes out.
Clean, refreshing water quenches our thirst.

Stop at the market, twist open the cap.
Spring water crosses our lips and our craving is satisfied.

Step outdoors. Look up.
The clouds dampen our faces and nourish the earth.

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again.” (John 4:13 CEB)
After a time, we all thirst again. 

“but whoever drinks from the water that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life.” (John 4:14 CEB)
Please give us this water that we may never be thirsty again.

Come see the one who turns our thinking and our world upside down.Come see and experience the love that knows no bounds.
Praise be to God! 

Praise be to Jesus whose life draws from the well of God’s dreams.
Praise be to Christ Jesus whose love and justice quenches our thirst with living water. Amen.

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Posted in Call to Worship, John, John 4, John 4:1-42, Uncategorized

So It Is

It had been a long day.
The heat. The crowds. The life as it is expected.

He sensed something new with this man.
A breath, a wind swirled and blew.

They met as the noise of the day faded.
A patient breath taught a perceiving heart.

“So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8 NRSV).
Open our hearts to the wind sweeping through this room. Open our whole selves to your abundant love. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, John, John 3, John 3:1-21, Uncategorized

Jesus Cleanses the Temple (John 2:13-25)

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Posted in John, John 2, John 2:13-25, sanctuary arts, Uncategorized

Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11)

Small blooms were sprinkled down the center aisle leading to this display in front of the communion table. Each seat in the sanctuary had a wrapped wedding butter mint.

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Posted in John, John 2, John 2:1-11, narrative lectionary, sanctuary arts, Uncategorized

The Righteous Anger of a Prophet

The world is not what we think it should be.
It fails to meet our hopes and dreams.

Some weeks we’re depressed. We ache at the hurt, the deep emotional and physical pain we inflict upon one another.
It’s hard to see you in this fractured life.

We try to be like the calm shepherd holding a lamb that we imagine Jesus to be.
We want to be the people Jesus teaches us to become.

But Jesus is more than a calm shepherd. Jesus was human.
He also felt righteous anger when religious leaders took advantage of the poor and marginalized.

Come and worship the prophet from Nazareth.
Praise be to the one we call Christ. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, John, John 2, John 2:13-25, Uncategorized

An Angry Savior

From your lives of challenge,
of hard work, of weariness, and loneliness, come and worship.
In tough times and times of joy, it “is zeal for your house that has consumed me…” (Psalm 69:9a CEB)

From lives of righteous anger, frustration at injustice, and weeping for what could have and could yet be, come and worship.
“The insults of those who insult [God] have fallen on me.” They harm my neighbors and even themselves. (Psalm 69:9b CEB)

From your lives, gather round to hear the story of Jesus whose anger erupts when the church is a place of selfishness and greed at the expense of the meek, poor, and marginalized.
“He made a whip from ropes and chased them all out of the temple, including the cattle and the sheep.” (John 2:15 CEB)

Indeed he did. Come and worship the God of Jesus.
“But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD.” (Psalm 69:13 CEB)

Posted in Call to Worship, John, John 2, John 2:13-25, narrative lectionary, Psalm 69, Psalm 69:1-16, Psalm 69:13, Psalm 69:9, Psalms, Uncategorized
Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

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