Despicable is an understatement.

How could a father?
How could a God of Love!!?

How could God? How could Abraham?
Did God? Would God?

Not the God I know.
Definitely not the God of love, justice, & kindness.

Love God with all your heart, mind, being, & strength.
But what about love of neighbor?!

Or love for your own child?!?
No. This is not right. This story makes no sense. It is horrible and…

[short silence]

In this hour may your spirit of love, enlighten us about this repulsive tale.
May we learn and grow in your presence despite and through this uncomfortable story of a father and son. Amen.


See also In a World of Tough Choices

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Posted in Call to Worship, Genesis, Genesis 21:1-3; 22:1-14, Genesis 22, Genesis 22:1-14, Old Testament

In a World of Tough Choices

We get confused sometimes by the options.
The choices before us can seem equally wrong.

You ask us to do something outlandish, which is your way, but this time…
This time it’s out of character.

You ask us to act,
But it goes against every atom in our body.

You ask us to act,
And it goes against everything we know about you.

Open our minds, our hearts, & our being,
That we have the strength to discern the right path in a world of hurting people and difficult choices. Amen.


See also Despicable

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Call to Worship, Genesis, Genesis 21:1-3; 22:1-14, Genesis 22, Genesis 22:1-14, Old Testament

Call to Worship: When God Imagined Me

In the midst of darkness & chaos…
God imagined.

In the fury & darkness…
God imagined a world filled with trees, and blue skies and fluffy white clouds.

In the meadow, God stood and…
imagined foxes, bluebirds, and slithering snakes.

In a world of rainstorms and wildlife and cattle and grasses blowing in the breeze…
God imagined humanity. God imagined the continuum from man to woman. 

In a world teeming with billions of people…
God imagined me. 

God imagined you and God imagined me. We are created in the image of God.
God imagined us all. God loves each of us. 

Let us worship with the same imagination as the creating One!

Posted in Call to Worship, Genesis, Genesis 1, Genesis 1-2, Genesis 1-2:1, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Show Us the Way

*Call to Worship & Invocation

We are each worthy of grace and love & mercy when viewed through divine eyes.
We are God’s beloved. 

Sometime we fail to live in harmony with God’s dreams for us.
God has expectations.

Half a millennia before Jesus, our forebears had lost their way. They claimed God “delights in those doing evil.” [Micah 2:17 CEB]
They knew what was expected but chose another way.

Stubbornly, the people failed to give their whole selves to being who they were created to be.
God’s frustrations with the people grew.

So God sent Malachi to prophesy to the people.
God did not mince words.

God was annoyed for God knew humanity’s potential. God sent Malachi to lay out the divine case.
God promised to show the people a path toward being God’s loving kin_dom on Earth.

Let us pray.
Alpha & Omega. Before & To-Come. Send us a prophet, show us the way as you did for our forbears that we might live into your dreams for us. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Invocation, Malachi, Old Testament

Merciful Love Prevailed

Call to Worship & Invocation

God called Jonah to prophesy to the Ninevites.
And Jonah ran.

From the belly of a great fish, Jonah prayed to God for salvation.
He remained in the fish for three days.

The fish vomited Jonah on the beach.
God called Jonah again.

Jonah warned the Ninevites: Forty days more and you will be destroyed.
The people believed Jonah.

Both the people and animals of Nineveh repented.
And God changed God’s mind.

Merciful love prevailed.
But Jonah was angry.

Let us pray.
Essence of all, we sometimes forget that your loving and merciful justice never changes. In relationship with humanity your love and justice is not about punishment or vindictiveness. Help us to reveal your image within ourselves, that we can forgive the unforgivable, love the unloveable, and strive for your just kingdom on earth in our every moment, in our every decision. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Invocation, Jonah, Jonah 4, Old Testament

Reborn from the Sea Womb

*Call to Worship & Invocation

You are in the presence of God.
The One whose love nudges at us and pursues us in all times and all places is among us.

Like Jonah, we too often run from the task of loving that God sets before us.
But also like Jonah, we get second chances to love, to do justice, and to walk humbly.

The big fish vomited Jonah upon the shore so that he could use his second chance to be God’s voice to the Ninevites.
Reborn from the sea womb, Jonah did as God required.

Let us pray,
God of Jonah, Re-inspire, re-invigorate, and re-energize us to be who we are created to be. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Invocation, Jonah, Jonah 3, Old Testament

Lustrous & Worthy

Call to Worship  Acts 2:1-4   

When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them.
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak. (2011 © Common English Bible)

Come, Holy Spirit, Come!
Come, Holy Spirit, Come!


Holy Spirit, making life alive, moving in all things, root of all being, cleansing the cosmos of every impurity, effacing guilt, anointing wounds. You are lustrous and praiseworthy life, you waken and re-awaken everything that is. (Hildegard of Bingen)

Posted in Acts, Acts 2, Acts 2:1-4, Call to Worship, Hildegard of Bingen, Invocation, New Testament, Words of Wisdom
Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

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