Resisting & Hoping

We call out to you,
“Be the God we dream!”
You respond by being
the God you are.

We discuss you and
define you and expect of you.
But you unravel our
expectations and definitions.

We seek to limit and control
putting you in a box of our making.
You turn our boxes upside down.

We seek now.
You bid us wait.

We seek obvious salvation.
You send a child.

We seek clear-cut and
easy answers.

You give us hope.
Upside down divinity,
give us the strength to resist a culture
of greed, of haves, and have-nots.

Turn our eyes away from the gold statues,
our idols of selfishness and fear.
Help us to let go of our expectations of you
so that we might be ready to welcome
the child who is on the way. Amen.

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Posted in Advent, Advent 1 Hope, Call to Worship, Daniel, Daniel 3, Daniel 3:1, 8-30, Invocation, narrative lectionary, Old Testament, Seasons of the Church

Living Our Lives

We leave now to live our lives. We will grow old, we will raise families, we will love neighbor and family. We will get on with living our lives, mindful of the dreams God has for humanity. Whether we are in Jerusalem or Babylon, we will trust that God’s peace will come. 

Posted in Benediction, Jeremiah, Jeremiah 29, Jeremiah 29:1-14, narrative lectionary, Old Testament

Getting on With Life While in Exile

To my people in exile,
wrote the prophet, Jeremiah.

To you who have put your lives on hold while in Babylon,
he added.

Build homes. Get married. Have children and watch them grow up and marry.
Get on with your lives, live in the now.

Find happiness and contentment far from home. Trust that the time will come when my dreams for you are made whole.
For now, be content, and live.

The time will come when my promise will be fulfilled. Peace will come. Disasters will end. I will gather you up and bring you home to me.
The time will come when will be one people, one with God. 

Until then…
Until then we will wait while getting on with our lives. We will give thanks for the present. We will give thanks even in the exile. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Jeremiah, Jeremiah 29, Jeremiah 29:1-14, narrative lectionary, Old Testament

Reignite Your Image in Us

Injustice.
Darkness.

Illness.
Darkness.

Hopelessness and temptations.
Darkness.

Worry and anxiety.
Darkness.

Evil in many forms pervades our world.
Darkness disorients.

We light a bulb and it sizzles and fades out. The light of hope is shattered into many pieces.
Sometimes it seems that darkness has the upper hand. Light only lasts for a moment before hatred and hurt win.

Comfort your people O God!
We cry out to you!

Creating Spirit, point us toward your unfolding realm of light and love that flows steadily and persistently through the ages toward the time of wholeness. Reignite your image within us that we may manifest your shalom, justice, and extravagant love in each moment. Restore & revive us during this hour. Use us beyond this time and place to be your hands in the world. Amen.                                       

Posted in Call to Worship, Confession of Sin & Assurance, Isaiah, Isaiah 9, Isaiah 9:1-7, narrative lectionary, Old Testament

Where is the love?

When our neighbors live on the street wandering from place to place…
where is the love?

When powerful men use their power for sexual favors…
where is the love?

When our neighbors turn to narcotics because life holds so little hope for them…
where is the love?

When medical care is neglected because it just costs too much…
where is the love?

When shooters come into churches and gun down worshipers…
where is the love?

When Jesus speaks truth to power, loves fully, and is crucified for it…
where is the love?

Holy One, We don’t understand! It makes no sense! God who dreams of loving community for all humanity, help us to understand! Move us in this hour to do our part to heal our culture and bring your kin_dom to earth. Amen. 

Posted in After a Tragedy, Amos, Amos 5, Call to Worship, narrative lectionary, Old Testament, Special Times

Love Whole-Heartedly

Benediction

Love wholeheartedly.
Live as you were created.
Be God’s people in our fragmented world.
Amen.

Posted in Benediction

Of Course

We gather because we are more than individuals.
We are connected at the cellular level.
We are one people, one species, one planet,
one living organism learning and being together.

So, of course, we gather together. It is in our nature to open our hearts to one another.

Posted in Call to Worship
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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