Monday, February 25, 2013

To go with The Church in the World: IN But Not OF

We are called to be people of faith in the midst of the world,
and so we mix our worship and our work, our faith and our life.
We gather here as people who live in the world and yet,
we gather as people who have been called to see the world from a different viewpoint.
God has called us together, God has called us to be part of a community.
God challenges us to consider questions of priority as we engage with the world.
In this time together,
may God open our hearts, minds and eyes,
allowing us to see deeper, helping us to live in the world while still offering a challenge to the ways of the world.
We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

God of Grace, you call us to be different from the world,
but the world is seductive, and so we come here to be strengthened.
God of Vision, you hold before us an alternate way of life,
different priorities, different loyalties, different values.
But we know that the world is not only seductive but powerful,
and so we are drawn in to following its priorities, accepting its values, showing loyalty to its gods.
God who blesses the meek, the peacemakers, the merciful,
forgive us when we lose sight of these qualities, when we misunderstand their role in the world.
...time of silent prayer...
Rejoice and be glad! God is gracious and God offer blessings. God calls us to life in the world, God offers us the chance to explore how to live out God's vision. We are called, we are forgiven, we are blessed.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

As people of faith we have gathered for worship.
As people of faith we now return to the world.
We are Holy people, set apart from the world.
No. We are ordinary people, just the same as our neighbours.
We are both ordinary and holy,
we live in the midst of the world even as we name that there is a different Way to live.
As you go into the world,
may we share our understandings of how the world could be different.
And may the God who has set us apart in the midst of the world go with us.
To strengthen and embolden. Everywhere and always. Amen.

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