Monday, January 23, 2017

For January 29, 2017 -- Sabbath Controversies.

God of grace, God of life, God of love,
you have called us together for worship.
AS we gather in this place,
we bring our hopes and fears, our celebrations and cares.
In this time of prayer and song and listening,
we take a pause from the busy-ness of life,
we remind ourselves that taking a break is healthy,
we open ourselves to your wisdom, that will lead and guide us in the week to come.
We gather, we pray, we live, as followers of Jesus, who taught his friends to pray together saying...

God, you give us rules, guidelines to follow as we seek health and abundant life.
And there is a part of us which chafes at the idea that we are not in control.
God you challenge us to know when it is time to follow the letter of the rule and when to bend it.
And there are voices which insist on strict adherence no matter what the circumstances.
God, in your grace,
grant us the wisdom to know how best to use the rules and traditions of our faith to build healthy lives for ourselves and our neighbours.
God of grace, in our failure to follow the rules, and in our failure to suspend the rules when necessary,
we miss the mark, we are unwise. Forgive us, teach us, that next time we would find the path.
God of grace and mercy, God who forgives, we live and grow through your grace.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

As a community of faith,
we have sung, we have prayed, we have kept time with God and each other.
As a community that serves,
we go back out to our varied communities where we live and serve and love.
As a community of love,
we go out seeking to know when the rules need to be strict, and when they need to be bent.
As a community of hope,
we go secure in the knowledge that we are not alone. God is with us. Thanks be to God.

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