Sunday, October 29, 2006
Offered by Patrick Daymond, Associate Pastor
God our Father and our Mother; God of the morning, noon, and evening of life; you in whom we live move and have our being, we come to you today with an attitude of reverence and praise. As we contemplate the seemingly endless depths of your grace and mercy, we come before you situated in this place, surrounded and comforted by the light of your love, as we take the opportunity to give you thanks.
It is in our justification through Christ Jesus that we have received a priceless gift. And on this Reformation Sunday, we celebrate the fact that the gift of the gospel shines ever more brightly. No longer do we carry the burden of guilt nor the insurmountable weight of the demands of the law. But in your grace we respond with great humility, certain that you are preparing a place in the kingdom for your people.
In your love for us, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to upset the status quo, to change the face of society, and to strip away those things that are often seen as comfortable and reliable. And through the generations you constantly remind us that the foundations of the lives we create for ourselves are not as solid as we once thought. We are reminded that everything that is us and who we are is fraught with uncertainty outside of you.
So we welcome reformation in our own lives this day. Reform hearts and minds so that we might more and more reflect the kingdom of God in our midst. We seek to follow you into a world that perhaps we have never been, both in and outside of these walls—those places inhabited by strangers and outcasts, a world filled with the chronically homeless and mentally ill, people suffering with AIDS and those living with cancer, those who are unemployed and underemployed. We seek to follow you into the world of the objectionable—into prisons of physical and spiritual prostitution, into the struggles of the drug addicted and dangerously violent, into places where people smell funny, talk strangely, and live badly.
Inflame us with your love O God, so that we might touch the untouchables, reach out for the impossible and welcome the unthinkable. Keep us strengthened and attuned to this call even as we endure our own personal crisis, so that we might more and more become the community of abiding love and care that you desire.
And whenever uncertainty or fear creeps up in our own circumstances, we are reminded that you are indeed the rock of ages and the sure foundation upon which we stand. For your Word says that you are the same yesterday, today, and forever.
O God, as we continue to seek reformation in our walk with you, we continue to ask you to forgive us for our sins, for we realize that we have not been all that you have desired us to be. But we come to each day, crying out as David did, asking you to give us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us. And when it’s all said and done, we will continue to give you all the glory, honor, and praise. For we ask it all in the able and strong name of Christ Jesus, who taught us to pray saying: Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church