Sunday, November 14, 2010
Offered by John W. Vest, Associate Pastor
Gracious and loving God,
you call us together in this place to be community.
As a reflection of your mysterious triune nature,
you created us to be social beings who seek relationships with each other,
and with you.
Our longing for your presence brings us here,
where we are reminded that there is nowhere you are not.
We experience you in the wonders of creation,
in the love we receive and the love we share,
in the joys of life,
and in the lonely places too.
Thank you, God, for the love you have extended to humanity through the ages.
Thank you for the guidance and direction you provide.
Thank you for the gentle ways you correct our paths when we stray.
Thank you for letting us make mistakes and learn the consequences.
Thank you for mercy, grace, and forgiveness.
In ancient words and contemporary dreams,
you give us a vision of the world as you would have it be—
a world of peace and harmony,
a world of plenty and abundance,
a world of health and well-being,
a world of sharing and cooperation,
a world of equality and justice,
a world in which all of your children are known and loved for who they are.
We realize, of course, the discrepancy between this vision and our reality.
We know all too well the pain and suffering of illness, death, and loss.
Even as we rejoice in new life, we remember lives that have ended.
We remember places of war and violence.
We feel the hurt of broken relationships and bitter conflict.
We are fractured people living in a fractured world.
But we know that this is not the end of the story.
We remember your vision.
Even more, we remember Christ.
In Jesus Christ we saw this vision take shape among us,
living your way in humble simplicity and radical selflessness.
Jesus showed us in life and death what it means to be your servant,
and the servant of others.
Jesus gives us hope that this vision of your kingdom is more than a dream:
it is a reality emerging around us every day.
Jesus taught us how to recognize your presence among us
and showed us how to join in the rebirth of the world,
even as we are being reborn ourselves.
And so, we are bold to pray as Jesus taught us,
not just waiting for the world to change,
but submitting ourselves as participants in this kingdom vision.
Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church