Sunday, July 13, 2014
Offered by Hardy H. Kim, Associate Pastor
We are humbled as we experience how quick you are to enter into our everyday. Through the gift of stories that challenge our hearts and minds, in the wonder of music that resonates deep within our souls, and by the relationships that transform our lives, you make yourself comprehensible to us, limited as we are, and for this we give you thanks.
We give you thanks for your Son, Jesus, who came among us and lived as we lived. He understood the weakness of our human natures and the mundane realities of our context; and yet, by his gift for telling stories, he took the base material of our existence and crafted parables to give us visions by which we might understand you and your goodness. We treasure the stories he told and ask only that you would make the seeds of those stories grow in our hearts, that they might bear fruit in our actions and in the words we speak to others about the new world you are making right in our midst.
We give you thanks for the gifts of music with which you have blessed our community. This day, in particular, we give thanks for the faithful company of believers who established this sanctuary and fitted it with a grand organ, that mighty chords should fill this place with reverberations of your majesty, that awestruck hearts might sing forth hymns to glorify your name. For all the years of faithful service the organ has given us, for all the musicians who have brought forth its beauty, and for the congregations who have gathered round it to praise you, we offer our thanks. Keep us faithful and passionate in our worship, we pray, and make us open to new forms of worship that might make your presence known to all around us and inspire more women and men to work your will in the world.
And we give you thanks for the many relationships with our mission partners, in this city and around the world. Through these bonds, you make it clear to us that your church is far greater than anything that could be contained within the walls of our buildings, but also that it should never think itself too grand to address the real needs of all your children who struggle to find wholeness and dignity. We lift up a special prayer today for our mission partners in Haiti, for the youth and adults of this congregation that have traveled there to share in work and worship and fellowship with them. Give them all, trip participants and hosts alike, the ability to perceive your image in those they encounter, a responsiveness to Jesus Christ’s call to risk themselves so your love might be known, and an awareness of the abiding presence of your Holy Spirit, binding them all together as your children. By the work and by the witness of this mission team, and all the other members of this community who participate in mission, may we see your will being done in this world, and may we all be inspired to go and do likewise.
Giving you thanks for all these things, trusting that you hear these prayers and are faithful in responding, we lift our hearts to you in this moment, and as we do so, we pray the prayer our Lord Jesus taught, saying, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church