In our Gospel today Luke shows us a different picture of Jesus that gives us much to think about. He is not just the conciliator but also very much the challenger to human presumption. Today we see him as a man of bold courage who did not mince words or worry himself about offending others. His purpose was to fulfill the kingdom of God, not the expectations or aspirations of his neighbors. This is a bold antagonist who makes preemptive strikes against the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Roman rulers, the priests and scribes, Democrats and Republicans, Socialists and Capitalists, and any other creature who presumes upon the Divine. What we see here is that Christ's epiphany is not two-dimensional and easy to take. His disciples are charged with preaching the full and complete word, the hard word, the saving word. Let the chips fall where they may when the words fall from our lips. If it is time for the cross, it is time. If not, the word will go on its way. We pray for wisdom to hear your words, we pray for courage to spread your words, and we pray to show your love by how we live. Lord in your mercy,
Made alive with God in Christ, we pray for the church, those in need, and all of God’s creation.
Heavenly Father we are gathered this morning to worship you, to confess our failures, experience forgiveness and to start fresh to try to live together peacefully. Send your Holy Spirit into this place to renew our efforts to live the way you would have your children live. Help us to abandon striving for power and instead listen to the Spirit of God speaking to us. Make us mindful constantly of the lesson your son Jesus lived and taught – to sacrifice ourselves for the good of our friends, our neighbors and even our enemies. Let the world see Jesus in us. Lord in your mercy
O God, our world is full of storms that cause us to wish for stillness and great calm. We worry. We are fearful of the unique storms that crash waves into our lives, whether an unwanted diagnosis, an unexpected expense, an unkind act. We are fearful as we watch larger storms engulf other people in countries we have not visited. We join our voices to offer our prayers to these communities and to ourselves. Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Gathered by the Holy Spirit and Fed by the word we come together as the people of God to pray for the church, the world and all in need.
Abba, we gather in safety and comfort this morning to hear scripture read and interpreted, to partake of the sacrament of communion, to sing your praise. We are mindful that our reality is a fantasy for so many of your children. Our hearts care, you know that Father. Fill us with conviction to shine the light of that caring into the darkness. Let us be the love that shines all around the beasts and the children. Hear us O God
Heavenly Father, we have so many joyous events and moments in our lives. We know that you are the true source for this happiness. You created us out of joy and love. We thank you for the joy of our many volunteers here at Upper Dublin. We pray for the safe journey and successful mission of our ASP volunteers. There job is not easy but they do it with joy and grace. Our youth are our future and we are blessed by their devotion and faith. We thank our adult volunteers who travel and work with them. Their dedication and sacrifice will not go unnoticed by our youth. We thank you for our Vacation Bible School volunteers who will work to your glory this coming week. They will be windows to your love and our children will blossom. We also thank you for our fathers who work so hard to provide and model your love for us. Be with them and restore them when they are tired, when they feel overwhelmed, when they are fearful. Their presence in our lives is essential and so worthwhile. We thank you for our pastors who serve all of us in so many ways and who work so tirelessly to find ways to enhance our own faith journeys. We celebrate Pastor Anderson and his book the Digital Cathedral which leads us to find your good news in so many places and we celebrate Pastor Lawlor who is showing us that your presence and love is found in many places in many cultures and in many faiths. For all of this joy we offer our praise to you because we know that you are its source. Help us to never forget this, help us to live in your love and help us to bring you joy in your creation. Hear us, O God