Get Going

The cries of injustice have reached God’s ears and heart. God says, “I see their oppression and suffering.”

“We see it, too, God,” we respond. “Are you going to rescue them now?”

And god responds, “So get going. I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10 CEB)

Who are we to fix injustice or bring your love into the world?

I will help you, says God. I will be at your side but you must go. I have chosen you.

Here we are, Lord. We will go. 

Posted in Call to Worship, Exodus, Exodus 3, Exodus 3:7-12, Exodus 4, Exodus 4:10-17, Old Testament

Groundedness & Restlessness

Oh Greatness Abundant!

We gather together,
one part of the whole people of earth.
We claim you as ours,
yet it is we who are yours.

We are your beloved among beloved.
Whatever our nationality, our skin tone,
or orientation, or abilities,
we are created in your image.

As we worship and coffee,
connect us.
Do not just connect us to one another,
but to our neighbors.

Create groundedness but,
also a deep restlessness,
until your dream of the wholeness of creation is a reality.

Spur us to be doers of justice, expanders of love,
and people of humility.

In your ways,
In your hopes,
In your yearning,
We pray!

Amen.

Posted in opening prayer, Prayer of the Day, Prayers

A Falling Out

Paul and the Corinthians had a falling out. 
It’s not gone well.

Paul is as human as any of us.
We are molded by the same Creator.

Conflict. Hurt. Polarization. Rejection. 
These are the ways of humanity.

There is always a way forward. It is a way that follows Jesus through conflict, anger, hurt, polarization, sadness, and rejection.
God has a dream and a hope for us.

Embrace the dream.
Immerse yourselves in the waters of hope.
We follow the One whose expansive love is for black lives, trans lives, poor lives, straight lives, and immigrant lives. 

Holy One, show us the way through.
Touch us at this hour. Move our hearts and our souls. Amen.

Posted in 2 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians 2, 2 Corinthians 2:1-10, 2 Corinthians 2:1-11, Call to Worship, Invocation, New Testament

Alone Together

Life goes up. 
Life goes down. 
Life goes on. 

We weep. 
We laugh and dance. 
We suffer and we pray. 

Together we cling. 
Together we share our song.
Together we are one human family. 

Let us worship alone, 
yet not alone. 

Posted in Call to Worship, Invocation, Job, Old Testament

Consume Us

Hear Me, God!
Listen to Me! 
Respond to my challenge and my suffering!

We gather with ears, with eyes, and with hearts to listen, to perceive, and to experience Divine wisdom. 
May she fill us and consume us. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Job, Job 38:1-11, Old Testament

Sprouting Hope

In his despair, Job envies a tree.
For when a tree is cut down, new sprouts mean resurrection and hope.

Job yearns to be hidden away in a place where devastation cannot touch him.
Hidden from harshness, Job anticipates vindication. 

Before God and before Job’s friends, Job anticipates vindication to come.
But I know that my redeemer is alive and afterward he’ll rise upon the dust. (Job 19:25 CEB)

We gather together in this time in which a fallen tree, begins to sprout anew.
Praise God for this time of Holy Transformation! 

Posted in Call to Worship, Job, Job 14, Job 14:7-15, Job 19, Job 19:23-27, narrative lectionary, Old Testament

Despair, Weariness, Anger…and Trust.

Job was a faithful man. A man of integrity, he was loyal to the God of love, justice, and mercy. His life was blessed. Job’s faithfulness was blessed with a life without strife and challenge.
Or so he thought.

It all fell apart in one afternoon. The institutions, the norms, the wealth, and the people Job counted on were ripped from him.
He grieved deeply but remained faithful.

But the hardship didn’t stop.
Not for Job and not for us.

Our politics becomes more and more polarized by the day. The pandemic prevents us from being physically present with one another in the normal struggles and challenges of living. And the killing of black and brown peoples rises in our awareness.
Like it was for Job, it is easy for us to fall into discouragement.

In our discouragement and struggles, the miserable comforters offer us free advice and judgment. “It’s all God’s will,” they say. “You just need to keep a stiff upper lip,” they advise. Implying God wants us to suffer, they say, “God’s ways are mysterious” and shut down our lament.
It makes us want to slam the door closed and shout, “Leave Me Alone!”

Job cried out in anguish and anger to God:

Perish the day I was born…because it didn’t close the doors of my mother’s womb, didn’t hide trouble from my eyes. But I won’t keep quiet; I will speak in the adversity of my spirit, groan in the bitterness of my life…for my days are empty. Leave me alone! (Job (3:3, 10; 7:11, 22 CEB)

Come and worship! If you’re just done with it all, shout your angry words to God! If you’re weary, rest in Christ’s arms, and if you’re joyful, dance. Created in God’s image, God feels with you. God loves you and is ready to listen and be present with you.

We come to worship with our whole, authentic selves assured God loves us. Amen.


Posted in Call to Worship, Job, Job 3:1-10, Job 3:1-10, Job 4:1-9, Job 7:11-22, lamentation, Old Testament

Living in VUCA Times (An Invocation)

We live in volatile times.
It seems as if things are changing rapidly and often for the worse. We feel hope only to have it dashed by another action or event.

We live in uncertain times.
We aren’t sure of the right thing. Do we return to everything that is open or take it slow and easy?

We live in complex times.
Nothing seems simple. Our heads spin as we face challenges.

We live in ambiguous times.
Everything seems inexact, one path seems right but then again maybe another path is the better way.

We yearn for times gone by, times when the answers seemed simple and solutions to problems were clear. Give us clarity. Give us hope and certainty. Focus us on what matters, on your way. 
Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Invocation

Ours is a faith

Ours is a faith focused on love.
The one we call God is
the very definition of love.

Ours is a faith of spiritual growth.
The one we call God is
an ever-creating, ever-evolving breath of love. 

Ours is a faith of action. 
The one we call God provokes us to
speak, demand, & create justice for all peoples especially the poor, oppressed, & marginalized.

We are the imperfect who gather to learn and grow into a people more in-tune with the one we call God.
We gather to love, grow, & act. Amen.

Posted in 1 Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 13, Call to Worship, New Testament

Severed But Not

The world is not as we want it to be.

Our relationships are severed:
by virus and disease
by political discord
by phobias and isms and hatred.
by our fears and insecurities.

And still, we choose to worship.
Come. Be one together through technology and the divine spirit that sparkles and twinkles its unending love between and within us. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship
Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

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