The Messiah We Have

Jesus asks Peter,
Who do you say that I am?

Peter responds,
You are the messiah, the one who will fix the world.

And Jesus replies,
Not quite… “Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly.” (Mark 8:31 NRSV)

Peter just knew Jesus had it wrong. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. (Mark 8:32b NRSV)

Like Peter, it’s hard for us to accept the messiah we’ve been given. 
Open our eyes, God, that we see the extravagant gift we’ve received. Open our hearts, that we are willing to follow faithfully

Let us worship. 
Let us learn. Let us trust. Let us be and become your people in this hour. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Mark, Mark 8, Mark 8:27-9:8, New Testament

Forgive Us Our Arrogance

Prayer of Confession

Divine One: We confess we create you in our image. We yearn for a messiah who will force the world into that which we want. Like Peter we rebuke your way and fail to follow you. Forgive us our arrogance. Amen.

Assurance of Grace

We are forgiven our arrogance, our mistakes, and our confusion. That’s the nature of God’s grace. Praise be! 

Posted in Confession of Sin & Assurance, Mark, Mark 8, Mark 8:27-9:8, New Testament

A place of respite.

Come into this space of respite. The stress, evils, and hardships of the world have manifested in our bodies and souls.
Beleaguered by the world, we are weary.

Come into sanctuary with the great mystery. Be present with dust and breath, with earth and divinity.
We come to be restored by the breath of the creating One. We come to be one in the presence of one another.

Acknowledge the stress, evils, hurts, and hardships of the world that you’ve absorbed and carry with you. 
We seek healing and wholeness and connection.

Take into yourselves the world, integrate it with the Imago Dei (the image of God) within you and together create something holy.
We seek to remake, to restore, and transform ourselves before one another and the mysterious One.

Come into this space of respite. Open your whole beings to the balm of healing. 
We open our hearts to the new creation made of dust and breath, of the world and of divinity, of our dark places and the light that resides within.

Be ready. Wholeness awaits. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Mark, Mark 7, Mark 7:1-23, New Testament

Confession & Assurance: Psalm 51

Prayer of Confession

Have mercy on me, God, according to your faithful love!

Wipe away my wrongdoings
according to your great compassion!

Wash me completely clean of my guilt;
purify me from my sin!

Because I know my wrongdoings,
my sin is always right in front of me. (Psalm 51:1-3 CEB)

Assurance of Grace

The boundless love of God has purified you with hyssop and second chances. Each one of you is beloved and forgiven, clean as new-fallen snow (inspired by Psalm 51:6-7)

Posted in Confession of Sin & Assurance, Old Testament, Psalm 51, Psalm 51:1-3, Psalm 51:6-7, Psalms

Be Vulnerable, Be Authentic

You heal. 
And want us to do the same. 

You love. 
And expect us to love. 

You give us authority.
And send us out. 

You tell us, “Be vulnerable, be authentic.”
And remind us it is risky. 
You tell us, “Go. Do the work.”
And accept not everyone or everyplace is ready. 

Let us pray,
Give us strength and willingness,
Strengthen our resolve to love and act. 
Supply us with your wisdom,
That we know when to stay or go. 
Make your presence known,
guide our steps 
assuring our journey 
is an extension of you. Amen. 

Posted in Call to Worship, Mark, Mark 6, Mark 6:1-13, New Testament

Demons Among the Stones of the Dead

Prayer of Confession

We confess we cling to the demons we know and wander among the stones of the dead. We bind ourselves to the that which is unhealthy for humanity because we cannot imagine the Beloved Community. Open our spirits, make us willing to let go of the familiarity of the status quo for your kin_dom. Amen.

Assurance of Grace

God dreams so much for each of you, for each of us. Do not be afraid. You do not need the demons. What God is creating for humanity is filled with joy and peace and enough for everyone. This is the Good News. 

Posted in Confession of Sin & Assurance, Mark, Mark 5, Mark 5:1-20, New Testament

Demons – A Call to Worship

We gather in this place, on this sacred ground weekly.
We come to be with friends.
We come for inspiration and hope.
We come to be among those
   who love like Jesus.

The demons surround us. We yield to them. We adapt to their ways because change is hard.
We find it hard to imagine another way.
We speak the Sunday words but they don’t always permeate our being.

Systems of this world are powerful. The chains and leg irons cannot contain the legion of demons. The demons oppress us. 
We cry out for freedom, unity, love, and justice!

Jesus commands: “Unclean spirit, come out!” Release the people! 
Praise be to the One who can release us from the demons! Praise be to the power of extravagant, expansive, unending love. 

Holy Spirit, call out our demons in this hour. Leave us filled with God’s breath of hope, justice, and unending love that we may let go of the status quo and truly be your people in our hurting world. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Invocation, Mark, Mark 5, Mark 5:1-20, narrative lectionary, New Testament
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All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

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