SILENCE AND CENTERING – 2 MINUTES
PRAYER FOR PRESENCE: “LORD MANIFEST YOUR PRESENCE TO US, THAT WE WOULD EXPERIENCE YOUR NEARNESS AND POWER.”
SCRIPTURE: – 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”
Christ promises us that he will be with us always, until the end of the age (Matt. 28:20). He is working to make all things new (Rev. 21:5), and everything in the breadth of creation will be reconciled to Jesus (Col. 1:20).
But what if, in the meantime, wars rage, poverty swells, and hateful ideologies run amok in our world? In our pursuit of a life of faith that embodies the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), how do we wait patiently on the Lord’s work in the midst of hopelessness? During a season in which political polarization, the largest refugee crisis our world has ever seen, and the effects of climate change are manifest around the globe, it can be difficult to hear the words of the psalmist who wrote, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Ps. 43:5)
Our Lord commands us not only to look forward to the day of his return but also to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with him (Mic. 6:8). As people called to do justice in this world that belongs to God, in this world in which so many people are marginalized and oppressed, and knowing that our work isn’t done in vain, we embody a holy impatience, taking up faith that the gospel is indeed true, good news, while celebrating glimpses in the kingdom and eagerly yearning for what is to come. So we tend our gardens and seek to take care of the earth, we build koinonia, we do justice, and we pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done” (Matt. 6:10).
To believe in the gospel is to have sehnsucht, a craving of the heart for wholeness, a wholeness that we, as Christians, know is to desire full life and abundance, as God intends it (John 10:10).. So we long for what God longs for; by the work of God’s Spirit in us, this is our very nature. Order, justice, love, community, flourishing, full life.
SPACE FOR REFLECTION: (WHICH WORD OR PHRASE STANDS OUT TO YOU. WHAT MIGHT GOD BE SAYING TO YOU?)
THE OUR FATHER (SLOWLY PRAY THIS)
OUR FATHER WHICH ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE THY NAME. THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD. AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US. AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE. FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM, THE POWER, AND THE GLORY FOREVER, AMEN.
2 MINUTES – CONCLUDE WITH SILENCE