Monday, April 28, 2008

easter 6: prayer of reconciliation

One: Merciful God, we begin this first day of the week to be in agreement with you. "You are precious in my sight, honored and I love you" says God. And yet, a disparity still exists between the way you see us, the way you want us to build up each other and the way we actually live in relationship to you by the way we care or don't care for others.

Many: Make me joyful and proud when I love well and give me a conscience when my actions and words deny my neighbor the life that you intend.

One: Lord Jesus, we hear words this morning about loving as you loved us. If we're honest we have to say, like the disciples before us, that we too fall short in our ways of loving. Perhaps our own loving, or lack thereof, is connected to the depths of understanding how much you could possibly love us, a fractured and fragile people, who yearn deeply to be accepted for all of who we are.

Many: Help us to live into the fullness of your grace for us. Help us to know that we are more valuable than we could ever imagine, and that we have the capacity to do, in your holy name, the most remarkable 'life-giving' work.

One: Spirit of Truth, the gift of love you pass on from Christ empowers the fullness of humanity that God created. That Christ loves us means that his intention is that we too could become fully human through the way we reflect this love, even to those we hold in contempt. Give us the wisdom and the courage to embody this love, not simply with our feelings that change like the wind, but with our words that carry the power to raise to newness of life.

Many: We give you thanks that you have trusted even us to continue your ministry of love, reconciliation and peace. Give us the strength, compassion and understanding, when loving our neighbors, to realize the power and impact our own words and actions have. Help us to choose wisely your way of love and therefore become the transforming community of God you intend us to be.

One: God intends for us to live in the fullness of life which is the product of being loved well. Hear these words, again, from the One who loves you more than anything, "I have called you by name, you are mind, you are precious in my sight, honored and I love you. Now, love as I have loved you."

Many: Thanks be to God!

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