AS we once again prepare for the holy (and somewhat terrifying) task of proclaiming the Good News, let us pray: [prayer source]
The words we speak all too often do not show you in
our lives, God of our pilgrimage. We spend so much time
boasting to others, they imagine we have no need for you.
We grumble impatiently when you don't respond immediately
to our requests, but are slow to sing your praises. We
mutter under our breath about the behavior of those around
us, when we could be asking them if there is some way we
could serve them.
It is on our journey to the cross and the tomb that you
fill us with the riches of your mercy, Steadfast Love! You
do so, not because of any thing we have done, but because
of the compassion which flows from your heart wounded
by our failings. As we open our lives to receive your
forgiveness, may we turn to the Light which brings us
life, following Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, every
step of the way.
|Christ Lifted High|
Many years ago, in my 2nd year at seminary, I was assigned chapel worship on the day when these passages came up. I remember looking at the pairing of the Numbers reading (with the snake on a stick offering healing) and the first verse of the John reading and wondering if it was an invitation to a superstitious approach to Christ on the cross (which also, according to our faith, brings healing). Do we who wear crosses around our neck wear them as a sign of faith or as a talisman? Of course after 18 years I have no idea where I went with that logic but it sounds like there might be a sermon in there...
OR of course there is that temptation to expand on the most famous verse in all of the Gospels -- John 3:16, with the opportunity to point out the verse that follows it.
OR one could go with Paul, and forgiveness, and justified by grace through faith. Is there a more quintessential passage for those of us in Reformed or Lutheran traditions?
Wherever the Good News is being found in your midst this week please share it in the comments. If the Good News is scarce in your midst this week please share that too. And if you have a Children's Time idea PLEASE PLEASE share that! (I often find that the hardest piece of the service to plan)