Categories
Musings Sermon Starter

No More Worthless Things

Someone left a message on one of my blog posts this week asking me to contact him to “discuss the role of women in church.” Not likely. You want to take the Bible literally when it’s convenient. You want to say that women can’t be clergy, that marriage is “between a man and a woman,” that God uses storms to punish sinners, that prosperity is a sign of God’s blessing, and a few other things. However, you let the call for repentance from the prophets and from Jesus go unheeded. You ignore Jesus’ call to care for the vulnerable. You would rather spend time arguing about what the bible does or does not say than actually trying to embody Christ in service to your neighbor. No, I’m not going to discuss the role of women in church with you.

Of course, our more conservative siblings don’t have the corner of the market on biblical literalism. It’s the default setting here in the U.S. Yet, we are also only literal when it is convenient for us or when we want to reject the God described by biblical writers. It’s easier to engage in discussion about what is or isn’t in the Bible than it is to discern what God may be asking of us. It is easier to say we are “not that kind of a Christian” than it is to proclaim what kind of a Christian we are. It’s easier to cling to our traditions while complaining about the many who no longer seek a faith community than it is to transform church into something that meets the needs of people around us. What might it take for us to leave behind the tedious and petty things that divide us and focus on building the realm of God?

Jeremiah lamented the foolish ways of God’s people. He pointed out how far from God the people had strayed, not for the first time. It seems we human beings have a startling capacity to choose “worthless things” and become rather worthless ourselves. We have a tendency to blame God for the hard times, the times of scarcity and suffering, and credit ourselves with times of abundance, the times of success and happiness. How long will we worship the false gods of our own making rather than seek the God whose steadfast love outlasts our foolishness?

While we keep digging our cracked cisterns, God keeps whispering of Living Waters that quench thirst and nourish parched souls. Today’s gods have more names than Baal and they are not always made of gold, but they are just as false. These gods will lead us to pursue our own personal pleasures or our individual successes. They will keep us divided from our neighbors and enamored with our own sense of power. They will not lead us to wholeness. They will not lead to justice. They will not set anyone free. Yet, they are demanding and will consume us if we don’t leave them behind.

In Luke’s Gospel Jesus tells the parable about the wedding banquet. He saw how people entered a banquet room and took their seats as honored guests. He cautioned them about assuming how important they were compared to other guests. Jesus also had something to say about who should be invited to such a feast. The guest list shouldn’t be confined to those for whom feasting was normative. No. Those we wouldn’t dream of inviting should be called in to sit at the table and eat their fill. (Where’s biblical literalism when it might do some good?)

Isn’t it time we stopped hiding behind our fears and started to live as the people of God in more than just name? If we call ourselves Christians how can we be silent when children are in cages? When the government seeks to take away women’s rights and LGBTQ+ rights? When ICE is given the freedom to pursue everyone whose skin is not white or whose religion is not Christian? When the poor are blamed for being poor? When racism is held up as the national standard? When people in the U.S. (and elsewhere in the world) are dying because they do not have access to food, healthcare, or shelter?

If we are Christians, where is the proof that we are members of the Body of Christ? Where is the repentance? Where is the service? Where is the love of neighbor and self? What will it take for us to love one another as God loves us? If you and I don’t do something to change what is, then who will? We never know when angels might be hanging around.

God is still waiting for us to give up these worthless things that we so value and drink deeply of the Living Water. It’s not too late…

If you are looking for more sermon help, try here.

RCL – Year C – Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost – September 1, 2019
Jeremiah 2:4-13 with Psalm 81:1, 10-16 or
Sirach 10:12-18 with Psalm 112 and
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 and 
Luke 14:1, 7-14

Photo: CC0 image by michael gaida

Categories
Bidding Prayer liturgy Prayer

Bidding Prayer for Vision

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Come, let us pray for the Church throughout the world.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Patient God, your people have gathered throughout all generations to worship and sing your praises. Even today, your name is spoken around the world. May each community know the power of your presence and recommit to following you. While we are easily distracted and often lose track of your ways, you are always waiting to reclaim, restore, and re-form your church. Once again, reveal your vision to us, encouraging us to let go of all that prevents us from reflecting your love and glory. May we become the body of Christ needed here and now.
We seek you, O God.
Free us from all our fears.

Come, let us pray for the United Church of Christ gathered here and elsewhere.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Merciful God, may we remember the lessons you taught Job as the chaos of the world brings pain and suffering into our lives. Remind us that we do not always understand the mystery of your ways or recognize you at work in the world. While we strive to embody you love, keep us mindful that you are God of all, and we are not. Bless with wisdom and insight all those you have called into leadership, especially the Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, our general minister and president and the Rev. Shari Prestemon, our Conference Minister. Open our eyes wide enough to recognize you,your claim on us, and your call of serving all.
We seek you, O God.
Free us from all our fears.

Come, let us pray for God’s people throughout the earth.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Eternal God, you have long-spoken your desires for us through the prophets of old and the prophets of now. Your love has remained steadfast for all your peoples from generation to generation no matter what we have done or what we have left undone. You ask us to love you, love our neighbors, love our selves, and love creation. We find it so hard to live in the abundance of your love. May we recognize your Spirit moving among us, guiding us, re-forming us in this moment.
We seek you, O God.
Free us from all our fears.

Come, let us pray for this country and all those who live within its borders.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Merciful God, show us again the difference between following you and following the leaders of this world. You envision unity and oneness where we see only difference and division. You would have us welcome caravans of immigrants and refugees. You would have us embrace our *Trans siblings. You would have us protect those who are vulnerable to hatred and ignorance. You would have us shelter and feed those who live in poverty. You would have us see you in those we have been taught to ignore, reject, or pass by. Jesus, son of David, have mercy on us! May the day quickly arrive when the abundance of this great nation is freely shared with all who have need and that your vision becomes our truth.
We seek you, O God.
Free us from all our fears.

Come, let us pray for all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Liberating God, free us from the limits of our vision. You see wholeness where we see brokenness. You see blessings where we see uselessness. You see value where we see worthlessness. You offer healing and hope when we turn away. Show us your mercy that we might bring joy where there is weeping, hope where there is despair, and love where there is fear. Bring compassion and tenderness where we bring judgement and rejection. You are God of all people, not just those we choose to see. Show us how to love with your love and see with your vision of wholeness and joy.
We seek you, O God.
Free us from all our fears.

Come let us pray for those who are grieving.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Healing God, you are the One who leads us from weeping to joy, from despair to hope. You remember us when others would forget. You claim as your own beloved even as we lose ourselves in the pain of loss. You see us when we cannot find our way. Breathe new life into all those who are grieving. Heal the wounds that bind us to yesterday and open us to the abundant possibilities of life in you.
We seek you, O God.
Free us from all our fears.

Come, let us give thanks to God for all the blessings we have received.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Generous God, over and over again you have reclaimed, restored, and re-formed your people, and we are thankful. We are thankful that your love for us never wavers and you patiently wait for us to return to you every time we lose our way. May our gratitude lead us to the wisdom gleaned from past experience, the possibilities for growth in the present, and the joy the future holds for us. You are ever blessing all the earth. May we be courageous enough to seek out your ways with gratitude and praise, bringing your vision into life.
We seek you, O God.
Free us from all our fears.
Amen.

If you are looking for sermon help, try here.

RCL – Year B – Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost – October 28, 2018
Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Psalm 34:1-8 [19-22]
Jeremiah 31:7-9
Psalm 126
Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 10:46-52

Photo: CC0 image by Wokandapix

Categories
Prayer

A Little Worthlessness and a Lot of Love: A Pastoral Prayer

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Holy and steadfast God, you have loved your wandering and distracted people for more generations than we can remember. You have forgiven us when we turned to other gods and regathered us when we scattered ourselves. Jeremiah speaks of a time when your people “went after worthless things,” and became “worthless themselves.” These words, written in ancient times, hold truth for us now. We have pursued so many things that leave us feeling worthless and empty. Remind us that you are the One who is living water and that our lesser gods hold no life for us. Forgive us for repeating this sins of our ancestors, and reclaim us once more.

Ever-patient God, you wait for us to sing aloud of your strength, to shout in joy to you. So few remember your saving acts and many stumble in the pursuit of human ways. You long for us to come to you, to seek your counsel, and listen to your wisdom. You have saved your people from themselves over and over again. Yet, here we are. We have wandered far enough from you that we have forgotten the sweetness of life in you. Pry open our narrow views and let us taste the goodness you have planned for us. Inspire us, once more, to set aside our selfish ways. May we build communities of forgiveness, grace, and love where condemnation, fear, and hatred now abide.

Loving and forgiving God, you provide constant reminders of your love for us. You call us to “mutual love” and remind us to show hospitality to strangers for they might be your messengers. You have so clearly laid out for us the way to live as your people. We are to look down on no one, not even prisoners. We are to be careful not to be consumed by the desire for money and wealth because they so easily become the focus of our worship. You want us to remember those who have gone before us in faith, trusted you, and stood unafraid in the face of conflict, ridicule, and rejection. We tend to live in fear, protecting what we have. You would have us live boldly, doing what is good, and sharing all that we have with those around us. Infuse us with your love once more so that we cannot forget that you are with us and we have no cause to be afraid.

Persistent and passionate God, you call us into our best selves. You remind us that we are no more or less valuable than our neighbors. There is no shortage of your love for us. We do not need to neglect or condemn or neighbors in order to feel better about ourselves. Your table is open to all, without exception. We may arbitrarily decide that whole is better than broken, or healthy is better than sick, or straight is better than queer, or white is better than black, or I am better than the person next to me, but you would say otherwise. You claim us all as your own and expect that we will embody your love to one another with the same generosity and abundance. Moreover, you want us to do this with joy and humility. Heal the deep insecurity of our hearts and shower us with your forgiveness. May we one day be your church without division.

Ever-present God, the truth we so often fail to remember is that you are always with us. You wait patiently when we fill our days with worthless pursuits. You watch as we separate from each other in anger, fear, ignorance, and hatred. You hold out hope for us even when we embrace empty gods of our own making. You have written your love for us in the pages of sacred story, in the beauty of creation, and the deep silences of our hearts. Continue to be merciful, Holy One, until we learn gratitude, hospitality, humility, and peace, until we trade human ways for holy ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

If you are looking for sermon help, you might want to read here.

RCL – Year C – Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost – August 28, 2016
Jeremiah 2:4-13 with Psalm 81:1, 10-16 or
Sirach 10:12-18 with Psalm 112
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
Luke 14:1, 7-14

Photo: CC0 image by Jonny Linder

Categories
Musings Sermon Starter

The Allure of a Dragon’s Life

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I’m sure Jesus didn’t mean for his words to be linked with dragons, but I can’t help myself. Every time I read scripture passages about treasure, I picture a dragon. You know, the big, scary, fire-breathing kind that hoards gold and trinkets and protects its treasure with all it’s might. Of course, this is exactly what Jesus is warning us against. He really wanted us to know that we are the treasure and not our stuff. Apparently, it was just as difficult to believe in first century Palestine as it is today in the United States (and elsewhere).

When my mother decided to move from Massachusetts to Arizona in her retirement, she had to sell the house I grew up in. Each time I would visit her during the months she was preparing the house, she would always ask, “Is there anything here you want?” There were cabinets of her mother’s and her grandmother’s china and crystal and silver. Next to those were boxes of things my mother had accumulated. She was disappointed that I didn’t want the Syracuse or the Haviland china. I could not think how any of it could be useful.

It turns out that she packed it all up and moved it to Arizona with her. When I went to visit her a few months before she died, she asked me again what I wanted. There really wasn’t anything. I took a couple of photo albums and a couple of the quilts she had made. She again marveled that I didn’t want the “valuable” things.

Truthfully, I didn’t see those things as valuable. I’m not someone who collects a lot of things. I have more than I need and I’m content enough. Sure, I drool over sports cars and envy people who have pretty shoes and sparkly jewelry. But I don’t need these things and they would serve no practical purpose. It’s not like these things could tell their stories or the stories of people who owned them. It’s not like they could give me the relationship with my mother I wanted and needed.

I read through the scriptures for this week and find myself questioning my faith and just where my heart might be. Hebrews tells us, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” And Luke adds cautions about what we treasure and a reminder that God comes at an “unexpected hour.” These days, my faith is tested every time I turn on the news or browse through Facebook. I keep hoping one of the people running for office will say something about decreasing poverty and hunger, ensuring equal access to education and healthcare, dismantling the racist judicial systems, strengthening and upholding hate-crime laws, funding mental health care, and so many other things. This is not what I hear and its distressing. Power is the seeming treasure here and it doesn’t look like God is anywhere near. I know politics is not where God is often found, but why not? Shouldn’t government be about taking care of the people who inhabit the country? You know, treating people with dignity and respect?

Right. That would be the church. We have misplaced our treasures, too. I have often joked about what it would be like if God took us up on our invitation of, “Come Holy Spirit, come” that is frequently a part of our liturgy. None of us would be ready. Our lamps aren’t lit. We aren’t watching very closely. We’d be as confused and conflicted and disbelieving as any of Jesus’ disciples when he revealed his divinity and asked them to embrace their own. Most of us speak words of faith but seldom act in a way that challenges the status quo. We are comfortable where we are.

We forget that balanced budgets, perfect buildings, high-tech worship, and vision plans are not what church is. That’s all the stuff that distracts us and makes us feel better, not unlike my mother’s china and crystal. None of these things can do the work of the church which is saving lives and including people in a loving community of faith  where they are seen, heard, and valued in the name of Christ. After all, we are human beings, not dragons; trinkets and treasures don’t give our lives meaning or purpose.

It is God’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom of God, the Realm of Heaven. We are foolish enough to mistake our stuff for God’s pleasure. It’s time to light our lamps and be as Christ to one another. How do we know that this is not the hour for us all to show up and re-member Christ?victorian-2745_640

RCL – Year C – Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost – August 7, 2016
Isaiah 1:1, 10-20 with Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23 or
Genesis 15:1-6 with Psalm 33:12-22 and
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
Luke 12:32-40

Top Photo: CC0 image by Josch13
Bottom Photo: image by 15299PublicDomainPictures

Categories
Prayer

A Prayer for the Innocents

prphotohoneymoonGod of all times and all places, we stand on the brink of a new year. Many of us harboring hopes for better days ahead. We want to leave the difficulties of 2013 behind and start new when that ball drops. Yet, we are probably not heeding Isaiah’s advice and recounting your gracious deeds and praiseworthy acts. It is by your mercy that we gather as the body of Christ. Open our eyes to all that you have done for us.

Just days ago, we welcomed you anew into our lives. We sang carols and lit candles in honor of the One whose light shines in our darkness. Many of us have already forgotten the promise of Christ. We’ve packed away our decorations and moved on, away from the vulnerability of the manger. We don’t want to think of the innocents slaughtered then… or now. The news reports of war, violence, and political unrest disturb us. We do not want to know about the children who have died in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Egypt and countless other places. You are the Prince of Peace who can guide our feet in the way of peace. Let us turn away no longer. Shine your light in us and through us that we might become the way of peace here and now.

Ever faithful God, you wait patiently for us to come to you. You hear our songs of praise and wait until the familiar words touch our hearts and transform our lives. You are not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters even when we hesitate to speak your name. That manger in Bethlehem was not meant just for the wise ones who come bearing gifts but also for those who show up with nothing more than a yearning for life. Our decisions about who you love and who is welcome in your sanctuary are meaningless. You came into the world to seek and to save the lost, even those of us who’ve gotten lost on the way to Bethlehem. In this Christmas season reveal to us the radical inclusion of your love. Show us how to open our doors wide enough to let all your children enter in.

You call us to trust in you but we often forget to rely on your grace. The echos of lamentation and weeping make us want to hide rather than step out boldly bearing witness to the light that cannot be overcome by any darkness. As we face this new year, we pray for courage, the courage of Joseph who trusted you more than we can comprehend… The courage of Mary who brought you into the world for us… Grant us the courage to tend the fire of new life given to us once again. May we comfort those who weep and walk with those who lament, carrying hope for those unable to carry it for themselves.

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Holy One who reveals our humanity, we are grateful for your overwhelming love for us. We yearn to make this year a year when your name will be praised and proclaimed in our congregations. We want to walk with you on a path of peace, letting go of those things we no longer need, making room for those who might want to join us as we seek to serve you. Let this year be a time of transformation for us, for our neighbors, for strangers, and for all those innocents who have yet to walk through our doors. By your grace and mercy, may we, the body of Christ right now, be the agents of your hope, peace, joy, and love.

With grateful hearts we pray in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.

RCL – Year A – First Sunday After Christmas – December 29, 2013
Isaiah 63:7-9 with
Psalm 148
Hebrews 2:10-18
Matthew 2:13-23

Categories
Musings

Meditation from Vacation

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Let mutual love continue.
Let me all people live in love no matter where life takes us.

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.
May we show extravagant hospitality to all those who come into our lives so to
honor the One who sends a great variety of people to us.

Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.
How this would change things for us! To be the prisoner or the tortured one would
change the shape of our prayers. Let us remember, especially, those who are wrongly
imprisoned and those upon whom pain is inflicted needlessly.

 Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers.
May all marriages be equally honored and respected around the world. For those who
have disrespected a spouse, themselves, or another, we pray for insight and forgiveness.

Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?”
May I be content with the abundance I now have and not desire more money or materials
for the sake of having more. Let me not trust my future to anything other than the Lord,
who is my helper.

Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
Let us remember women and men who have gone before us if faith. Those who dreamed
like Martin Luther King, Jr. and others like Mother Theresa who labored endlessly for the
sake of others. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses; let us not forget that we
do not run this race alone – ever.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.
Yes, Jesus never changes. The way of peace is constant, though there are many feet on
the path. However, let us be changeable in our worship, in our lives, that the eternal love
Christ has for the world pours out through us.

Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.
When the events in the world threaten to overwhelm us, let us remember that we are
children of a God who is, who was, and who is to come. We are never alone. Let
gratitude and praise flow from our lips. 

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
May we all do what is right and good, sharing the gifts we have been given. May our lives be pleasing to God, always.

RCL – Year C – Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost – September 1, 2013
Jeremiah 2:4-13 with Psalm 81:1, 10-16 or
Sirach 10:12-18 with Psalm 112
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
Luke 14:1, 7-14

Categories
Prayer

A Prayer for Sabbath

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Steadfast God of love and mercy, how long you have waited for your people to bless your holy name! Through the words of ancient prophets and the Incarnate Word, you tell of your enduring, unconditional love for humanity. You call to us over and over again. Even now, your call to us continues.

We have wandered far from a time that honors the Sabbath. You gave us this day to help us be mindful that we are your people. We excel at ways to fill our quiet hours with our own thoughts and pursuits, forgetting our need to come to you for rest and to worship. Open our ears to the prophets of old, the teachings of Jesus, and those whose words point the way to you.

Gracious God, you are slow to anger and your steadfast love abounds. But, surely, we must test you. You have told us to feed the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted. You want us to stop binding ourselves to destructive ways, pointing fingers at one another, and speaking badly of those around us. Yet, we so often fail in these simple things. We frequently overlook the hungry and turn away from the afflicted. We continue our warring ways, blaming others for our wrongs, and speaking against our neighbors. Have mercy on us. Open our hearts to compassion and peace.

God of all, you remind us that there is much that bends us over, many spirits can cripple us at any time. But the time for healing is now. We can embrace the freedom you offer us right now. We can honor you by giving up our self-interested ways and giving things to you in all things. Even as we are overwhelmed by the tragedies in our lives and the world around us, you embrace us and call us to Sabbath rest. Open our lives that we may we come to you with all that is within us.

Passionate, fiery God, we live in a chaotic world with all kinds of noise and busyness to take our attention from you. We are so easily lost in work, information, entertainment, and in less meaningful activities. Set us on fire! Let us be consumed with a fire that brings light into the dark places of our lives. Open our spirits that we may worship you with reverence and awe.

In gratitude for the abundance of your steadfast love and mercy, we pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

RCL – Year C – Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost – August 25, 2013
Jeremiah 1:4-10 with Psalm 71:1-6 or
Isaiah 58:9b-14 with Psalm 103:1-8 and
Hebrews 12:18-29 and
Luke 13:10-17

Categories
Musings Sermon Starter

Challenge, Change, and Faith

churchThe church is dead. The church is dying. The church is irrelevant. I’ve heard statements like these increasingly more often in the last couple of years. Truth be told, I’ve made similar observations myself for more than a decade. But after reading this week’s lectionary, I no longer agree that the church is dead, dying, or irrelevant. Although, it could be if we don’t pay better attention.

First, Isaiah’s words to the people of Israel. God is not pleased. The offerings and prayers of the people have become meaningless. They are going through the motions of faith, but they do not seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend orphans, or plead for widows. They have lost their way, again. God does not want empty religious rituals. God wants their hearts and their lives. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch for Isaiah’s word’s to be meant for today’s church goers.

The Hebrews text is the beautiful reminder of the power of faith. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. The passage goes on to remind the church in Jerusalem that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had faith in the midst of challenge and change; they did not sit still and wait for things to happen. The emerging church was changing the face of religious practice in those days, and it was scary. The reminder to trust God to guide the journey and fulfill promises was a timely one. And, like the Isaiah text, it’s not hard to imagine that these words spoken to the church now.

No, we aren’t dead. No, we aren’t dying. No, we aren’t irrelevant. But we could be all these things if we don’t pay more attention. The caution to Jerusalem’s emerging church was not to do things that would make God ashamed to be their God. It’s a reasonable caution for today’s emerging church. Where have our rituals become empty? Where have our offerings become meaningless? Is God honored by our actions or ashamed of them? Do we truly seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend orphans or plead for widows?

We aren’t dead or dying, but we are changing; something new is emerging. Change is essential to the church’s survival and we don’t like it. This resistance to and dislike of change has been consistent since the early church. We don’t know what to do when the shape of our religious practice shifts. It makes us anxious and in our anxiety we tend to cling more firmly to things and rituals that don’t really mean all that much. Therefore, the reminders of the faithful who have gone before us. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Miriam, Rebecca, and Rachael. Peter, Paul, and Stephen. Mary, Martha, and Lydia. And the countless men and women who walked paths of faith when the present and the future were unclear.

So lest we become irrelevant, let us get moving with the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us. Let’s ask ourselves what is essential for Christian faith right now, and pray for the courage to let all the rest fall away. It’s not too late. We aren’t dead yet. And we are not irrelevant. People need faith now as much as ever before, if not more so. The church has a unique message for those who are hungry. It’s time we look to see where our treasure lies (and move it if it is in the wrong place.)

Let your steadfast love, O God, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

For those of you who need musical motivation, check this out:  Do Something

photo from pdphoto.org

RCL – Year C – Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost – August 11, 2013
Isaiah 1:1, 10-20 with Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23 or
Genesis 15:1-6 with Psalm 33:12-22 and
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
Luke 12:32-40