Creating and loving God, gather us in to this place. Not just physically, but spiritually. While I may have stopped in this moment to be present, quiet the voices of my head to listen to Your powerful voice. Grant in this time and place that I may find the strength in prayer and community to grow in Your presence. I am your servant ready and willing. Amen.
Prayer of Confession:
Holy One of leaders and little children, we hear your words every day, but rarely live them out. Our anger roars like a flooded creek, but our forgiveness drips like a rusty faucet. Our impetuous tongues rush to judgment, while our words of hope sound like a sluggish soundtrack. We listen with impatient ears to the cries of the poor. Loving Lord, may your mercy fall on us like a summer shower on parched grass; may your hope overflow our hearts; may your Beloved Child, Jesus Christ, speak to us and call us to life.
Epistle Lesson: James 1: 17-27 NRSV (source)
Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures. You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing. If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Psalter Lesson: Psalm 45: 1 -2; 6-9 NRSV (source)
My heart overflows with a goodly theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. You are the most handsome of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity; you love righteousness and hate wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad; daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
- No. 460 – Holy God, We Praise Your Name
- No.466 – O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
- No. 267 – All Things Bright and Beautiful
Solos performed by Kathy Fisk
“On A Quest” – Rev. Dr. Martha Jordan