Thanksgiving

Lord God, Creator of all,

in your wisdom,

you have bound us together so that we must depend on others

for the food we eat,

the resources we use,

the gifts of your creation that bring life, health, and joy.

Creator God, we give thanks.

 

Holy be the hands that sew our clothes so that we do not have to go naked;

sacred be the hands that build our homes so that we do not have to be cold;

blessed be the hands that work the land so that we do not have to go hungry.

Creator God, we give thanks.

 

Holy be the feet of all who labor so that we might have rest;

sacred be the feet of all who run swiftly to stand with the oppressed;

blessed be the feet of all whose bodies are too broken or weary to stand.

Creator God, we give thanks.

 

Holy be the sound of children laughing to take away our sorrow;

sacred be the sound of water falling to take away our thirst;

blessed be the sound of your people singing to heal our troubled hearts.

Creator God, we give thanks.

 

Holy be the bodies of those who know hunger;

sacred be the bodies of those who are broken;

blessed be the bodies of those who suffer.

In your mercy and grace,

soften our callous hearts and

fill us with gratitude for all the gifts you have given us.

In your love,

break down the walls that separate us

and guide us along your path of peace,

that we might humbly worship you in Spirit and in truth.

Amen.

Excerpt From: Book of Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals

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Truth

Walking through life with Jesus is hard.  He goes to places we don’t want to go.  To places that don’t make sense to us.  He goes to the poor, the broken, the war-torn.  The Pharisees were not unhappy because Jesus spent too much time with them, but rather because he spent His time elsewhere.  Jesus spent his time among the “other.”  This is hard to grasp for me.  If Jesus were physically on this earth, would he come to my church?  Would he come to my school?   Or would he be found amongst those whom I write-off?  Would Jesus and I hang out at my house, or would he invite me to the streets?  Is his invitation to come and follow for me?  Is there a way of following Jesus that is comfortable? Is God calling me to middle class American churches?  They need to be directed toward Christ as well… I have so many questions, and more questions are raised in our world every single day.  The more that I know Christ, the more I know that I don’t know much at all.  This is maybe the most confusing thing about it.  Since when did, “I don’t know,” become the truest answer I can provide?  I remember when everything was black-and-white and I had a clue about the world, but that was a while back now. In all the controversy, sometimes I find myself standing in the middle, in the ever-expanding gray area because I think that’s often where Jesus stood.  Jesus rarely answered questions in the way people wanted.  He often told a story or asked a question showing that the issues were not as simple as they may have seemed. So in this world of choosing sides, I have to choose Jesus, the truest of all truths.

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Thomas Merton

Lord, come quickly.

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.