O LORD our God, great are you names: the way, the truth and the life … the shepherd of your people, the creator of the heavens and the earth, the guardian and guide of every soul, the source of life and hope and peace …
And a troubler of our conscience.
A thorn in our flesh.
A goad to our spirit.
And we thank you.
Your love that never leaves us as we are.
Your grace calls forth from us the better self that we can be.
Your word judges us honestly, and we know our sin.
Our foibles and our faults.
Painful as it is, dear God, we face these things with courage born of your unconditional love for us, your tender mercies, and your call to follow Christ, with all that are, and all that we hope to be.
Eternal God, you are forever, dwelling in eternal light.
We are but for a moment or two.
A few brief years, yet we breath your breath – something eternal within us … we are strivers and builders and creators and dreamers and burden-bearers and lovers and friends … we look up at the stars and our souls are strangely moved by the magnitude and mystery of the universe, so vast and deep and impossibly big … we watch the clouds shape-shifting and we catch glimpses of strange creatures and memories of times long ago … we watch the surf crashing at our feet … we walk toward the receding waters, and then quickly step back with the onrush of the next wave … like children we play … the spirit of inquiry and delight … humor and holiness …
We are glad to be here today, dear God.
To worship in the Spirit of Christ.
To love one another.
To be changed into the likeness of Christ.
To be a light to the world.
And the salt of the earth.
We are glad to be here.
Because this is a place where you find us.
And we find you.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit … with all that you are, you visit us.
With all that you have, you love us.
With all that you give, you restore us and make us new every day, with hope and courage … the hope for a better life, a better world, a better way of doing things … and the courage to try it … to reach out for others, to look out for others … to love and forgive and serve and honor one another … in the great fellowship of faith, the church of Jesus Christ, and a place called Covenant, Covenant on the Corner …
We thank you, O God, for this day.
A time to cast our glance toward the future.
A time to look down the road a bit.
A time to remember your faithfulness in all the years that have been, so that we can face the years ahead, knowing that you stand behind us, ahead of us, above and beneath us … and with your Holy Spirit, you are within us, shaping our souls, like a potter with clay on potter’s wheel – your hands upon us, pushing and trimming and shaping … we resist, as good clay always does … and you persist as a good potter, who sees what the lump could be.
Bless Cathy with us this day.
Bless Covenant on the Corner.
In the name of our LORD Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven …