September 13, 2020

FB Live September 13

Passage: Matthew 18:21-35
Service Type:

Live from Mevo

Posted by Community United Methodist Church of Columbia Heights, MN. on Sunday, September 13, 2020

Meditation “Forgiven, therefore Forgive” Pastor Riva

Centering Meditation Pastor Nancy
Gracious God, Holy One, Ever-living community — Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit
Your presence is healing and hopeful, yet, at times unsettling and disquieting.
A part of us cries out “No, no more…let us hold on to the familiar!”
Yet another part of us knows, deep down, that we can open our hands, and attune our hearts to the winds of your Spirit.
May we entrust our mortal selves to you and your eternal story for our lives.

We confess that this week has been an incendiary week:
fierce flames engulfing entire towns and skylines
feverish rises of the virus in multiple states
fiery words from politicians and leaders
fervent voices of protesters
and flammable memories of 9-11.

Sometimes it is really hard to pray
hard to be still, God,
hard to make the time,
hard to find the words, or even the whisper, “Lord have mercy”
when we face our challenges or witness others’ suffering.

We confess, we are at a turning point in our spiritual lives.
Our religious identities are fraying,
their roots not deep enough for what we have to face.
Help us learn, O God, what it means to truly be a real church today,
in ministry and mission for the sake of a real future.
We pray for our congregation,
for the presence of Spirit in renewed vision, risky conversations,
and heart-rending ministries breaking through.

God who cares for all the nations,
in our homelands, we pray for clear, honest understanding
beyond the deep divisions and polarizations,
even in our own neighborhoods and relationships.
We pray with hope for our civic leaders
courageously working for equity, restoration and engagement
so all residents feel recognized and welcome to participate.

Breath-taking God, the road ahead looks daunting.

This morning we pray:
• for those of us struggling to maintain work in safe and healthy conditions.
• for those who have lost work, and struggle to find new resources.
• for families making decisions about bills and stretching budgets.
• for families returning to in-class and at-home learning.
• for Kristine and Ivan Roderiquez, Ian and Iliana coming together as a new family.
• for college students anxious about sudden changes, where to live, and financial pressures.

This fall, as we head into flu season, may we prepare ourselves.
We pray for persons facing tests for COVID, or a recent positive diagnosis,
may they find healing and grit and reverence in recovery.
We give thanks for scientists developing vaccine trials and research,
even in other countries as we anxiously await breakthroughs.
We offer our prayers for new friends in the Philippines,
for peace of mind and heart for Redge Nicolas and his whole family,
For Vielo Baniqued and his family,
Reiner Puno and his family,
and the Fernandez and Delos Santos families.
Our hearts hold the family of Henry Soriano as they deal with his
passing.

And let us not forget,
people fleeing deadly climate fires in California, Oregon, and Washington.
We mourn the loss of thousands of homes and businesses, millions of trees and billions of creatures
At least, dear God, may we wake up to more clearly understand our calling as hopeful earthkeepers, so we can act now for generations yet to come.

As we close, may we not be so focused on the horrific that we can not receive the moments of beauty around us.
• glints of red, yellow and gold as brushstrokes across the riverbanks,
• mums beckoning with colours of rust and plum,
• the taste of fresh Honeycrisp apples, and the smiles of children in their first-day-going-to-school photos.

May we now join together as disciples of the one who placed a child in the center, that his people may learn how to live in the kin-dom of God:

Our (Creator/God/Mother/Father*) in heaven,
Holy is your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever.
Amen.
(*Please use whichever name connects you deeply to the Divine.)

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