A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pastoral Prayer (March 26) - Athens First UMC

[Our focus for this past Sunday was the Celtic Cross which is part of our "Crosses of Jesus" sermon series during the season of Lent. The Celtic Cross is known for having a circle around the middle of it. The circle represents God's never ending love. We are blessed to have a prominent Celtic Cross in our beautiful chapel.]

O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thank you for your never ending love. Thank you that your love never runs out and that there is plenty for everyone including for those who feel they deserve it the least.

Help us to be your God intoxicated people who live with an intense sense of your presence. Help us to see every moment as a place of resurrection and new life and may we always devote ourselves to pray, preach, care, and worship.

Circle us Lord, keep love within, keep hatred out.  Keep joy within, keep fear out.  Keep peace within, keep worry out.  Keep light within, keep darkness out.  May you stand in the circle with us, today and always.

As we journey to the cross during this Season of Lent may we take this time to empty ourselves of our pride, our shallowness of faith, our prejudices, our quickness to pass judgment, our apathy, and our reluctance to offer forgiveness. O God, when we arrive at the empty tomb on Easter Sunday, may we be the people you have created us to be.

O God, thank you for our Celtic brothers and sisters who teach us to be keenly aware of your presence in every person and place we encounter. And so, we pray for our schools, our hospitals, our colleges and universities, our court houses, our police stations, our fraternities and sororities, our stores, our parks, our prisons and jails, our shops, our restaurants, our fields, our rivers, our Capitol, our homes. O God, we claim all of these places to be used for your glory in bringing about justice and peace for all.

Whenever we look at your cross, help us to see a circle around it so that we may always be reminded that your love is eternal and unbroken. Thank you for being the father who throws caution to the wind by running out to greet and welcome home your wayward children.

And now, as your prodigal sons and daughters, we delight in your forgiving love even as we pray the words that Jesus taught his disciples and now teaches to us to pray together saying,

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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