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

Monday, May 22, 2017

Pastoral Prayer (May 21) - Athens First UMC

[Our worship theme was "Created for Purpose" from the Genesis creation story. There were a lot of people living out their God given purpose in a variety of ways on Sunday.  We celebrated and surrounded a young couple at the baptism of their baby daughter, we recognized our children and youth Sunday School teachers, the youth and their parents gathered for a covered dish event and shared how they grew in their faith over this past school year, and the Honduras mission trip team held a pancake fundraiser to help with expenses for their upcoming August trip.]

O God, from the very first story of the bible to the last story of the bible, you remind us that we have been created for purpose. We have been made in your image to offer your healing love in a broken and hurting world.

Whenever we feel discouraged or get down on ourselves, or question our purpose in life, point us back to the creation story where you remind us that you called all that you created, good. Empower us to simply live out who you have called each one of us to be, people created in your image, people you have claimed as your own.

During this time of year when there are many transitions in our lives; graduations, the end of the school year, getting out our wrinkled summer clothes, remind us of what always stays constant in our lives, that you created us, that you love us, and that we always belong to you. May we never forget.

Thank you for how the sacrament of baptism reminds us of our true identity, that we are a child of God, not because of anything we have done or not done but because of what you have done on our behalf.  Thank you for your grace and unconditional love!

Thank you for placing people like Wanda in our lives, people whose expressions of love point us to you as the giver of all good gifts. Thank you for Sunday School teachers who teach your Word faithfully and who encourage us along our walk. And thank you for trees, hills, sunrises, flowers, and hiking trails that point us to you as our loving creator.

But most of us, thank you for sending us Jesus who showed us what it means to be truly human, and who taught us to pray saying… “Our Father, who art in heaven…"

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