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 8, 2017

Pastoral Prayer (May 7) - Athens First UMC

[Our Chancel Choir sang this beautiful piece, "Song Over All Waters" during Sunday's worship service. Melissa Brobeck provided the solo and Matt James played the saxophone. We are so blessed to have a wonderful music ministry here at Athens First UMC that helps us to honor and glorify God.]

O God, thank you for your church. Thank you for those times when we are at our best, like when we serve our community, welcome each other with a smile, share the good news of our faith with neighbors and friends, deliver an inspiring anthem, preach a half-way decent sermon, and offer a listening ear to someone in need.

Thank you for also loving your church even when we are not at our best and when we don’t get it right. You know all too well our shortcomings and our struggles.

But somehow…Somehow, you are able to take our many imperfections and transform us into an authentic, loving, caring, and purpose filled community of faith. Only you could do something like that. 

And so, on this Sunday, we pray not only for our church, but also for other churches in our community who like us, are seeking to live out our faith and be a blessing to the people all around us.

And so we pray for our brothers and sisters nearby us at First Presbyterian and St. Paul Catholic Church and Christ Lutheran and Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal and Brookfield Church, and Central Avenue United Methodist, and all the other churches that are serving in our community.

We also lift up to you our imperfect denomination of the United Methodist Church especially as a special appointed commission struggles and debates over the issues of human sexuality.  Grant the people who are serving on this denominational commission wisdom, understanding, and discernment so that they will be able to recommend a way forward for our denomination regarding these important issues facing the church.

Whenever we stumble in being the church you are calling us to be, remind us that we are always at our best when we rely on the presence of the Risen Christ in all that we do and say.

It is in his name that we offer the prayer that he taught us to pray together saying, “Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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