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, July 9, 2018

Sunday Pastoral Prayer (July 8) Athens First UMC

[It’s always fun when your organist’s 50th birthday falls on a Sunday! Yesterday during worship, the congregation sang a very creative rendition of “Happy Birthday” to Jeff Daubenmire using a variety of pitches and melodies so it was really just a noisy bunch of notes. That song was a great illustration of how important unity is which was our worship theme from our summer series on the “Life of David.” Click here for the sermon. When we sing together in unison, the music sounds so much better!]

Make us one, O God. Make us one.

Make us one in a world of such much diversity, in a country of so many strong opinions, in a denomination with an array of theological views, and in our relationships with people who have very different backgrounds and experiences than our own. Make us one, O God.

And so we thank you for David from our scripture reading this morning who wisely sough compromise and common ground for the sake of unity. Forgive us for turning our arguments, opinions, and perspectives into modern day idols. Forgive us for closing our minds out of fear, rather than opening our hearts into a deeper faith. Forgive us for when we have elevated our opinions over offering a listening ear. O God, in your mercy, forgive us and lead us into being the vibrant people of love and acceptance that you are calling us to be.

O God, sometimes we are so focused on seeing so much disunity that we forget to see the many signs of beautiful unity in our world, like the unity of a refugee child being reunited with her mother after being separated; like the unity of an entire world praying for the rescue of the boys who have been trapped in a cave; like the unity of our five partnering United Methodist Churches gathering together for potlucks, Holy Communion, and fellowship; and like the unity of a church where everyone is focused on one common purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Today, we offer a special prayer for those who will be leaving for the Honduras missions trip this Saturday. Bless them as they travel, as they serve, as they share your love with others, and as they make new friends. Help them to overcome language and cultural differences so that they would be one in you.

We pray this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ who makes us one and who taught us to pray together saying…

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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