[This past Sunday felt a little bit like a homecoming. Elyse Suhay (left) and her husband, Matt moved to Indiana earlier this summer. She returned to Athens First to offer special music at both worship services (see picture below.) Jenaye Hill (right) our Office Manager was able to join us Sunday morning as well after serving the past several Sundays as the pastor of Union UMC and New Marshfield UMC. Recently, Jenaye has sensed God calling her to begin work toward a Master of Divinity degree at The Methodist Theological School of Ohio in Delaware. She will continue to serve on staff at our church as she pursues her degree. We are so glad to welcome Jenaye back to our church on Sunday mornings!]
Creator and redeeming God, you have formed each one of us in your image and you know everything about us. You know our gifts. You know our desires. You know our hearts. You also know our regrets, our fears, our brokenness, and where we have not been our best selves, the people that you have created us to be.
Basically, you know everything about us, and quite frankly that is both awesome and scary at the same time. There are some things that we would rather keep off limits, things in our lives that we don’t want to be out in the open like what our true motives are, naming our struggles and our weaknesses, admitting that we need help, and confessing our sins, just to name a few.
And so we tend to bottle things up, making things worse for ourselves forgetting that a) your love love for us is unconditional, that b) people like David were really just like us and we can learn from them, and c) that we can risk speaking the truth about ourselves because you already know everything about us.
And so, help us to just come clean. To just come as we are. Our real selves. Thank you for this church family where we can learn to be real and to be the people you have called us to be.
And as your church family, we lift up to you those who are in special need of you this day. For those who are broken in mind, body, or spirit. Those with grieving hearts. Those who are feeling overwhelmed. Those who are thinking about taking that next step in faith. And those who have been away from our church and who have now returned home.
We offer this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ who taught us to pray together saying…
“Our Father, who art in heaven…”
[Elyse Suhay joining Cathy Lee and Wendy Merb-Brown offering Sunday’s special music.]