O God, let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning
for in you I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
Glory be to the Creator, and to the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen.
Song: Come thou fount
Help, O God, for there is no longer anyone who is godly;
the faithful have disappeared from humankind.
They utter lies to each other;
with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
May God cut off all flattering lips,
the tongue that makes great boasts,
those who say, ‘With our tongues we will prevail;
our lips are our own—who is our master?’
‘Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan,
I will now rise up,’ says God;
‘I will place them in the safety for which they long.’
The promises of God are promises that are pure,
silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.
You, O God, will protect us;
you will guard us from this generation for ever.
On every side the wicked prowl,
as vileness is exalted among humankind.
Gospel Reading: Mark 6:30-44
The word of life.
Thanks be to God.
From Walter Brueggemann: We who are now the richest nation are today’s main coveters. We never feel that we have enough; we have to have more and more, and this insatiable desire destroys us. Whether we are liberal or conservative Christians, we must confess that the central problem of our lives is that we are torn apart by the conflict between our attraction to the good news of God’s abundance and the power of our belief in scarcity — a belief that makes us greedy, mean and unneighborly. We spend our lives trying to sort out that ambiguity. . . .
The gospel story of abundance asserts that we originated in the magnificent, inexplicable love of a God who loved the world into generous being. The baptismal service declares that each of us has been miraculously loved into existence by God. And the story of abundance says that our lives will end in God, and that this well-being cannot be taken from us. In the words of St. Paul, neither life nor death nor angels nor principalities nor things — nothing can separate us from God.
What we know about our beginnings and our endings, then, creates a different kind of present tense for us. We can live according to an ethic whereby we are not driven, controlled, anxious, frantic or greedy, precisely because we are sufficiently at home and at peace to care about others as we have been cared for.
Holy One, we cry out to you: in the morning our prayers come before you.
Along with the worldwide fellowship of churches, we pray this morning for Botswana.
God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Individual prayers may be spoken with the above response given.
God of abundance, let us live according to the truth of your generosity. Amen.
I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may have power together with all the saints
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Amen.