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: “Open My Eyes” by Jesse Manibusan
O God, who may abide in your tent?
Who may dwell on your holy hill?
Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
and speak the truth from their heart;
who do not slander with their tongue,
and do no evil to their friends,
nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
but who honor those who fear you;
who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
who do not lend money at interest,
and do not take a bribe against the innocent.
Those who do these things shall never be moved.
Gospel Reading: Mark 7:24-37
The word of life.
Thanks be to God.
Reading: From “Why I Stay: A Prayer” by Debbie Thomas (in Christian Century)
I stay because . . . I love stories, and I cherish the ones I first learned in your book. Because I am Eve and the apple makes sense to me. I’m Rachel and I won’t surrender my sacred objects. I’m Leah and I long to be loved. I’m Hagar, and I will name you in the desert. I’m Miriam and I am ever watchful. I’m the bleeding woman and I need the hem of your robe. I’m Mary Magdalene and I must bear witness by your tomb. I’m Junia and my story aches to be told. . . .
Because the path is winding, and you are a God worthy of perilous journeys. Because I need to wrestle, and you meet me at the river. Because this is no ordinary hunger, and your manna alone will suffice. Because you know the loneliness of the desert, and so do I. Because I will drown unless you part this water. Because the world is dark, but it shimmers at its edges.
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 Sudan and South Sudan.
God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Individual prayers may be spoken with the above response given.
God of compassion and imagination, Greatest Storyteller, give us the courage to speak your truth and the grace to hear it. 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.