The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. (Is. 50:4)
(Leader) Peace be with you.
(All) And also with you.
(A) Gracious God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer of Life, have mercy on us. Reveal yourself in all things, to all things, and through all things. Grant us the gift of becoming a community of Christ-like desire who sees and celebrates good news in hard places.
(Women) Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The crooked shall be made straight and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Invocation of the Spirit
(Men) Come, Holy Spirit. Show us the way of the Lord that we might see your salvation. Quiet our souls. Teach us how to pray. Be our guide, our counselor, our advocate, and our defender.
Renewal of Baptism
(W) Baptize us again in the sea of your love where we release our useless fears and relax into your mercy. Inside this new love we die to all that is false. By your power made perfect in weakness, awaken us to the mystery of life. Speak to us again the truth of our deepest identity hidden in you: “You are my sons and daughters whom I love, with you I am well pleased.”
Call to Creation
(L) YHWH, you formed us from the dust of the ground and breathed into us the breath of life. Breathe on us, in us and through us now that we might become fully human and be one with you.
Breathe God’s Name – YHWH
Call to Peacemaking
(A) Lord Jesus, make us instruments of your peace that we might act, reflect and discern like you. May our wounds and the wounds of this world become wombs of new creation. Free us O Lord, to be midwives to the holy in all things and to seek the peace of the cities in which we serve.
Where there is blindness call forth the gift of sight.
Where there is voicelessness call forth the gift of voice.
Where there is despair call forth the gift of joy.
Where there is isolation call forth the gift of community.
Our Lord’s Prayer
(A) Our Father who is in heaven, holy is your name. May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
(L) The Spirit of the Lord is upon us because She* has anointed us to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
We pray all of this in the name of the Father who is for us, the Son who is with us, and the Spirit who unites us all in the never-ending dance of Love. Amen.
Go in peace.
*The Benediction scripture has been paraphrased from several translations. In particular, we enjoy the freedom to imagine the Holy Spirit in feminine gender—inspired by the numerous feminine as well as masculine images of God in Scripture. In doing so, our paraphrase reflects what many English translations do not, that is, that the pronoun used for the Spirit in the early Greek texts was not masculine but neuter.