God who teaches us every day how to make Earth a little more like Heaven, we lift to you today, these students.
Give them your patience to understand the problems on paper and in the hallways.
Help them commit themselves to study and learning in the school year ahead.
Bless each of them.
Lord, put your hands on these backpacks. Fill them with school work and reminders of the love and care of this church. Surround them each school day with your Spirit.
Look after the teachers and workers in our schools. Sustain them with your peace, patience and perseverance. Help them know how appreciated they are and that this congregation embraces their call to teaching and learning and surrounds them with love and care as well.
We pray in the name of Jesus who we seek to follow day by day. Amen.
adapted from http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/a-blessing-of-the-backpacks-and-the-school-year
Lord of Wind and Flame,
You who call us to put on the armor of God
You who call us to wait patiently for your guidance
You who call us to care for strangers made neighbors at each encounter:
Bless these Firefighters, EMS, and First Responders.
As they put on their gear
Breathe upon them your Spirit of Peace.
As they wait for instructions and directions
Breathe upon them your Spirit of Wholeness.
As they go forth into houses and highways of despair
Breathe upon them your Spirit of Hope.
Burn in their hearts as love while they put out flames of disaster.
Beat within their hearts while they resuscitate travelers on the way.
Blow gently ahead of them so that at each incident and accident your presence is felt comforting and bringing peace.
All this we ask in the name of the Savior
who responded to our call, our need, our desperation, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Blessing of Law Enforcement April 2016
You came down to serve, to protect, and to give your life to save another.
You served humanity, showing us love and sharing what we could be when shaped by that love.
You protected the weak, the abused, the outcasts, and those society have given up on – walking with the least and the worst.
You gave your live for the cause of those who didn’t deserve it, and we are eternally grateful for your gift.
Before us now are men and women who seek
to follow you
to serve and protect
and who daily place their lives in danger on behalf of our community.
Bless them, Savior.
Provide mercy and justice in each call they answer.
Protect them with the Armor of God in addition to body armor.
In those moments when quick decisions can change and save lives, Spirit, give that peace and practiced discernment of choosing right over wrong, love to conquer hate, and restrained force to rein in unrestrained behavior.
Lord, these men and women, especially today, endure such judgment and difficulty in completing the work set before them
give them patience, perseverance, and understanding
and let them know your presence in the patrol car, in the dispatch room, in the day and in the night. You are the Lord who said you would always be with us, to the end of the age, Jesus. Amen.
“In the Beginning…”
This week I was honored to teach a Lay Speaking class on “Leading Prayer” for the Virginia United Methodist Conference. I begin this class with a simple and deep theological concept of Creativity in Incarnation. It goes something like this:
God Created us.
We are Created in the Image of God the Creator.
Thus All of Us are Creative.
I believe this with all my heart. Like Pablo Picasso said, “All children are born Artists, the miracle is that some of us stay that way.” We were born with a God-given nature to be creative. It is within our DNA to weave, to paint, to post, to gather words, sticks, and bits of dirt and make something new out of them.
And this really shouldn’t come as a surprise, because even Jesus was an Artist. Look at how he spins yarns and folk-tales. “There once was a man who had two sons…” Listen as he exaggerates beyond belief in hyperbole. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle…” Watch as he takes mud and creates sight. Listen as he uses spit to make a man hear. Feel his warm welcome to a demoniac that a whole region had avoided and driven into the tombs.
Somewhere, someone along the way told you that you were not like God. They told said your drawing wasn’t right. They told you that your writing was incomprehensible. They saw what you built in wood-shop and derided it. They tore apart the genes of creativity that God had blessed you. They attempted to dampen or put out the spark of the Divine Creator, but today I say no.
Reclaim the incarnation of “Emmanuel” as God within us. There is a Creator who has placed within your heart a prayer, a song, a dance, a vision. Like a Muse posing before an Artist, God is battting eyes at you waiting for you to put your brush to the canvas. Be inspired. The Creative Creator Created You – a Creative Creation born to Create!
(c)2015, Nathan Decker. Worshipswake.wordpress.com