Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing, chosen us in Christ to be holy and blameless, destined us in Christ to be God’s children, and granted us through the blood of Christ redemption and the forgiveness of our sins. Amen.Based on the Letter to the Ephesians (1st century)
Lord, it isn’t easy.
It isn’t easy to speak out for you when they don’t want to listen.
It isn’t easy to live by your story when they don’t believe it.
It isn’t easy to welcome the stranger when the unfamiliar looks frightening.
It isn’t easy to be open to others when they might change me.
It isn’t easy to follow you when you go to the wrong places.
Child, it isn’t easy.
It isn’t easy to walk with me toward Jerusalem.
It isn’t easy to trust when you want to direct.
It isn’t easy to let go when you want to grasp tightly.
It isn’t easy, but rest in me, trust my love and you will be born anew.
Lord, help me to trust you and share your love that the world may be transformed.
“For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.”
For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on. (v 44)
He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts. (v 8)
'He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.' (v 15)
'You give them something to eat.' (v 37)
But immediately he spoke to them and said, 'Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.' (v 50)
'You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.' (v 8)
'There is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.' (v 15)