a liturgy for today (november 18)
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;
all things have been created through him and for him.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
And he is the head of the body, the church;
he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead,
so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
and through him to reconcile to himself all things,
whether things on earth or things in heaven,
by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
These words come from the portion of Colossians often called the “Christ Hymn.” In a world filled with songs and stories, these words were sung as reminders and proclamations that it is the gravity of Christ that holds all things together. Rather than an overly-simplistic posture saying Jesus is the answer to every question, this poem-song-proclamation instead points to a profound mystery that Jesus is the clarity and gravity revealing and unlocking the truest things about God and our world.
In the midst of crisis and confusion, Jesus is clarity and gravity.
In the midst of chaos and quiet, Jesus is clarity and gravity.
In the midst of beauty and mystery, Jesus is clarity and gravity.
In the midst of transitions and everyday life, Jesus is clarity and gravity.
Christ, be our clarity, be our gravity,
Hold together those things that, in our hands, fall apart.
When the world collapses, help us hang on to You,
our truth, our Grace, our Peace.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,
continue to live your lives in Christ,
rooted and built up in Christ,
strengthened in the faith as you were taught,
and overflowing with thankfulness.
To the Colossian church, Paul offers this invitation to center their lives - personally and collectively - on Christ. When everything around them is shifting and changing, a life built in Christ, Paul writes, will be continually strengthened, firmly moored and harbored through the world’s inevitable waves and storms in such a way that we are not simply protected, but marked by abundant life and overflowing gratitude.
Christ, be our foundation, be our harbor.
Strengthen us in our faith.
Fill us with Your life
so that we overflow with gratitude.
Prayer is not a passive invitation but an active contention for us and for our world. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he invited them to pray that their world would take on the shape, sound, taste, and beauty of heaven itself. Prayer is one way we participate in God’s dream of seeing heaven and earth woven together again.
When Jesus’ friends asked him how to pray, he told them “this, then, is how you should pray:”
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
for the communities on the front lines of these fires,
for the first responders and firefighters,
for those who have lost loved ones,
for those who have lost their homes,
As we watch communities, neighbors, & strangers
show up, help & support those in need,
may we love our neighbors as ourselves,
may we trust in your abundance,
may we respond with generosity and courage.
Jesus, may we have eyes to see and ears to hear how you are at work.
Spirit, as we pray, form us as your people,
a people of faith, hope, and love
for the sake of our world, which is Your world.