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Many of you have been requesting the Confession that we have been praying through the series, “Take this Job and Love It.”  Because of the large number of requests I thought I would throw it up on the blog.  It comes out of The Worship Source book which is a great worship planning and personal devotion resource.  Click the above link to buy your own copy.

You asked for my hands,

that you might use them for your purpose.

I gave them for a moment, then withdrew them,

for the work was hard.

You asked for my mouth

to speak out against injustice.

I gave you a whisper that I might not be accused.

You asked for my eyes

to see the pain of poverty.

I closed them, for I did not want to see.

You asked for my life,

that you might work through me.

I gave a small part, that I might not get too involved.

Lord, forgive my calculated efforts to serve you—

only when it is convenient for me to do so,

only in those places where it is safe to do so,

and only with those who make it easy to do so.

Father, forgive me,

renew me, send me out

as a usable instrument,

that I might take seriously

the meaning of your cross. Amen.


The Feast and the Fast

Imagine with me, if even only for a moment, that you and I have just eaten a hearty meal.  Not just any meal, mind you, but The Meal; the last meal.  The last meal with the one we know to be the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, and our Savior.  We hear the words that Jesus says when he blesses the bread and the wine, calling it his body and blood but do not quite understand.  This is not unusual for us, he is always saying these crazy sorts of things and we pass it off as such.  But after he blesses we feast; we feast like we have never feasted before: laughing, remembering, enjoying.  Most of all, enjoying one another and the unusual kinship we have come to find around this man named Jesus. It is a meal to be remembered for the rest of our lives.

When the meal is over and we have had our fill—stomachs full with bread and wine, hurting from all of the laughing we had done and eyes becoming heavy from the wine—Jesus bids us once again to follow him.  Of course, we do, we always do.  Every time he says those words, “Follow me,” beginning even with the first time, he evokes a passion in us that is unexplainable.  His words are different than ours, they just are, I can’t explain it.  Jesus says it is because he speaks on behalf of the Father, we are not sure how that works but we believe it so deeply that it must be true.  He takes us to a place called Gethsemane.  Gethsemane is a garden but this garden is hardly a thing of beauty at this time of night; Rather it is dark, covered, and for some reason reminds us of death.

The mood some how changes, we are no longer laughing and Jesus seemed troubled.  He tells us to stay and wait with him.  The way he says it seems peculiar because we have nowhere else to go.  This one man has become our home, so of course we are going to stay with him.  He tells us to watch and pray and wandered off a little ways from us.  We do as he asks until the wine from that joyous meal catches back up with us; our eyes became heavy again and we fell asleep.  We awake to the sound of Jesus’ troubled voice.  He is not angry but sad, although seems to understand.  He asks us if we cannot stay awake long enough to pray with him.  Ah, maybe this is what he meant when he said, “stay with me.”  He wanders away and the warm feeling of wine and bread in our bellies overtakes our will to stay awake.  Jesus wakes us up a few more times, each time feeling more like a dream.  Then the last time tells us it is time to go, his betrayer is near approaching.  With these words we become fully awake, the feast is over and the fast has now begun.

join the fast tonight at 10pm in the sanctuary of UPC

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