Be Connected (John 15:9-17)

It’s all about love.
The love you have for us even if we don’t deserve it.
The love your followers had for you
even if they didn’t understand you.
The love we have for you even when we don’t show it.
The love we fail to give to others
even when you have showered us with love.

We know we don’t follow your teachings, Lord.
Forgive us when we compare ourselves to others
in ways that make us superior to them.
Open our hearts to love rather than judgment.
Forgive us when we focus on our own needs rather
working to make this world a better place.
Open our eyes to love rather than self-indulgence.
Forgive us when we refuse to listen to others and
insist that our truth is the only truth.
Open our ears to love rather than intolerance.
Forgive us for clinging to our treasures
rather than sharing with others.
Open our hands to love rather than selfishness.
Remind us to love others as you have loved us.

Lord, you came to us and shared our human life.
You know our frailties and our weaknesses.
You came to us because of love.
You are with us today because of love.
You will return to us because of love.
As you have loved us and supported us,
we support those in our community.
We ask that you be with those among who are in need.
We name ___.
We also ask that you be with the unnamed,
the ones we carry in our hearts and
the ones who have not shared their need with us.
Create within us a community
where all feel willing to share their hopes, their desires and their needs.
We are your people, we are your children, and we are loved.
Help us to live our lives in love.

Lord, you taught us how to pray many years ago, and we lift our voices up now
using the words you taught us, “Our Father…”

I Am (John 15:1-8)

Lord, in your teachings to us, you often use the words “I Am”
You are the bread of life.
You are the light of the world.
You are the gate for the sheep.
You are the resurrection and the life.
You are the vine and we are the branches.

We are part of you and you are part of us.
Your teachings have shaped us,
molded us, and guided our growth.
The way we live our lives,
the way we reflect your teachings in our lives,
is the fruit on the branches.

Remind us to use those same words in our lives.
“I am” a member of the body of Christ.
“I am” a follower of Jesus.
“I am” determined to share your teachings with the world.
“I am” willing to share my gifts and talents with others.
“I am” trying to love others as I love myself.
“I am” not afraid to speak up for those who are less powerless.
“I am” sure I do not have all the answers,
but “I am” asking the right questions.
“I am” a child of God and “I am” loved.
“I am” loved unconditionally.

Lord, you are the bread of life.
We celebrate the community around us,
as we come together at your table.
Lord, you are the light of the world.
We celebrate how your teachings illuminate
the dark corners of our world.
Lord, you are the gate for the sheep.
We celebrate that you are always with us,
guarding us, protecting us.
We ask that you be with those among us
who need your grace and your healing touch.
Be with ___
Lord, you are the resurrection and the life.
We celebrate your resurrection and we are the people of the resurrection.
Lord, you are the vine and we are your branches.
We celebrate that you are with us and we are with you,
intertwined with you and with one another.

You taught us to be your community,
to be brothers and sisters in Christ,
to make this world as it is in heaven.
You taught us the words we use today,
“Our Father…”

Love Joy Choice (John 15:9-17)

Love, Joy, Choice.
You have loved us since before we were born.
You have joy in us, each of us uniquely loved and cherished.
You chose us and we have chosen you.

Love, Joy, Choice.
As we love our children, you have loved us.
As we have joy in our children, you have joy in us.
As your chosen people, you have shared your teachings
and your love with us.
As your disciples on this earth, we, in turn, share your teachings
with others.
As your followers, we share your love with those around us,
and we use ourselves to fulfill your plan in this world.

Love, Joy, Choice.
You called your disciples your friends, your followers.
We have chosen to follow you, to be your disciples on this earth.
You found joy in your disciples.
We are the people of the resurrection,
and we share our joy with those around us.
We choose to follow you.
Our hands are yours to use to do your work.
Our feet are yours to walk in your desired path.

Love, Joy, Choice.
You love us completely as we love you.
Our lives give you joy and we celebrate the joy you have given us.
We choose to be here today, in this congregation, in this community of believers.
We know that you are with us, and we ask that you be with those among us
who need your strength and healing grace. ___

Love, Joy, Choice.
You have shared your teachings and your love,
and in love, and in joy, and with complete choice,
we lift our voices and our hearts to you, sharing the words that you taught us,
“Our Father….”