Help Us To See Each Other Clearly (Luke 4:14-30)

You have made us in your image,
but we wear many masks to those around us.
We are the child, the parent, the friend, the boss, the stranger.
We change depending on our circumstances.

We are your children, Lord.
You have anointed us with your spirit
and have sent us to do your work.
You have made us in your image,
but we see each other through the lens of our lives,
through our experiences.

Help us to see each other clearly.
Help us to see the face of God in the faces of those around us.
Help us to recognize when you are among us, to see those God moments.

You have made us in your image.
You have sent your Son to teach us.
As we look at those among us in this sacred place,
we see our brothers and sisters in Christ.
In this sacred place, we see the hands that do your work.
In this sacred place, we hear the stories of our ancestors and the teachings that you have shared.
From this sacred place, we move out into the world
to use our backs to carry the load of those who are the weakest among us.

Help us to see each other clearly.
Help us to see the face of God in the faces of those around us.
Help us to recognize when you are among us, to see those God moments.

We are your children, Lord, and we know that you are with us always.
Be with those among us who need your strength and healing grace the most.
We name___
You have made us in your image and sent your Son to teach us these words,
“Our Father…”

Year of the Jubilee (Luke 4:14-21)

This is the year of the Lord’s favor,
the year of the Jubilee,
when captives are released,
and debts are forgiven.
Help us to see, Lord, where we are held captive.
Where in our lives are we feeling bound?
*silence*
What debts do we owe to others?
What debts do we owe to ourselves?
*silence*
Are we able to forgive ourselves
as easily as we forgive others?

*silence*

This is the year of the Lord’s favor.
What would he say to us today?
As we look at our lives,
are we living our lives the way we should be living?
*silence*
Are we walking in your
footsteps, Lord?
Are we making this world your world?
*silence*
Help us to see, Lord, where we are held captive.
Help us to see when we choose not to act
because we think that we cannot make a difference.
Help us to realize that we can make that difference.

*silence*

This is the year of the Lord’s favor
the year of the Jubilee.
Forgive us our debts as we forgive others.
We start afresh from this point forward.
As we move into the world feeling free from our burdens,
how will we change the world?
As we forgive those among us,
how does that free us?
*silence*
Help us to see that freedom.
Help us to use that freedom.

*silence*

This is the year of the Lord’s favor.
The Scripture has been fulfilled in our hearing.
We are your people, Lord.
We gather here each week to fulfill your promise.
We make up the body of Christ and carry out your teachings.
As the community of believers we support each other in our trials,
and we ask that you be with ___in particular as they need your healing grace and strength.
Remind us that in most cases, the chains that are holding us prisoner were created by ourselves.
Give us the strength to free ourselves,
give us the strength to achieve your plan.

This is the year of the Lord’s favor.
As your people, we listen to your teachings.
We follow your teachings, and we use the words you taught us,
“Our Father…”

No Prophet Welcome in His Hometown (Luke 4:21-30)

There is no one who knows us better than our families.
And, yet, do our families really know us or do they know who we used to be?
Do they know how we have changed over time?
Or do they only know us how they want us to be?
You know us, Father, you knew us before we were born
and you know how we have grown since then
and you know how we still need to grow.

As we grow in this life, help us to see what is important in life.
Give us the strength to speak up as Jesus did when he spoke up for inclusion.
Today, many say that being inclusive is a sign of political correctness,
something we should not tolerate, something that makes us weak.
Remind us, Father God, that your Son taught us to include everyone,
to value everyone, without judgment.
Remind us, Mother God, that we are all your children,
each of us loved and each of us uniquely cherished.
When we respect each other, when we celebrate and accept our differences,
we are respecting you and acting as you taught us.

We may not have the strength or the character to live our entire lives as did Nelson Mandela,
but we can stand up in individual moments of oppression and speak up for the powerless.
When we see a bully taunt their victim,
encourage us to stand up in protest.
When we hear a racist joke,
encourage us to stand up and say we will not listen to hate.
When we notice inequality in social programs,
encourage us to ask our politicians why and to demand change.
When we see someone being ignored,
encourage us to reach out to that person and raise them up.
When we see a child without the ability to receive a quality education,
encourage us to ensure that all receive an education regardless of their school district.
When we see cities without safe drinking water,
encourage us to ask ourselves why lower-income populations are treated less fairly than those with wealth.

Give us the voice to speak for those without a voice.
Give us the ability to hear the cries of those around us in pain
and to find ways to provide comfort to them.
Give us the strength to be your children, to be your body of Christ.
Give us the courage to stand up to the majority
when we know that the minority is in the right.
As your children, we support those among us who are in pain and in need of your healing touch.
We ask that you be with ___ in particular.

We are your children, Lord.
We are your family, the body of Christ.
As your family, open our eyes to see each other,
to see each other as we really are.
And as your children, we use the words that your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Year of the Jubilee (Luke 4:14-21)

This is the year of the Lord’s favor,
the year of the Jubilee,
when captives are released,
and debts are forgiven.
Help us to see, Lord, where we are held captive.
Where in our lives are we feeling bound?

*silence*

What debts do we owe to others?
What debts do we owe to ourselves?

*silence*

Are we able to forgive ourselves
as easily as we forgive others?

*silence*

This is the year of the Lord’s favor.
What would he say to us today?
As we look at our lives,
are we living our lives the way we should be living?

*silence*

Are we walking in your footsteps, Lord?
Are we making this world your world?

*silence*

Help us to see, Lord, where we are held captive.
Help us to see when we choose not to act
because we think that we cannot make a difference.
Help us to realize that we can make that difference.

*silence*

This is the year of the Lord’s favor
the year of the Jubilee.
Forgive us our debts as we forgive others.
We start afresh from this point forward.
As we move into the world feeling free from our burdens,
how will we change the world?
As we forgive those among us,
how does that free us?

*silence*

Help us to see that freedom.
Help us to use that freedom.

*silence*

This is the year of the Lord’s favor.
The Scripture has been fulfilled in our hearing.
We are your people, Lord.
We gather here each week to fulfill your promise.
We make up the body of Christ and carry out your teachings.
As the community of believers we support each other in our trials,
and we ask that you be with ___in particular as they need your healing grace and strength.
Remind us that in most cases, the chains that are holding us prisoner were created by ourselves.
Give us the strength to free ourselves,
give us the strength to achieve your plan.

This is the year of the Lord’s favor.
As your people, we listen to your teachings.
We follow your teachings, and we use the words you taught us,
“Our Father…”