Sunday 3rd February 2013 – Epiphany 4C (3)

Sovereign Lord,

as the rock and fortress of all life

You offer a firm foundation

upon which all life can take root

and grow,

and within the shelter of the walls

there is room for praise and celebration;

for learning and encouragement;

for sorrow and solitude.

You are the Lord of listening

who hears the cries of Your creation

and touches life with love

as Your Spirit weaves her pattern

through humanity.

Lord of love,

drawing the creation towards a more full understanding

of what it means to love,

You inspire respect of each other,

with a willingness to listen and to learn from each other.

Courageous love gifted by You

opens our eyes

to the care of each other

and the world;

it teaches love that hopes

for the very best in all people.

Our love,

Gracious God,

is often bound by our disrespect of You

and of each other.

We are not always generous with love

pouring scorn on the words of others,

or undervaluing others achievements or beliefs.

Loving ourselves,

we either place ourselves on too high a pedestal

and never believe others can reach our lofty heights,

or we undervalue who we are

and what we have to offer.

Our love of You is not always constant

as we rejoice with You in all the good things,

but find the we ignore or blame You

when life is not the way we hope it to be.

Silence

As our refuge and our rock,

may we be lifted

from our cruel and unkind thoughts and words,

and in the light of Your love and forgiveness

may all we say and do

reflect the love of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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