Pastoral Prayer Sunday 4 October 2020
Our heavenly Father,
Though you are God,
with all the influence and status that the name implies,
you refused to pull rank,
and parade your power among us.
Instead, you chose to step down into our experience,
living among us, as one of us,
with all the struggle and suffering
that goes with being human.
More than that, you adopted the role of servant,
washing feet, being with people of no reputation or social standing,
and giving of yourself completely.
As incredible as it sounds,
you are the God who serves,
and we can respond in no other way
than to give ourselves to you in praise.
When it comes to serving,
we all choose who it will be, Jesus;
Some people are easy to serve:
those we love,
those who love us,
those who are like us,
those who show us their appreciation.
But, others make serving really hard:
those we dislike and fear,
those who attack or fear us,
those who are different.
those who seem to just take and give nothing back.
But, in all of our picking and choosing,
you ask a very difficult thing of us, Jesus –
you ask us to be servants of all.
How are we to do this?
How do we serve the weak, the poor, the neglected,
and the strong, the wealthy, the pampered?
How do we serve the broken, the victims, the denied,
and the breaker, the perpetrator, the denier?
How do we possibly serve all?
However it may be, Jesus,
keep us from using our fear or confusion
as an excuse not to serve;
and help us just to make serving
the most natural response we have to anyone.
And may our service join with that of others,
to gently change our world into a place
where all serve
and all are served.
Breath of Life,
As we remind ourselves of Your abiding love, Your infinite presence,
open our hearts, Lord, to understand Your loving presence and Your challenge to us. In Jesus’ we pray,