Loving God, you welcome us this morning with joy and peace. Grant us your grace, that we may welcome others everywhere as you have welcomed us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Old Testament Reading
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God! Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”; my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
But I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
“Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
Holy God, hear the prayer of your church:
That all people would be reconciled through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus;
That the Word would go forth into all the world, and that we would be faithful messengers and bold witnesses to the gospel;
That as the sick were healed by Jesus, those who suffer in body and mind would be blessed with your healing mercy;
That those who remain on the margins, contained by boundaries of economic opportunity, incarceration, race, creed, or nationality, would be restored to full participation in the human community;
That those who are displaced by war and violence would find safe sanctuary.
Holy God, strengthen your people with your heart, that we might be filled with courage, face the future unafraid, and shine the light of your gospel in every city, town, village, neighborhood, and community where we gather as your church.
Hear our prayer, O Lord. Amen.