I have loved you as the Father has loved me. Abide in my love. Follow my example in obeying the Father’s commandments and receiving his love. If you obey my commandments, you will stay in my love. My commandment to you is this: love others as I have loved you. There is no greater way to love than to give your life for your friends.
from John 16
We are all made in your image.
We are all prodigals wandering far from home.
We all find mercy in your embrace.
Abba, our Father in heaven
Let your name be hallowed.
Isaiah prophesied a day when all will be made right:
On this mountain the Lord Almighty will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.
from Isaiah 25
Abba, Our Father in heaven
We are exhausted with all this violence;
A truck bomb in Baghdad,
The mass murder in Orlando,
The killings this week of
Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, five police officers in Dallas, and a toddler in North Minneapolis.
We look for you to restore all things,
We wait for resurrection.
But more than waiting,
Let us live today to see your kingdom come,
To see your will be done;
As it is in heaven let it be so on earth.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
from Matthew 5
In our shared hunger,
We see that we are the same.
For ourselves, our friends and our enemies:
Provide our needs,
Give us today our daily bread,
In the hatred and violence we hold in our own hearts,
We see our shared need for your love to take hold,
We can taste our need to give and receive forgiveness.
Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
The Psalmist sang:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.
from Psalm 23
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
from John 1
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
from Romans 12
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Then he prayed:
Father, do not take them out of this world; protect them from the evil one.
from John 16-17
Jesus, we trust you,
We follow you.
Teach us that you are with us,
Even in the valley of the shadow of death.
Show us how to overcome evil with good,
Darkness with light.
Jesus, lead us
Not into temptation,
Deliver us from evil.
Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
Forever and ever.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.