My souvenir from a recent trip to Seattle’s Pike Place Market was this tea. It is delicious. Just the right amount of cinnamon and orange blending together. I let this black tea steep for about 3 minutes, and it was not bitter. When I lift the cup up to take a sip, the sweet scent of cinnamon made me smile. I will enjoy this tea, and the memories of a great trip!
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Prayer of Confession (Unison)
Faithful God, You know each one of us. You see us. You listen to us. And yet, we still run. Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? Holy One, we know the answer, and yet, we keep running. So forgive us for doubting your faithfulness. Forgive us for doubting the gifts you have bestowed upon us. Forgive us and help us to forgive ourselves and each other. Amen.
Assurance of Forgiveness
Beloved children of God, Remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the Universe. God knows you and loves you. Live your life remembering you are forgiven and loved. Amen.
The words in italics are from Psalm 139 in the New Revised Standard Version.
Today, my niece, Ella, turns 6! To say she is excited about her birthday is a huge understatement. So, in honor of her special day, I’m sharing 6 lessons I’ve learned from this amazing 6 year old!
1-Take time to enjoy the sweet things in life!
2-Don’t take life too seriously!
3-Have fun! Be a kid!
4-Love your family even when it isn’t easy!
5-Take time to relax.
6-Try new things! (like ordering room service!)
One-Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
All-Light our way, Loving God, so we may travel in your way.
One-I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to observe your righteous ordinances.
All-Keep us faithful to the promises we have made and forgive us when we fall short.
One-I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word.
All-Hear us and heal us, God, for we need you today.
One-Accept my offerings of praise, O Lord, and teach me your ordinances.
All-We seek your acceptance and your wisdom, Holy One.
One-I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law.
All-Even in times of trouble, we turn to you because you are faithful, God.
One-The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts.
All-With the support of this faith community, we do not walk alone no matter what.
One-Your decrees are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.
All-We are thankful for our ancestors in the faith who lived their faith.
One-I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.
All-Give us the strength to remain faithful for you are faithful, Loving God.
The words in italics in the litany are Psalm 119:105-112 from the New Revised Standard Version.
Today I am speaking on behalf of my hospice team at a service for a patient who has died. My hope is that the short reflection I share will bring peace to the family and friends gathered and remind them of God’s unending love for all of us. When I was asked to pick a Scripture to read, I immediately turned to the verses that bring me comfort and hope.
21 But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in him.’
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him. -Lamentations 3:21-25
I will talk about how it was a privilege to serve as part of his hospice team as we watched him transition from living at home with his wife to living in a nursing home. I will share how I hold in my heart the stories he shared about his time in the military, raising his family, working hard to support them, and enjoying retirement surrounded by family. And I will remind those gathered that this man’s faith was important to him and helped him cope with the changes in his life. As he is laid to rest today, I hope we all remember the faithfulness of God today and everyday.