God who lives in the depths of the universe
We worship you.
God who calls to us in the depths of our hearts and souls,
joining in our weeping and our laughing,
our sorrow and our joy,
full of kindness in the deep silences of our painful places,,
speaking into the anxious centre of our struggles,
yet also dancing with us in our delight
and sharing our celebrations:
We worship you this day.
You may wish to light a candle as a symbol of your continuing journey,
which is always lit by the light of Christ.
The candle is lit.
You may wish to hold a cross, or to gaze at a picture of a cross
as a symbol of the costly love of God
which lies beneath and within all of life,
even at the end point of our hopes and faith
as we try to survive with joy in the deep waters of life.
Dear God, as we enter the journey of this day,
the invitation into a time of reflection,
we grieve our human failures as we face some parts of our lives.
Here, in this time of being with you, the Christ,
help us to search down into the realities of who we are
and what we do or fail to do.
We know that we can never earn the costly grace which you offer us.
Be with us here, loving Jesus.
Be with us, even as we know the truth about ourselves, for we ask it in your name. Amen.
The word to us in Jesus Christ is that we are never left alone, never condemned or rejected.
The Holy Spirit, healer, companion and comforter, is our friend.
We are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.
Reading from Isaiah 61: 1-3
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to announce good news to the humble, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, release to those in prison, to proclaim a year of the Lord’s favour, and a day of the vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, to give them garlands instead of ashes, oil of gladness instead of mourners tears, a garment of splendour for the heavy heart. They will be called trees of righteousness, planted by the Lord for his adornment.
From these words we remember especially,
‘to comfort all who mourn, to give them garlands instead of ashes, oil of gladness, that is joy, instead of mourner’s tears, a garment of splendour for the heavy heart’
The journey into life is a choice which we make.
It is a choosing to follow the Christ
along passages of emptiness and pathways of fullness,
through the valley of our fear and along roadways of our faith.
Help us this day to discover the ‘oil of gladness’ .
To recognize the joy of service.
We give thanks for those special glimpse of eternity,
where harmony abounds.
We give thanks for wonder and delight.
We give thanks for reconciliation of those things that hurt us.
Keep us faithful in those times of interior darkness.
May we gather around us the love of God for our safe travelling,
the courage of Christ Jesus and the truth that
the Holy Spirit will never leave us.
We also claim the wonder and grace of each other
Thanks be to God.