Opening Psalm

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

   He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

   he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

   for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk

   through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil,

   for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

   they comfort me.

 

You prepare a table before me

   in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

   my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me

   all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

   forever.

Declaration of faith

We believe and trust

    in God the Father Almighty.
We believe and trust

   in Jesus Christ His Son.
We believe and trust

   in the Holy Spirit.
We believe and trust

   in the Three in One.
 

Scripture Readings

 

Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Luke 6:27-31

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Luke 10: 29b-36

He asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”


In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.  The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’


“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 

Today’s Meditation


“Kindness is a beautiful human attribute. When we say, “She is a kind person” or “He surely was kind to me,” we express a very warm feeling. In our competitive and often violent world, kindness is not the most frequent response. But when we encounter it we know that we are blessed. Is it possible to grow in kindness, to become a kind person? Yes, but it requires discipline. To be kind means to treat another person as your “kin,” your intimate relative. We say, “We are kin” or “He is next of kin.” To be kind is to reach out to someone as being of “kindred” spirit.

                                                                         

—Henri Nouwen 

Prayers for others, the world, ourselves and for kindness.

Closing Psalm

 

Psalm 36:5-9

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
 

Blessing

 

God go before you to lead you,

God go behind you to protect you,

God go beneath you to support you,

God go beside you to befriend you.

Do not be afraid.

May the blessing of God the Father, Son,

   and Holy Spirit be upon you.

Do not be afraid.

Wash your hands.

Amen.

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