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Sermon--Thanks for the Side-Eye

Here's the sermon from the 5th Sunday of Epiphany--below, text and audio.

But first, a prayer of invocation:

Gracious God, you hem us in behind and before. You give our lives shape and purpose, hope and joy. You give for our life together a framework for the possibility of peace.

And yet there dwells among us another possibility--that we put ourselves first, that we take what power we have in the world for use in fulfilling our own desires. Worse, we might receive your grace as license, hear in the promise of salvation for all creation permission to a sort of lawlessness that soon becomes enslavement.

Forgive us our resistance to any sort of restraint. Forgive us our resentment that we are accountable to one another. Help us to reflect on our own misdeeds in the spirit that your love requires more of us while your forgiveness outpaces our need of it. Silence.

Loving God, renewed in the hope that we might yet be your people, we pray now that we rise to your call and enact the blessed community you preach into being as your church. During this season of Epiphany, we pray that our understanding of your way in the world might be ever deeper, our insight into your will for the world might be ever truer, and our witness of your love for the world might be ever more urgent--for you do so love.

This is, indeed, the Law by which we are to live--the Law of love for our neighbor, for the stranger in our midst, for the society in which we live, for the creation which we steward for the next generation, and for ourselves that we might be as you made and intend us to be, touched by the better angels of our nature. In Christ, amen.

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