Updated: Mar 2, 2020
This is a sermon for the first Sunday of Lent, and it concerns epidurals, mosh pits, and dictatorships.
But first, a prayer of invocation.
Holy and Eternal God, whom we are called to love with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength: we know well that we can be heartless toward the misery of others and mindless toward your purposes for good, that our souls wither among our machines, that our strength has gone from us laboring after that which does not satisfy. By our luxury the hungry are sent empty away; for the sake of our comfort the innocent perish at home and abroad. As of old, we kill the prophets and anoint the fools.
Recognizing all this, we confess that we have sinned against you, in thought, word, and deed; in what we have done and in what we’ve left undone. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not truly loved you as we ought. For all this, we humbly repent, and we rely on your forgiveness and grace for our restoration.
Gracious God, receiving of such things, we pray now your help. Help us to deplore in ourselves the evil that so wantonly destroys. Help us to plant our faith in your Son whose resistance of temptation is an acceptance of life as it is in the world, which liberates us, though also challenge us. Grant that we might be up to the challenge. Provoke in us for the sake of all people such change that makes a world of joy. In Christ, our crucified Lord and the host at the table around which we will soon gather, we pray. Amen.