Lord, Prepare Us: Do No Harm

Sunday’s Scripture ~ Luke 6:27-31.

Growing up in United Methodist Youth Fellowship, one of the first songs I learned to sing and play on guitar was Sanctuary:

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary

Pure and holy – tried and true. 

With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living

Sanctuary, for you.

It was a song that called us to prayer. It was a song that centered us in focus. It was a song that united us in response – as a sanctuary people, Lord lead us in creating and living sanctuary for others.

In my years of service at Tuskawilla UMC the youth taught me a second verse to Sanctuary:

Lord, teach your people to stop their fighting

Start uniting – live as one.

Let’s get together, and live forever

Loving always through your son. 

It was a song that called us to prayer. It was a song that centered us in focus. It was a song that united us in response – as a sanctuary people, Lord lead us in creating and living sanctuary for others.

Again. Then. Still. Now.

Always.

This week South Shore UMC will begin a three-week sermon series exploring what it means for us to be a sanctuary together – called to prayer, centered in focus, and united in response – both as a congregation and as a community of faith in our facility – as we to return to in-person worship and gatherings, following timeline recommendations from our Annual Conference Leadership and public health officials. We will use portions of Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain, found in the Gospel of Luke, and John Wesley’s General Rules to frame our teaching and guide our understanding. The sermons during this series will have very practical and very contextual remarks pertaining to our life together at South Shore. A copy of each sermon during this series will be emailed to persons in our church database each Monday so that folks can revisit the policies and procedures introduced during worship.

I invite you to please continue in prayer – for one another, for our church, and for our leaders in the denomination, public health, and government as together we all continue discerning the next best steps that support the wellbeing and health of all people. I look forward to this time together with you in virtual worship and learning in the coming weeks.

Prayer: “Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come; ’tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”* Amen.

*”Amazing Grace,” The United Methodist Hymnal 378.

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