Rev. Dr. Joe Kutter
Interim Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation
Holy and Spectacular God
You are Trinity and You are Mystery
All that is love and kindness and justice is embodied in You
In you we find the source of all creativity
In Jesus we discover the meaning of love embodied and exampled
In you we find Intimacy and Companionship that seems to come both from far
beyond us and from deep within us
And we love you
Your love is the source of all friendship and fellowship,
all companionship and camaraderie
In Jesus the Christ you have taught us to love our neighbors as we love
ourselves and to love one another as you love us
And we have totally blown it. . . .
Well, maybe not totally but we have messed it up well enough
And we have embedded our messed up failure to love, all to often, deeply within
the relationships of the church.
Too often, instead of regarding one another as sisters and brothers in faith, we
act like Republicans and Democrats, Liberals and Conservatives, barking dogs
and growling cats whenever we encounter disagreements.
Rather than seeking to understand, we seek to win, to defeat, to destroy, to
control the levers of power, we bash and trash one another — all in the name of
Forgive us for polluting the Church of Jesus Christ and marring your image
We know your forgiveness,
We rely on your forgiveness
That is the only reason that we have courage to ask for it again.
This morning, we are grateful for First Baptist Church of Lawrence
In this circle of friends who are devoted to Christ, we know that we do not always
get the practice of mutual love right, but neither are we always wrong
Indeed, in this play, love happens often, friendships are nurtured, and together
we practice the grace of mutual love and respect.
For pastors and leaders, for teachers and learners, for players and prayers, for
singers and listeners, for cooks and servers and eaters and lip-smackers, all
who dwell in this blessed place, we give you thanks.
Indeed, we lift your world to you and seek your healing
We lift your work to you and ask for the spirit of courage and power to work with
We lift the people of First Baptist to you and ask that your Spirit will make vital
the worship and work of this place.
All of this we ask in the name of Jesus….