Closing Devotion: Saturday, May 14

General Conference
Closing Devotion
Saturday, May 14, close of day in legislative groups
Going With Courage

**NOTE: This service is not being streamed live for those attending online.**

Gathering

[chime from the singing bowl]
Leader: We long for rest, for peace, for assurance. We yearn for the courage to follow the Light of the World.
Jesus, guide us by your light.

[chime from the singing bowl]
Leader: Even as we are finishing our work, we are also just beginning. So we come now to worship God, who is without beginning and without end.
Jesus, guide us by your light.

[chime from the singing bowl]
Leader: We stumble and grope as we try to find the path, but God is here to reveal deep and mysterious things; already the true light is shining.
Jesus, guide us by your light.

Proclaiming

SCRIPTURE        Matthew 2:1-12

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

“And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.” ’

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

A REFLECTION FROM THE GC PRAYER GUIDE

Hear these words from our Daily Prayer Guide, written by Bishop Suda Devadhar:

Faithful to their profession, the magi willingly move out of their comfort zone and, intrigued by the bright new star they observe, set out on a journey. They take with them the best gifts of their culture: gold, myrrh, and frankincense. The magi’s inquiry forces Herod and his religious advisers to search their own scriptures.

The magi continue on their quest. Although the star leads to a stable, they experience no disappointment, for the child is more important than the location. They bow in worship and adoration and then, obeying God’s direction, return home via a new route. The magi’s journey challenges us to ask many questions as we make decisions that will impact our church in this next quadrennium:

As delegates entrusted with this holy work, are we, like the magi, fully prepared for the twists and turns our journey may take on the road ahead?

  • Are we listening respectfully to the full range of voices and positions before making decisions?
  • Are we bringing our best as worthy and faithful disciples of Jesus Christ to glorify our Creator God filled with the power of the Holy Spirit?
  • Do we attempt to find God and experience the love of Christ even when discussions take us to the stable? How open are we to acknowledging God’s presence in our deliberations, and to learning from God?
  • When the Holy Spirit nudges us to a completely fresh and new direction in our deliberations, do we have courage enough to give up our agendas and follow God’s calling? (Bishop Suda Devadhar)

Thanksgiving

Leader: On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Let us join with the Magi and generations of followers who have stopped to give thanks to God:

We pray with thanksgiving for each of us in this room.
We pray for light and peace in Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God.

We pray for the work that has been done, and for the work yet ahead.
We pray for light and peace in Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God.

We pray that forgiveness and grace are offered in equal measure to one another.
We pray for light and peace in Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God.

We pray for those who are weary, sick, hurt, grieving—both within these walls and beyond.
We pray for light and peace in Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God.

We pray with gratitude for those who have led us this week.
We pray for light and peace in Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God.

We pray for the wisdom to discern God’s voice in the midst of chaos.
We pray for light and peace in Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God.

We pray for the courage to follow the one true Light as we go from this place into the night, into the world, into our calling as disciples of Jesus.
We pray for light and peace in Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God.

And now we pray as Jesus himself taught us, each in our first language:

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Sending

BLESSING

Leader: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit
enfold us all this night.
Amen.

THE PEACE

Leader: As you depart, offer one another signs of Christ’s peace.

 

****************

Acknowledgements:

Unless otherwise noted, all liturgical pieces are written by Laura Jaquith Bartlett, ©2016 The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music & Worship Arts.

Photo:

A man holds a candle as he participates in a procession during the April 24 opening worship service of the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Florida. A UMNS photo by Paul Jeffrey.

 

This website is provided by:

Fellowship_Logo_Blue_Full
Connect with us: umfellowship.org

Advertisements