[An expert in the law asked Jesus}
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
You have given us the great and powerful gift of love. Yet, we confess, so often we waster this gift. We turn against You and against one another. We fail to care for those who are truly in need in our midst. Help us to love You with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind. And looking to the example of Jesus Christ, who was willing to die that we might live, help us to love our neighbors as You have loved us. In Christ's name we pray, Amen.
Sermon Title - A “Me First” Attitude
Hymn - God of the Ages, Whose Almighty Hand
(adapted slightly from Book of Common Worship: Daily Prayer, copyright 1993, Westminster John Knox Press)
We thank you for being with us today, and for every sign of your truth and love in Jesus Christ. Especially we thank you for
the gift of peace in Christ …
reconciliation in our relationships …
each new insight into your love …
energy and courage to share your love …
the ministries of the church …
We remember in our own hearts the needs of others, that we may reach up to claim your love for them, and reach out to give your love in the name of Christ. Especially we pray for
racial harmony and justice …
those imprisoned …
strangers we will meet this week …
friends who are grieving …
your church throughout the world …
As you have made this day, O God, you also make the night. Be with us at all hours of the day. Come upon us with quietness and still our souls, that we may listen for the whisper of your Spirit and be attentive to your nearness. Empower us to rise again in new life to proclaim your praise, and show Christ to the world, for he reigns forever and ever.
As your church, though still divided, we embody our unity by joining our voices in the words of Jesus who taught us to pray ...
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.
Go in the grace, mercy, and peace of God, the Father
the love of Jesus Christ, His one and only Son
and the fellowship of His Holy Spirit
both now and forever