Reading: 1 Peter 1:17-21
Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
Prayer – Another prayer I offered as Moderator of the 2016 General Assembly:
Father, we are told the story of a garden,
and of a time when humanity was in harmonious relationship
with one another, with creation, with you.
There is within us still the memory of such a time,
The longing to be in harmony once again.
Yet we are told, too, in that same story, of a lie.
That we would not die,
that we would know good from evil, right from wrong;
that we ourselves would be gods.
We confess, Father, that we bought the lie.
We bear within us its scars.
It continues to poison our relationships with one another,
with creation, with you.
For we confess that in many ways, we believe it still…
Yet in your unfathomable grace and mercy,
you came to us in Jesus Christ, in whom alone,
do we find wholeness, healing, reconciliation, truth.
Through Christ, Father, our relationship with you is restored.
With Christ, we reach out to one another in forgiveness and love.
In Christ, we seek harmony with creation
and all the peoples of the world.
By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we hear again your words to us,
the great witness to Christ,
and your Word is for us a light in the darkness,
our only way forward in this world, and to the next.
And so, Father, through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity and love of the Holy Spirit,
We give ourselves over to you,
Determined to do your will and to reflect the light of your grace
To a world in dire need of healing, of reconciliation,
Of restoration, of salvation, of You.
May all glory, honour and praise be yours, now and forever,