No more lying, then! Each of you must tell the truth to the other believer, because we are all members together in the body of Christ. If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. Don’t give the Devil a chance. If you used to rob, you must stop robbing and start working, in order to earn an honest living for yourself and to be able to help the poor. Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you. And do not make God’s Holy Spirit sad; for the Spirit is God’s mark of ownership on you, a guarantee that the Day will come when God will set you free. Get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ. Since you are God’s dear children, you must try to be like him. Your life must be controlled by love, just as Christ loved us and gave his life for us as a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice that pleases God.
We can live our life controlled by competition, abuse of power, coercion, unforgiving and taxing expectations, and self-centered gain, influenced by the fear of never being good enough, fast enough, canny enough, or worthwhile. This is not the Way of Jesus. A peace-filled life is often related to sitting in a ‘holiday’ mood in a beautiful location. In a life controlled by God’s love, peace comes in a soul focused through the wisdom of the Spirit, a heart for all God’s creation and unity, healthier balanced inner-thoughts, good use of the gifts of intelligence and choices, and actively being ‘controlled’ by love that is so encompassing, it helps us rise above the negativity of life that is controlled by world demands and expectations.
Turn to the light of Christ that reveals to us how to love each other and ourselves,
so that together, we are bearers of the love
that can overcome darkness, and bring peace to the world.
Feed us with your love, O God!
We are hungry in our soul and tired in spirit.
Speak to us clearly, O Jesus!
We wait eagerly to hear your Word.
Surround us with your wisdom, O Spirit!
We trust in your truth and constant presence.
Just as the morning light dawned on this day,
we are certain of your light shining before each of us.
We gather as your family to worship and bring you praise.
Thanks be to you, God of all, for your constant light of love.
Prayer of Confession
In our world, there are so many things on which we rely, Constant One.
We rely too often on timetables, planning and managing our days
with tasks and duties, with competitive actions.
We are sorry we miss the sacredness of moments with you.
Irritations, disruptions and differences of opinions,
become an unhealthy focus of conversation and thoughts.
We are sorry that we do not listen fully to points of view,
or dismiss alternate ways with such vigour and annoyance.
Words of blame and disparagement, of anger and harm to another
flow from our mouths too readily.
We do not respect each other or offer space for explanation;
rather, our words and actions bring hurt, shame and insult.
Shake off our anger and hate, our negativity and bitterness,
for we know these are not part of a faith filled life with you.
We have strayed from your path, Jesus, and are controlled by selfishness.
Words of Assurance
Friends, our God offers us strength to overcome these negative ways.
Call on the Spirit and allow this gentle and honouring love
guide you, strengthen you and grow in you.
Wisdom, tender-hearted love and forgiveness
reflect the Way of Jesus, to which we are all called.
Let us welcome being controlled by God’s love.
© Rev Anne Hewitt 04/08/2021
This reflection & prayer may be shared as long as the original writer is credited.