By faith, not by sight, O God, you have called us to a life of service, not for ourselves, but for others.
By faith, not by sight, O God, you have called us to a life of discipleship in Christ, not in the ever-fleeting pursuit of the next best thing.
By faith, not by sight, O God, you have called us to a life of understanding and compassion, not of mud-slinging and judgment.
By faith, not by sight, O God, you have called us to a life of cooperation and sacrifice, not of keeping score and one-up-manship.
By faith, not by sight, O God, you have called us to a life of reconciliation, not of division and splintering.
By faith, not by sight, O God, you have called us to the waters of baptism, not for an easy life or even a sinless life, but a life transformed through radical hope and radical grace.
As we hear the splash of the baptismal waters today, God, may we look to our own baptisms – some many years ago, others perhaps more recent, others still look to those waters with curiosity. May we remember our decisions to choose life in your Son. May we be reminded of the baptismal waters daily as we seek constant renewal. We know that discipleship is not easy; but may your presence never be far from our conscience.
These are harried times, O God. The culture around us encourages panic, fear, and hate. We are confronted with so many different versions of the truth; throughout our days it feels easier to choose apathy, ignorance, or even anger instead of patience, forbearance and wisdom. May our words and our thoughts ever seek your will and your way. May our actions model your love and kindness.
It is tempting, O God, to believe that we may earn our way into your favor. With each good deed, or good word we may fancy ourselves ever closer to you. We know that all this does, though, is teach us to compare – leaving us feeling superior when we do well, and guilty and ashamed when we come up short. May our words, thoughts and actions be always and only motivated to love because you loved us, and to love others as you love them.
We celebrate together for the good news and the joys that we share. We come to you burdened with concerns for those sick, unemployed, alone or scared. Show us how to be your presence to those who need it.
By faith, not by sight, O God, you call us to new life in the rhythms of your Spirit, not in the routines of this world. Make us new again today.
We pray all this with your Son, who taught us, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day or daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the Kingdom and, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.