Filled with the Holy Spirit
            they began to speak in other languages,
            as the Spirit gave them ability.

                      —Acts 2.4

So much of our words are foreign even to us.
“How are you?” “OMG.” “See ya later.”
We don’t even know what we mean.
What would it be like to have words
for the depths of the dark river flowing in us,
or even the light playing on the curls of its surface?
What would it be like to give voice
to the chorus humming their symphony in us,
the knot of old women singing their ancient wordless song,
what would it sound like to speak our love into the air
or into another’s heart?
What ancient tongue could pass on,
like putting a coin in someone’s hand,
what astonishing wonders we’ve seen,
what love we’ve known?
How might we speak to give voice to the silenced?
What language would convey it
when we listen to a foreigner not knowing their words
but knowing their sorrow, their joy?
What silent form of speech would translate
one turning their heart inside out for us
and us listening, hearing,
the electricity of that connection?
How might we learn to hear
in a tongue we didn’t grow up with
a story as real as ours?
For this mystery we pray,
to lose the words and receive the gift of tongues
for listening,
tongues like hands that reach across
to hands reaching out to us,
fluent in the silence of the soul’s native tongue.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light


Memorial Day:
we remember those who have
made the ultimate sacrifice.
“The price of freedom,” we intone,
believing in violence,
trusting it absolutely
to make us free,
knowing there are others,
the young and innocent,
we will ask to pay that price,
to be the lambs we sacrifice
in our religion of violence,
as we hold high and sanctify
our guns.
We send our young off
to the battlefield to kill,
to the school to be shot.
We will not repent, not yet,
or seek to become more gentle people;
God grant us the honesty to confess
that we do indeed, without apology,
practice child sacrifice.
Already the next classroom,
without spot or blemish,
is being prepared.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

The most amazing thing

Sometimes you wake up and you’re alive
and it’s such a wonder it practically knocks you out again.
Sometimes you get up and go, and by the bottom of the stairs
you’re overwhelmed by the miracle of knees.
Every once in a while you’re hit with a bombast of beauty
or forgiveness, the way breath is given,
the way this shadow holds the stone in its hands,
the way someone sees a light they had resolved to miss.
You step outside and you want to cry to the birds,
“Hey you guys!” and they’re in the trees nodding
“Yeah, we know, we know.”
Sometimes it seems the world and its miracles
needs a flock of exclamation points.
And the thing is, the most amazing thing
hasn’t even happened yet.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

Ascension Day

           Thus it is written, that the Anointed One is to suffer
           and to rise from the dead on the third day.
           and that repentance and forgiveness of sins
           is to be proclaimed to all nations
           in the name of the Anointed One.
           You are witnesses of these things.
                           —Luke 24.46-48

It’s all one thing, this loop,
in which the Beloved ascends
not into distant heavens
but into the suffering of the world,
and radiates forgiveness
that changes people,
who rise into a wounded world
to proclaim altered lives
and the miracle of ascending
from suffering to forgiveness,
of which we are witnesses,
even this very day,
to begin again.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

Standing there looking up into the air

            He was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
           While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven,
           suddenly two people in white robes stood by them.
           They said, “People of Galilee,
           why do you stand looking up toward heaven?”
                              —Acts 1.9-11

Because sometimes all you can do
is stare into the space where once there was
something you loved.
Because sometimes there’s a gap
between the last step of this journey
and the first step of the next one.
Because grief is the grain
in the pearl of believing.
Because sometimes there’s an empty place
in you that only the right kind of silence can fill.
Because we didn’t get here on our own
but now we’re afraid we might have to.
Because it’s sometimes only empty air
and a vast, insistent silence
where we can hear the voice,
the silent voice, and feel the presence,
the huge unsayable presence
of the One in whose absence
there is such nearness.
Because sometimes, God,
you just really miss the skin.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light


           “Abba God, you are in me
           and I am in you;
           may they also be in us,
           I in them and you in me,
           that they may become completely one.”
                           —John 17.21, 23

In that song you love
that one beautiful note is a note in the song,
and when you sing it right
the whole song is in that note,
and the song is in you,
and you are in the hearer,
and the hearer is in the song,
and we are one,

circles within circles,
a fish in the ocean and the ocean in the fish,
the fire in the flame and the warmth in the light,
the mother in the child in the mother,
the blood in the flesh and the life in the blood,
the Lover and the Beloved and the Love that flows between,
the Infinite who makes room within themselves for us,
and the One who comes and brings us in,
and the room and all who are in it, who are in each other:
this is what we mean when we say “One,”
what you mean when you say “I.”

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light


           He was lifted up,
           and a cloud took him out of their sight.
                           —Acts 1.9

The Ascension is not about Jesus’s body
rising above the earth,
but about Jesus expanding beyond his body.

He didn’t go up,
he went out.
Into all of us.

The disciple stand there,
almost ready to believe
(they won’t until Pentecost)

that the body is not there
but here: we are the body,
the body of the risen Christ.

Christ is not an individual but a community.
You are not an individual
but a member of that community.

When Jesus prays “May they all be one,”
it isn’t about opinions.
It’s that we’re all cells of one body.

See that way.
Act that way.
Love that way.

Weather Report

as warm, light air rises,
raising us all
into the realm of light.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light


           Peace I leave with you;
           my peace I give to you.
           I do not give to you as the world gives.
                           —John 14.27

I give to you a heart of serenity,
the grace to be undisturbed
even as chaos surrounds.

I give to you a heart of harmony,
that you may be forgiving,
knowing you are forgiven.

I give to you a heart of hope,
confident in the grace that moves
unseen and vast.

I give to you a heart of acceptance,
to be present with what is
even if it is not what shall be.

I give to you a heart of wholeness,
that you may know you belong
and all that is within you be healed.

I give to you a heart of gentleness,
to live graciously with all,
even those who are not at peace.

I give to you a heart of love,
that you know you are my Beloved,
and be at peace with all.

My peace I give to you,
the Peace of the Crucified and Risen One.
Peace be with you.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

OT 17 – Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

July 27, 2025

Lectionary Texts

Hosea 1.2-10 — God tells the prophet to marry a prostitute. Their children are given symbolic names.

Psalm 85 — You forgave us; restore us again. Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.

Colossians 2.6-15 (+16–19)— Live rooted and built up in Christ …

Luke 11.1-13 — The Prayer of Jesus (“Lord’s Prayer”). … The importunate neighbor. … Ask and you will receive …

Preaching Thoughts

        Go easy on the idea of a prostitute as an image of an unfaithful spouse. I don’t know much about prostitution in biblical times, but I worked among teenage girls involved in prostitution in Minneapolis in the 1970’s. One thing I learned is that women don’t go into prostitution to be promiscuous. They go because they’re forced. In the case of my teenage kids, they were sent down that path from an early age by abusive parents. They almost had no choice. In biblical times women had no role in public life. (How many single women do you see in the Hebrew Bible with “honorable” professions? Miriam, Deborah, and… that’s it.) Most women, now as then, do it out of economic desperation; most are also embodying their early abuse. Notice how we always blame the prostitute, but never the men. The prostitute is the victim, not the perpetrator. Even here, Gomer is not the one in power. She’s being used by Hosea. (This whole story is highly and probably purely symbolic, not a real event. So don’t go too far trying to figure out what it was like. But if you play that game, note that Gomer apparently stayed faithful to Hosea long enough to bear two children.) Anyway, in preaching you can touch on how the scripture uses Gomer as a symbol of unfaithfulness, but note the inappropriateness of the archaic equation of “prostitute= unfaithful person.”
         Don’t get hung up on how weird it is to give your kids names like “Not-pitied” or “Not-my-people.” I don’t know that when Hosea’s kids played soccer their teammates called them by their theological nicknames. The names are Hosea’s symbolic image, not his kids’ actual names. They’re symbols of Israel’s unfaithfulness. Hosea’s point was that despite Israel’s unfaithfulness God is faithful. Note that even after the harsh word that Israel is “not mine” they’ll be called “Children of the living God.” There is always grace.

      Paul continues his theme of the cosmic Christ who is both eternal and also bodily present— Christ’s body being the church. As members of the church we are members of Christ’s physical presence. As such, Christ is the one who has power over us. Other people, movements, values or forces have no power over us.
       You could preach a whole sermon on practically every sentence in Paul’s letters.
      “Live your lives in Christ, rooted and built up in Christ.”— Contemplate what it means to be rooted in Christ… how we nourish our rootedness…
      “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit…” You can argue over doctrine and the culture wars forever and never touch on what it means to follow Jesus. Never mind that. Ignore the culture wars and live lives of love.
      “In Christ the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in Christ.” — What might it mean to come to fullness in Christ? Maybe to be all of who God creates us to be, to inhabit our whole divine nature… God is not distant: though infinite, God is intimately present, and we are in God….
     “You were buried in baptism and raised with Christ.” — We surrender our lives to God, who gives us new ones… We’re so afraid of “losing ourselves,” but whatever life we love, God always gives us a new one, a more loving and beautiful one.
     “When you were dead in trespasses God made you alive.” — Dead not because of some punishment,but because sin is our distrust of God, cutting ourselves off from God, who is life. But of course we only think we’re cut off. God stays connected (God is in us, and we are in God), and God gives us new life. This is not our doing, our worthiness, but God’s gift.
     “God forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands, nailing it to the cross.” — Think of all the bad stuff you’ve done, all of your inadequacy: erased! Wow. It’s hard for us to accept that; we keep thinking there must be something in ink that didn’t erase… But, no. Our forgiveness is absolute, total and final. We’re not trying to get saved; we’re trying to come to trust that we are saved.
     “God disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in the cross.” — We’re done with that whole Marvel Comics trope of the Battle Between Good and Evil. t’s over. They lost. Love has already triumphed. Again, the issue is not whether love is more powerful that evil, but whether we trust it. This is the foundation of our struggle for justice. The house of evil is built on the sand of fear, but the house of justice is built on the rock of love.
     “Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on (certain religious ideas and practices) and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.” — Ignore those who judge your faith. Our faith is not about what we believe but how we trust God, and participate in the Body of Love. Real faith builds up the body (the community) and helps it grow in love.


      What we’ve called the Lord’s Prayer I call the Prayer of Jesus, both to avoid the word “Lord,” loaded as it is with patriarchy (lords and ladies….)— and also because it’s a fruitful (Jewish) prayer for people for whom Jesus is a spiritual teacher but nor their “lord.”
      Look here for a set of my paraphrases of the prayer (Matthew’s version).
      Luke’s version is much leaner than Matthew’s. We’re not sure what Jesus actually said (other than we know he called God Abba) and what gospel writers added. It’s doubtful Jesus taught this prayer as a whole, but he used the various petitions at times and his words were made into a composite.
      “Father…” — Jesus doesn’t mean God is male, but that even though God is infinite and unknowable, God is also intimately present. Jesus’ particular image of God as “Father” is a strong corrective to many people’s experience of fatherhood as domineering, demanding and distant, and sometimes even violent. Form older generation even a kind father is often experienced as the one who’s away, “off at work.” For people with bad images of “father,” this can be healing. Jesus’ God is a father who is intimate, faithful, generous, and present and attentive— a really good listener.
      In our common version we say “Our Father,” reminding us that faith is never “between me and God,” but among the whole family. God does not belong to any one of us or a small group of us. God is everybody’s parent.
      “Your name be revered.” — This hearkens back to the ten commandments—not merely to avoid taking God’s name in vain but to revere it. God’s “name” means more than language. It means God’s reality, God’s character, God’s essence. This prayer means “May we always be guided by love.” This petition, and the “kingdom” one following, draw us out of our everyday thinking into a new form of consciousness. We abandon worldly values and attachments, and make God the center of our world.
      “Your kingdom come.” —In less patriarchal language, “Impose your imperial rule.” In the age of Disney’s “Magical Kingdom” we forget that a “kingdom” was a real political entity. In Jesus’ setting that was the Romans Empire. A kingdom, or empire, is a power structure with authority, obligations and privileges decreed from above. The Empire of God is a world in which love rules. Grace is not an option: it’s imposed from above. This both a “parallel universe” to this world, and also a real-world alternative to the Roman Empire, and to all human structures of power, domination, privilege and exclusion. As such this petition is not only a spiritual hope; it’s also a political statement.
      “Give us each day our daily bread.” — It’s given. Everything is a gift. Luke’s version, “each day,” has a more ongoing, long-term sense than Matthew’s “this day.” But either way we are invited to rely entirely on God’s providence. It’s like breathing: each breath—this breath— is a gift from God. I think of Ps. 127.2: “It is in vain that we rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for you give sleep to your beloved.” Even what we think we have earned is actually a gift from God.
     “Forgive our sins, for we forgive others…” — We would tremble to ask that God forgive us at the low rate we forgive. Of course God forgives absolutely. But there is something about forgiveness like a hug: you can’t receive it without being wiling to give it. Jesus is likely to have said “debts;” he meant real-life forgiveness of financial debts as well as the more religious and social aspects. That aspect gradually got removed from the real world of poverty and debt-enslavement. But in Jesus’ world nobody owes anybody anything. Jesus envisions us all being free of any guilt, shame, or obligation, being free and freeing others. Again, as in the petition for God’s Reign to come, there’s a sense of all of life being re-ordered, and even re-created. Imagine this: we are provided for, and completely free, before God.
     “Do not bring us to the time of trial.” — This might be asking God not to test our faith—which in fact God does not do. God knows our faith. And God has no need to make us struggle to prove anything. God’s only will is to bless and heal. But it may be more generally asking that we not be brought to the limits of our capacity—not that God causes difficulties in our lives, but that grace helps us avoid them if we can and endure them if we must. This might be a petition spoken not as an individual but as all of humanity: our wish to avoid the intense challenge of, say, world war or climate catastrophe.
     “Ask and you shall receive.” — God is profoundly generous.

Call to Worship

Leader: God of love, we ask you to teach us to pray.
All: You show us your grace, and our wonder is our prayer to you.
Christ, your love gives us joy.
Let our gratitude be prayer to you.
Holy Spirit, you fill us with your power.
Let our lives be our prayer to you.
And let this, our worship, bring you praise.

Leader: Ask, and it will be given to you.
All: Loving God, we ask for life and peace. Grant us your grace.
Search, and you will find.
Christ, we are searching for your Way, searching for Life. Grant us your grace.
Knock, and the door will be opened.
Spirit, we come knocking at the door of this moment.
Open to us, as we open our hearts to you, and grant us your grace.

Leader: Creator God, we praise you!
All: Our Father and Mother, we honor you.
Open our eyes to the mystery of your presence
May your Realm come to life among us!
Feed us with the bread of your Word.
Change us with the grace of your forgiveness.

All power and glory are yours, God of love.
Alleluia! Come, Holy Spirit, and transform us by your grace. Alleluia!

Collect / Prayer of the Day

God of truth, Jesus’ disciples said to him,” Teach us to pray.” So we come to worship, to hear your Word to us, and to learn to pray. Spirit of Love, teach us. Fill us with your Spirit, that everything we do may be prayerful. Fill us with your love, that our only desire will be to do your will. Speak your Word to us, that we may hear your prayer for us, and reflect it in the living of our lives. Amen.

God of love, Jesus has promised that you will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. We are asking you. In your Word, proclaimed here and pondered together and lived out in our lives, give us your Spirit. Amen.

Our Mother, our Father, your presence is holy. We open ourselves to you, that Reign of your love may take over our hearts, and take over the world. May your grace feed us. May your forgiveness guide us. May your wisdom lead us through all the challenges of life, for your sake, and for the sake of the wholeness of the world. Amen.

Listening Prayer

(suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to prayer)
God our Father, God our Mother,
God, our intimate parent,
you give us life. You provide for us,
protect us, guide us and love us.
Like little children we rest in your loving arms;
whether you speak or are silent,
you hold us, and we are at peace.

You give us each day our daily bread;
you give us each moment the breath we need.
We open our hearts to your holy presence.
May your realm of love blossom in our hearts.

Prayer of Confession

God, we confess
we have not lived the lives of your beloved children.
We have not held your holy presence at the center of our lives.
We have submitted to this world’s empires.
We have starved ourselves of your grace;
Neglecting your forgiveness, we have not been forgiving.
Our faith has been tried, and failed.
Heal us, forgive us, and restore us to your Realm.
We pray in the name and by the grace of Christ. Amen.


1. The Lord’s Prayer
          Click here for a set of my paraphrases of the Prayer of Jesus, the “Lord’s Prayer.”

Colossians 2.6-15 – My paraphrase

You received as a gift
God’s presence embodied in Jesus,
the captain of your soul.
Live as part of God’s embodied presence.
Root yourself deeply in Christ.
Grow and become more whole in your trust,
true to your experience, overflowing with gratitude.
Don’t let anyone hijack your faith with fear and lies, with selfish agendas,
with human prejudices and power structures.
Keep your trust in Christ.
Christ is a higher power than any ruler or authority.

Christ is the physical presence of divinity, in whom your lives are whole.
In Christ you have received God’s Covenant
through a transformation by the Spirit:
stepping beyond the limits of your fleshly bodies,
you became part of the Body of Christ
when you were buried with Christ in baptism and raised with Christ,
trusting in the power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
When you were dead, buried alive under your sins,
disconnected from the Covenant,
God gave you new life together with Christ:
God forgave all your sin,
ignoring all accounts of your failure to meet legal demands.
God destroyed these accounts, nailing them to the cross.
God disarmed all oppressive powers and spirits
and made a public display of them,
triumphing over them in the cross.

So hold fast to Christ, the head,
from whom the whole Body,
nourished and joined by the Spirit’s ligaments and sinews,
grows with a growth that is from God.

Response / Creed / Affirmation

      We love and trust you, God, creator of all that is and all that is to come.
      We love and trust you, Jesus, who embodied the loving presence of God. Crucified under the powers of worldly empire, you were raised by the power of love. You are our head and we your Body, the church, buried with you in baptism and raised in love.
     We love and trust you, Holy Spirit, Spirit of Love. We are joined by your ligaments and sinews as one Body in Christ, growing by your grace. By your power we love with gentleness, seek justice with courage, and serve you with joy. May the Rule of your Grace take over this world, to your glory, now and forever. Amen.

     We entrust ourselves to you, God, Creator of all that is and all that is to come. Holy is your presence. All that you create you love; and your only will is blessing. The visible world thrums with the light of your unseen presence; the earth is alive with heaven. You give us each day the bread we need.
     We entrust ourselves to you, Jesus, the Beloved. You healed us and fed us and taught us to pray.
You showed us your forgiveness, that we might forgive others. Crucified and risen, you are our deliverance from the powers of evil, leading us past our temptations, that your will may be done.
     We entrust ourselves to you, Holy Spirit, that your love may take root in our hearts and your will be done. By your power the Realm of Grace flourishes in this world until it will prevail. The world, and the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer

[The body of the prayer may be read responsively or by the presiding leader(s) alone.]

God is with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your heart.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to the Holy One, our God.
It is good and beautiful to give God our praise.

Our Mother, our Father, holy is your presence.
All that you create you love; and your only will is blessing.
The visible world thrums with the light of your unseen presence;
the earth is alive with heaven.
You give us each day the bread we need.
Therefore, at your invitation, we come to your table,
giving our thanks and singing your praise.

            [Sanctus, spoken or sung:]
        Holy, holy, holy One, God of power and might,
        heaven and earth are full of your glory.
        Hosanna in the highest.
        Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God.
        Hosanna in the highest.
               [or alternate version]

Blessed are all who come in your name,
and blessed is Jesus, your Christ.
He healed us and fed us and taught us to pray.
He showed us your forgiveness,
that we might forgive others.
Crucified and risen, he is our deliverance from the powers of evil,
leading us past our temptations,
that your will may be done.

     (The Blessing and Covenant) *

As long as we break this bread and share this cup
we remember his death and resurrection, until he comes again.
Therefore, remembering these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves as a living and holy sacrifice,
in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

             [Memorial Acclamation, spoken or sung:]
        Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
        Dying, Christ destroyed our death. Rising, Christ restores our life.
        Christ will come again in glory.
             [or alternative]

Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts of bread and cup,
that they may be for us the body and blood of Christ.
Pour out your Spirit on us, that we may be for the world the Body of Christ.
Bu your grace may your love take root in our hearts.
May your will be done.
May your Realm of Grace flourish in this world.
For the power and glory are yours, now and forever.

           [Spoken or sung]

* The Blessing and Covenant
[I usually don’t print the words. I want people to be looking at the bread, not their bulletins.]

On the night in which he gave himself for us
Jesus took bread, blessed it,. broke it, and gave it to his disciples,saying,
“Take and eat; this is my body.”
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup,
blessed it with thanks and gave it to them, saying,
“Drink of this, all of you. This is my blood,
poured out for you and for many, in a new Covenant,
which is the forgiveness of sin.”
As long as we break this bread and share this cup
we remember his death and resurrection, until he comes again.

Prayer of Dedication / Sending

Gracious God, daily you give us our bread. You give us the Realm. You call us into community with all the world. For this we thank you. In gratitude we give you our lives, symbolized in our gifts. Receive them with love, bless them with grace, and use them according to your will. Send us into the world to share your love, to do your will, to forgive as we have been forgiven, that your Reign of Grace may prevail upon earth. Bless us that we may bear fruit in your Realm, in the name of Christ, by the power of your Holy Spirit.

Prayer after Communion

God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us. You feed us the daily bread of your grace. You have forgiven us, that we may forgive. You save us from our weakness, and empower us to do your will. May your love bear fruit in our lives, for the sake of your Realm, your power and your glory, now and forever. Amen.

Suggested Songs

(Click on titles to view, and hear an audio clip, on the Music page.)

All of the Gifts I Have         (Tune: Fairest Lord Jesus)

All of the gifts I have, all that is within me,
you give to me, O God, with care;
all of my prayers and skills, passions and energies
you grant to me to freely share.

Here are my hopes and dreams, attitudes and deepest loves,
all of the treasure to which I cling.
I will not hold them in, stilling my ardent song,
but serving you I’ll freely sing.

In all I keep or give, may I do my very best
in everything I say and do,
in harmony with you, only to love and bless,
with joy, to serve and honor you.

Giving Heart (Tune: The Water is Wide- Gift of Love)

O God of grace, you set us free
and feed us all abundantly,
so help me trust the gifts you give,
with giving heart and hands to live.

Come, Spirit, come, and set me free
from all I cling to fearfully.
Come heal my heart, my fears relieve,
so I may give as I receive.

Your Bread of Life transforms us, Lord,
so we become your living Word.
Our lives no more are ours to hold,
but yours to share with all the world.

Giving Thanks (Original song)

We are a grateful people giving thanks to you.
We are a blessed people singing praise to you.
We are a gifted people spreading love for you.
We are a thankful people spreading love for you.

Grateful Hearts (Tune: This is My father’s World)

Our life is yours, O God, a gift of love from you.
We pray that we may faithfully serve you in all we do.
O give us grateful hearts, for blessings still unknown,
as stewards of your gracious love, your gifts we do not own.

God, all that we possess—the pow’r for what we do,
our goods, our skill, our kind good will— is all a gift from you.
Since all we have is yours, and bears deep grace from you,
Bless us with care to gladly share your love as you would do.

This is Our Mother’s World (Tune: This Is My father’s World)

As a mother in her love surrounds her own with care,
God gives us birth and life and earth and grace beyond compare.
This is our Mother’s world; her grace is everywhere,
each person blest, held to her breast, enfolded in her care.

As a mother tends her young and teaches them her ways,
God loves us so that her light will show: our lives become her praise.
This is our Mother’s world. Her care for us is sure.
Though we go wrong her love stays strong. Her love and grace endure.

As a mother, wise and kind, leads children day by day,
God holds us near so we can hear the voice that guides our way.
This is our Mother’s world, and so our gifts we bring,
to freely share her loving care, and praises gladly sing.

       One-verse Offertory version:

As a mother in her love surrounds her own with care,
God gives us birth and life and earth and grace beyond compare.
This is our Mother’s world, and so our gifts we bring,
to freely share her loving care, and praises gladly sing.

The Lord’s Prayer- Ten Paraphrases

Click here to find this in a downloadable (.doc) document.

#1    Your Empire

O Life-Giver at the heart of all Being,
holy is your presence.
May your Empire of grace replace our own,
and your delight be fulfilled,
as this world becomes heaven.
Give us our sustenance, one breath at a time,
and make us completely forgiving of ourselves and others.
Save us from the weakness of our will,
and deliver us from the power of evil.
For all Being is yours; all power is yours; all glory is yours,
in this moment,
in eternity. Amen.

# 2      Creation’s splendor

Our Mother, our Father, giver of life,
Holiness of Presence;
may our hearts always bow to you.
Your Realm break forth,
your delight blossom among us,
making this earth your heaven.
Give us each moment our life, our breath.
Free us from being judged,
as we free others from our judgments.
Guide us safely past our desires and attachments,
and rescue us from the power of evil.
For the world is yours;
the only real power is yours;
Creation’s splendor is yours,
in this present moment
and in eternity. Amen.

#3       Holy Place

O Divine Parent, Giver of Life,
whose presence is holiness,
may our hearts be in you.
Transform the world
according to your delight,
that all earth may become a holy place.
Give us each moment that moment’s breath.
Give us your gift of forgiveness,
that receiving it deeply we may give it freely.
Transform our desires,
and free us from evil powers;
for all creation, and all power, and all beauty
are yours, now and forever. Amen.

# 4       Center and Source

Beloved, Center and Source of our living,
whose presence is heaven,
your holy love fills Creation.
May your delight be fulfilled
and your Realm unfold among us,
the visible world blossoming out of the unseen.
We turn to you alone for our sustenance,
the bread of life each day.
Set us free from our failings,
as we set free all who have failed us
Lead us beyond our desires
and save us from the grip of evil.
For the world is within you;
all power is from you,
and all glory is about you,
in eternity, which is in the present moment.

#5        One day’s bread

Our Mother and Father in heaven,
holy be your name.
Impose your Reign,
that we may do your will, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today this one day’s bread.
Forgive our wrongs
as we forgive those who do wrong against us.
Save us from our temptations
and keep us from doing evil.
For the Realm, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.

#6        Community of grace

Giver of all life, whose presence is holy,
may you come first in our hearts.
May all Creation become your community of grace,
and your desire be fulfilled throughout the earth,
as it is in your own heart.
Sustain us with the breath of life moment by moment.
Forgive us, and give us the gift of forgiveness.
Lead us past our temptations,
and save us from the power of the evil that would ensnare us.
For all that is, and all power, and all glory, come from you,
now and forever. Amen.

#7        Holy!

O Infinite, Intimate One, Source of our being,
whose presence is heaven,
all Creation sings of you, “Holy!”
May your Realm unfold among us;
May our only story be the story of your grace,
this world blossoming out of your delight.
Give us the breath of life, one breath at a time.
Accept our brokenness;
give us acceptance of others who are broken.
Lead us beyond our desires
and save us from cooperating with evil.
For the world is within you;
all power is from you,
and all glory is about you,
in eternity, which is in the present moment. Amen.

# 8 Mother-Womb, Father-Shoulders

O Mother-womb, O Father-shoulders
at the heart of all Being,
holy is your presence.
May your rule of grace replace all powers,
your delight be fulfilled,
and all Creation become all that you hope for us.
Help us receive the grace of the present moment
as you unfold it before us.
As you completely love us and forgive us,
grant us love and forgiveness for others.
Protect us from the allure of our twisted desires,
and rescue us from the power of our selfishness.
For all Being is yours; all power is yours; all glory is yours,
in this moment,
in eternity. Amen.

#9       Your story

Our Mother, Our Father,
author of all life,
holy is your presence.
May your story replace our own,
the story of this world
become the story of the unfolding of heaven.
Give us this moment, moment by moment.
Forgive us completely,
and make us completely forgiving of ourselves and others.
Save us from the weakness of our will,
and keep us from doing injustice.
For all Being is yours; all power is yours; all glory is yours,
in this moment, in eternity. Amen

#10 Mommy

Oh, Holy Mommy, Mommy,
Unimaginable but Here,
may our hearts revere you,
our lives name you who are Unnameable.
Your delight—unfold!
This world—be as you intend!
You are our life in this breath… and this one, and this one.
You who cancel our debts, real and imagined,
help us let go of everyone’s:
no one owes anyone anything. It’s all a gift.
Steer us past our desires and attachments;
save us from our selfishness.
Beloved, you are the only power;
you are the whole world;
you are the beauty of everything.

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