The One Man: To Run With God / Romans 12-15

To make bread or love, to dig in the earth, to feed an animal or cook for a stranger—these activities require no extensive commentary, no lucid theology. All they require is someone willing to bend, reach, chop, stir. Most of these tasks are so full of pleasure that there is no need to complicate things by calling them holy. And yet these are the same activities that change lives, sometimes all at once and sometimes more slowly, the way dripping water changes stone. In a world where faith is often construed as a way of thinking, bodily practices remind the willing that faith is a way of life.
— Barbara Brown Taylor

We are all born into a broken state of personhood, one bent toward self-preservation to the detriment of others. But this way of being is death. Jesus offers a new way, one bent toward the good of the whole, consumed with sacrifice and love. To receive Jesus is to receive his way, to walk in his steps, to think his thoughts, to feel his heart. Sacrifice and love are the shape of divine life. And as we live in Christ, they are the shape of us. We belong in this divine life. It's who we now are. So then, let's live it out. Let's pour ourselves out in sacrifice and love, laying down our preferences and comforts for the sake of one another. Let's submit to one another, bear the burdens of one another, honor the authorities God has placed over us, and in all these things rejoice in the hope of deliverance from our broken state. God is shaping us to run with him.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Come before the Lord, for he is the author of all things.
We present ourselves to him who knows and does perfectly.

The Lord’s will alone is good, abandon the folly of your worldly wisdom.
We abandon our independence, submitting ourselves instead to the Lord.

The Lord calls you together as one body.
We abandon our independence, submitting ourselves to one another in love.

Come worship in one Spirit, together with one voice.
We are the Lord’s in life and in death. We will glorify his name in all things.

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Lord God, we have thought selfishness and independence valuable for our preservation and joy.
Show us the magnitude of your care for us, Heavenly Father, that we would lay down our lives and find that you have provided life and joy in abundance.

We have catered to the flesh, deciding that its pleasures are worth most of our time, energy, and resources.
Show us the depths of the riches of your love, Christ Jesus, that we may gratify the flesh no more, but find ourselves more satisfied than ever.

We have deemed you mistaken in your acceptance of our brothers and sisters, and have approved or despised others according to our own standards.
Show us the extent of your love and sacrifice, Lord Jesus, that we would be sobered in our judgments and abounding in love.

We have clung tightly to our rights, avoiding injury and insult and pretending our bodies, time, and energies are our own.
Show us that we belong to one another as we belong to you, that we may find joy in submission to each other.

We have depended on rules and regulations instead of learning your law of love.
Show us that your righteousness, peace, and joy are in endless supply, that we would rely on you in every circumstance.