Contributed by Jeanyne Slettom
Easter Benedictions/Commissioning & Blessing
In this season of Lent, take time, when you can, to be still.
Ponder the one who gave his life to bring forth the kingdom of God.
We will honor Christ by believing in God’s vision for creation;
We will be like good soil, in which the seeds of justice may grow.
God speaks to us in the life of Jesus;
Let us hear the word and understand it.
We are witnesses to God’s transforming power;
We go forth as Christ’s partners in the work of justice and love.
Go forth with this truth lodged firmly in your heart:
There is nothing you can do or say that will separate you from the love of God.
In Christ we see the power of God’s transforming love;
The love that was in Christ in is the same love that is in us today.
In every moment of our lives, God knows who we are,
And with patience and love, offers us what we need.
Like Christ, we will open ourselves to God’s presence;
We will place our lives in God’s care;
We will follow Christ in the pursuit of compassion, justice, and peace.
Trust that this is true: God knows what you are capable of,
And encourages the goodness within you to blossom and flourish.
We will look for the good in others.
We will work for a world that blesses everyone
with opportunities to contribute to the common good.
God’s vision for creation is revealed in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ;
During Lent we ask ourselves: how well is that vision revealed in our own lives?
We will open ourselves to God’s gentle persuasion.
We will trust that we, too, have something to offer
to a world in need of hope, of justice and of peace.
Believe this: there is something within you right now—
so small that you might not know it is there;
But it has the power to grow into something the world needs.
We trust that God is never done with us.
With God, there is always a new beginning,
A new possibility to make something different of ourselves,
and to make a difference in the lives of others.
Let God surprise you with strength you did not know you had,
With creative possibilities you never dreamed of.
We will open ourselves to God’s quiet prompting.
We will trust that God nurtures within us
the gifts, talents, and character we need
To be God’s agents of transformation and loving service.
No matter how low you are or have been,
There is always something in you that is rising,
Lifting you to a new vision of what is possible.
We will trust that God accepts us as we are
And patiently points us to what we may be.
In this we are not alone, for God has given us all of creation
To inspire us, to sustain us, and to demonstrate God’s loving presence.
As faithful followers of Christ, we will join with creation;
In all our actions, we, too, will demonstrate the love of God.
Take this with you: that God is at work not only within us, but between us,
And together we can realize God’s vision of a just and peaceful world.
In our hearts, in our lives, in our speech, in our deeds:
The kingdom of God is here; the kingdom of God is now.
This is a vision of the way it can be, the way it should be—
Shouts of welcome, a joyful procession, a community celebrating together.
The same vision is offered to us today:
We can welcome Christ into our lives;
We can celebrate his transforming power.
How swiftly things changed back then,
How swiftly we, too, can be distracted.
May we hold fast to his vision of goodness—
Peace from the practice of justice,
equality from the practice of respect.
As this week unfolds,
We will let ourselves be overtaken by God’s love
We will pour it back out into the world.
Go forth with renewed hope,
Trusting in the transforming love of God.
God does not leave things as they are;
With God, all things are made new.
All creation responds to God’s presence;
The world is alive with possibility.
We open ourselves to this truth;
With Christ, we trust our whole lives to this power.
Nothing is beyond the reach of God;
Neither evil, nor hardship, nor death.
Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed.