During the past week the Methodist ministers on the Belfast District met for lunch, and after we were fed and watered, my friend Tim Dunwoody, the World Church Coordinator for the Methodist Church in Ireland talked to us about how we might better motivate and resource our congregations to be more effective partners in world mission. In conclusion he shared the following prayer written by a retired colleague, Rev. Robert Russell, who has served as a missionary in the Caribbean and as General Secretary of the Methodist Missionary Society in Ireland, but now has the misfortune of having to listen to me preach in Dundonald...
It's an appropriate word for the second Sunday in Lent, where the gospel reading from the lectionary for this year encourages us to take up our crosses and follow Christ:
Open our eyes and ears to see and hear your truth.
Save us from the assumption that riches are always
a sign of God’s blessing and favour.
Challenge us and make us uncomfortable with our lifestyle.
Forgive us that in our greed of wanting newer, bigger
and better things, we have allowed our vision of a new heaven
and a new earth to grow dim.
Save us from the pride of status and achievements.
Empower us to act justly and strive for justice.
Make us more like Jesus – humble and lowly of heart.
Give us grace to live by his Word and follow his example.
God of compassion and generous love,
We commit ourselves afresh to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.