Sunday, 5 February 2017

Approaching the altar

Matthew 5:21–37

we approach the altar,
this sacred space of gathered worship,
bring our gifts of sacrifice,
our time, our money, our talent.

we approach the altar,
thinking it a sacrifice, a burden
or a duty, and seek to be
reminded of the gift it is to gather here.

we approach the altar,
this sacred time of prayer,
of hearing once again the gift
of grace you freely offer.

we approach the altar,
without taking time to bury
our anger and our hurt,
without forgiving or saying sorry.

we approach the altar,
children of the Sacred,
welcomed each, precious all,
sisters and brothers in your love.

we approach the altar
having looked with lust or with disgust,
or looking past with wilful blindness,
not looking with your eyes of love.

we approach the altar
seeking healing for our wounds
inflicted by a world overgrown
with thorns to bind and tangle.

we approach the altar
grasping firmly the keys that would
unbind our former lovers
and the strangers our world rejects.

we approach the altar
with words of praise
and stories rich and for
the living full and free.

we approach the altar
with tongues that swear
false and shallow promises,
throats that cut and maim.

we approach the altar
full of promise, full of hope;
we approach as broken people
falling far from all your dreams.

take our approach and bid us
welcome; let us reproach endure
for hopeful cure of ills we lay
down and grace we receive with joy.

Approach the altar,
faltering or courageous,
broken or in wellbeing:
for God receives us all,
meets us all with love,
and forgives: so be at peace.


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