Today’s New Testament reading comes from John, Chapter 1, verses 43-51.
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, [Baith say da] the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
God always blesses the reading of his word.
Let us calm our minds and prepare our hearts as we come before our Lord.
LORD, we come to you on Human Relations Day, humbling acknowledging that you have command us to speak out and stand up and work together to heal injustice in the world.
You have been clear with your directive to love one another. We know your commandment transcends race, gender, financial status, or religion. We know we must follow your mandate with our neighbors, our coworkers, our government, and our enemies.
Father forgive us. Forgive us when we turn the other way, when we choose easy over right, and pick comfort over compassion. Forgive us when justify our apathy because a person doesn’t think, look, or act the way we want them to. Forgive us when we questions if any good can from them. Give us the strength to be like Philip when he shared the good news with Nathanael. Let us joyfully proclaim that we have found the one whom the prophets and Moses spoke.
We pray Lord that we may be like Jesus. May the world see Jesus’s face when we smile at the unloved. May they see Jesus’s hands when we extend ours to someone who is lost. Let them hear Jesus’s voice when we speak up for justice. Let them walk with Jesus when we walk among those who society has alienated.
Give us the strength of character to speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves, and the heart to comfort those who are broken.
Father, we pray that you will heal those who are hurting. Wrap your loving arms around:
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Lord, tomorrow we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., who declared, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Lord, let us be the light in a world of darkness. Let us be love in a world of hate. Let us demonstrate to the world what you demand from us. Do not allow us to be complacent with the blessings you’ve provided. Challenge us to take those blessing into the world, to bring Your peace to those who have none.
Father, for all the many ways you have demonstrated your love for us, we humbly pray that we may show Your love to everyone we meet. Let our actions tell the world, “Come and see. Come and see the Son of God! Come and see the King of Israel.”
Ready our hearts to feel your presence, silence our minds to hear your word, prepare our spirit to do your will. We are your servants, Lord, awaiting your call.
In the name of your Son, we pray.
And all God’s people said, Amen.