Saturday, May 16, 2009

God's Love through the Ages and Stages of Our Lives

We'll be using this at East Hills Moravian Church as we offer blessings on behalf of our graduates. Besides the liturgy, we'll have a special time of praying for the people marking such transitional milestones. Using projected photos--both baby pictures and senior pictures--we'll be able to pray for each graduate in a personal way.

From the very beginning, from before we even slipped into this world to gulp a first breath and wail a borning cry, God has cared for us deeply. Like a mother snuggling her cheek against her newborn’s fuzzy head, like a father amazed by his infant child’s fingers and toes, so has God marveled at us and nurtured us.

We love because God first loved us.

When we have been open to the joys of discovery, when we have been enchanted by a shiny soap bubble blown through a plastic wand, or fascinated just to watch a toad in the backyard, God has shared our delight. When we have hoped to become astronauts and ballerinas and Jedi knights and princesses, God has smiled. As we have grown a bit each day—in body, mind and spirit—God has taken pride in our progress.

We love because God first loved us.

In the thick of becoming self-aware, when we have begun to sift out our talents and fine tune our interests, when we have started to catalog our abilities and unleash our uniqueness, God has provided inspiration.

We love because God first loved us.

For every milestone we have collected, every “first” we have undertaken, every accomplishment we have earned, God has cheered us on. At all of our crossroads, God has hoped to be consulted. In all of our decisions, God has desired to be included.

We love because God first loved us.

In our maturing, as we have created the relationships of a lifetime and engaged in purposeful work, and as we have journeyed through nights of dark challenge and days of brilliant opportunity, God has empathized with us and provided encouragement.

We love because God first loved us.

We are not always at our lovable best. In our moody moments and selfish months, our unflattering tantrums and our awkward stages, God has seen us through, waited patiently, kept us close.

We love because God first loved us.

In every age, in every stage, God’s constancy has been and will be the hallmark of God’s unconditional love.

For the peace that comes with knowing such security,

For the joy that comes with knowing such devotion,

For the freedom that comes with knowing such faithfulness,

We practice love on one another because God first loved us. Amen.