Call to Worship
God, who flung the stars into the night sky,
rejoices over all creation, especially us!
Come to us, Laughing God, and gladden
our hearts with your goodness and grace.
Christ, the Word of joy and life,
fills all creation with hope, especially us!
Come to us, Brother and Savior, and reclaim
our hearts as your own.
The Spirit, who breathes life into emptiness,
gives all creation the gift of peace, especially us!
Come to us, Spirit of Gentleness, and refresh us
with the dew of delight.
Prayer of the Day
You bind us to yourself
this day, God of seraphim and sinners.
You reach out to draw us ever closer,
that we might feel the brush
of your grace soft upon us,
that we might feel the healing touch
of your compassion resting gently within us.
You bind us to yourself
this day, Heir of Glory and Grace.
You keep us by your side,
that we might walk with you
through the streets of the kingdom,
bringing hope to the despairing,
offering consolation to the brokenhearted,
sharing love with those tossed aside by the world.
You bind us to yourself
this day, Spirit of Justice.
You fill our hearts with living water
that they might overflow to parched people,
you teach us how to give ourselves away,
so we might take on the burdens of others.
We bind ourselves to you this day,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we pray the words Jesus has taught us,
(The Lord’s Prayer)
the path to life. Let us bring our prayers to the One who listens, and then forgives us with unceasing grace.
In the mystery of grace, Holy God, you forgive us our sins, that we might embrace others. In the mystery of mercy, you touch our lips, that we might speak gently to others. In the mystery of hope, you claim us as family, sisters and brothers of the One who brought new life for all, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
No longer lost, we have found our way home, surrounded by God's peace, by God's grace, by God's love. Thanks be to God, we are forgiven! Amen.
Prayer of Dedication/Offertory
Use our gifts, Holy Community of Love, as you reach out to heal the broken, as you take the hands of the lost, and as you pull out a chair to welcome the outcast to your Table of wonder and hope. This we pray, Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
God the Life, God the Hope, God the Peace be with you.
And also with you.
Children of the most Holy, open your hearts
to the One who has created you.
We open ourselves to the mystery
we know as the Community of God.
Heirs of salvation and joint heirs of grace,
give thanks to the One who loves you forever.
We lift our praise to God, crying out with all creation,
'Glory! Glory! Glory!'
as you spoke creation's language
with your voice of power and patience.
Your Word sang in the morning,
sending lambs skipping across
pastures lush with life,
young colts pranced through
valleys overflowing with wonder.
Your Spirit breathed life
into those shaped in your image,
filling our souls with joy and grace.
When we wandered far from you,
you remembered the soft touch
of our hands in yours,
and sent the prophets to call us home.
When we got in over our heads
in debt to sin and death,
Jesus came, to redeem our lives.
Therefore we lift our voices,
with those who worship you
in every time and place,
singing your glory forever and ever:
Hosanna in the highest!
Filled with your glory,
he emptied himself to become one of us.
Knowing the heartache of loneliness,
he became the friend of all;
walking the streets beside us,
he became the guide we need;
recognizing the power of sin and death,
he followed them to Calvary,
leaving them behind in the empty grave,
as he was raised to new life.
So, here in this holy time of celebration,
here at the sacred feast prepared for us,
we would speak of that mystery we call faith:
We remember Christ's death;
we remember Christ's resurrection;
we remember Christ will come again in glory.
Here in this place of gentleness,
here at the Table of goodness and grace,
pour out your Spirit, Eternal Love,
upon the gifts of creation made holy for us,
and upon your children adopted into your heart
through the life and joy of your Child, Jesus.
In the broken bits of the bread,
may we be made whole once again,
so we might bring healing
to the deepest sufferings of our time.
In the taste of salvation's joy,
may we be renewed in our calling
to justice and righteousness,
so we might go forth to be companions
for all those who have lost their way.
And when, in the mystery of your heart,
it will come to pass that we are gathered,
with our sisters and brothers of every time and place,
around the feast prepared for us in eternity,
we will join our hands and hearts,
crying with one voice, 'holy, holy, holy!'
to you forever, God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.
Let us go now, crying 'Glory!' to our God.
We will go to rebuild the world with justice and hope.
Let us go now, to bring others into Jesus' presence.
We will go to bring them to the Gateway to grace.
Let us go now, to play the music of the Spirit to those around us.
We will go to invite others to join in the dance of the Beloved Community.
(c) 2015 Thom M. Shuman