Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas 1-C

Call to Worship
Praise God! Praise the Lord,, all creation!
Stars glittering with grace,
humpback whales singing of hope:
all praise our God!
Praise God! Praise the Lord, all you people!
12 year-olds, and 80 plus,
wise and those learning to walk:
all will praise our God!

Praise God! Praise the Lord,
in every moment, in every place!
Here in church, and relaxing at home;
in a classroom, and at the doctor's office:
we will praise our God!

Prayer of the Day
Wonder of wonders,
God of creation:
you choose us
to be your people,
continuing to clothe
us in holiness,
even when we drag
the garment through
the mud of our lives;
you call us 'Beloved',
even while
we speak words about others,
that would make
the Evil One blush.

Wonder of wonders,
Humble Jesus:
you ask questions
about our so-called wisdom,
revealing how foolish we are;
you wear your heart
on your sleeve
as you reach out
to embrace us
with you compassion.

Wonder of wonders,
Spirit of the old and the new:
every year
you take the old, stained clothes
of our silly lives,
and dress us in
kindness, humility,
patience, and meekness,
that we might be grow
in your love and grace.

May everything we do,
and everything we say,
be in your name,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we pray as we have been taught,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
We like to think we are wise beyond our years,
but when we look at our lives as God's people,
we discover we still act too often like little
children. Let us confess how we always want
our way, rather than following God's.

Unison Prayer of Confession
You set boundaries for us, Holy God, yet we
continue to cross over them into sin. Believing
we are wiser than you, we are amazed that you
would question our actions and lives. Offering
us the warm sweater of love, we would rather
slip our lives into the sleeves of bitterness and
anger. Challenging us to carry one's another's
burdens, we complain about how heavy and
uncomfortable they are.

Forgive us, Searching God, and clothe us
with your gifts of compassion, humility,
patience, and hope. Then, dressed as your

graceful people, may we go forth to live as
sisters and brothers of Jesus Christ, our Lord
and Savior.

Silence is kept.

Assurance of Pardon
The good news is simple: God loves us
so much, we are forgiven and granted new life.
Praise God! As forgiven people, we will
go to forgive others, and share God's
grace with them. Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman