Saturday, January 20, 2007

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time - C

Call to Worship
Today, the words of God come to us:
inviting us to not be afraid,
but to place our faith in God.
Today, the words of God come to us:
inviting us to trust in the One who knows us,
to place our hope in the One who saves us.
Today, the Word of God comes to us:
inviting us to be gracious in our love
and in our service to others.

Prayer of the Day
Gracious God:
your wall of hope
surrounds us in our despair;
your haven of faith
welcomes us in our unbelief;
your citadel of love
protects us from our anger.

Gracious Word:
you reach out to those
we would not touch;
you greet those
we would ignore;
you welcome those
we would exclude.

Holy Spirit:
rest gently upon us
so we might be kinder people;
touch us with your humility,
so we would let go of our pride;
show us your Way,
so we would not insist on our own.

God in Community, Holy in One,
our hope and our trust,
hear us as we pray as Jesus taught us,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
The One who knew us before we were born knows our secret failings. The One who saw us in our mothers' wombs sees into our shadowed hearts. The One who bends down to listen to our words will speak grace and hope to us.

Unison Prayer of Confession
Patient God, we must confess that our love is not what we would hope. We are so focused on ourselves, the needs of others dim in our eyes. We secretly rejoice in the miseries of those around us, knowing that they must have done something to deserve such lives. We push our families and friends away by insisting they do everything our way.

Forgive us, Faithful Deliverer. Rescue us from our selves, so we might become your people. Touch us with the faith, the hope, the love of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, so we might be made whole.

Silence is observed.

Assurance of Pardon
God's love never ends! Now, we know
we are forgiven; now, we know we are
Now, we can bear all things, believe
all things, hope all things, endure all
things. Thanks be to God. Amen.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman