Sunday, January 28, 2007

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time - C

Call to Worship
By God's grace, we are who we are:
People who are called,
but afraid to follow.
By God's grace, we are who we are:
People who are called,
and gifted wih courage.
By God's grace, we are who we are:
People who are called,
and given good news to share.

Prayer of the Day
Holy God,
by your grace:
you touch our fears
with the fire of your compassion;
you touch our brokenness
with the fire of your forgiveness;
you touch our hearts
with the fire of your love.

Jesus Christ,
by your grace:
you step into our lives
and an unpredictable journey begins;
you challenge us to new thinking,
with overflowing results;
you so confront our doubts
that we can cast out our fears.

Holy Spirit,
by your grace:
you give us eyes
to see the emptiness of our world;
you give us ears
to hear the good news;
you give us words
to bring hope to all people.

God in Community, Holy in One,
by your grace
we are who we are:
your children, your people, your church,
praying together as Jesus taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Do not be afraid! Whatever you fear, God is ready to take away from you; whatever you have said, God is ready to speak mercy to you; whatever you have done, God is ready to forgive you. Please join me as we pray to the One whose steadfast love endures forever.

Unison Prayer of Confession
God enthroned in heaven: most of us would not consider ourselves to be holy. We think of others as inconveniences or intrusions, not as sisters or brothers. We look at others with pride or spite, not through the eyes of compassion. We are so
busy listening to ourselves, we cannot hear the anguish and loneliness of our neighbors.

Forgive us, God enthroned in our hearts. You have set us apart so we might be a partner with hurting people. We belong to your Kingdom so we might bring others in to live with us. We would risk following Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior,
who first risked calling us as disciples.

Silence is observed.

Assurance of Pardon
The Holy One become wholly human so we might
know love. The One enthroned on high endured
the Cross so we might have life. Believe this good
news: we are forgiven!
By God's grace, we are who we are: forgiven and
restored people. Thanks be to God.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May God be with you.
And also with you.
Beloved of God, lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the One who knows us and loves us.
Beloved of God, give thanks to the Lord our God.
Our praise is continually offered to our Hope, our Trust, our God.

In that time when there was only You,
you walked in the midst of chaos,
shaping all that is good and beautiful.
In that place where there was only your Love,
You stretched out your hands
scooping up the dirt off earth's floors,
shaping us in your image,
breathing Spirit into our lungs.
In that silence where there was only your Hope,
you called us to be your people,
God of Glory.
But the world sang of its seduction,
sin called us to follow its despair,
death blinded us to the life you offered.
And so, we turned away,
pouting and stamping our feet
wanting our own way.
But you would not pay attention
to our foolish tantrums,
nor would you leave us
in the grasp of death and sin,
trusting that if we encountered
the grace wrapped in your holiness,
we would turn to you in joy.

And so, believing that you have reached out
and called us to service with you,
and touched our lips with songs of hope,
we join our voices with those who,
in every time and in every place,
sing of your ways forever.


Holy are you, Sanctuary of our Hearts,
and blessed is Jesus Christ,
Word of joyous grace.
In that time when we had lost our way,
he called to us,
so we could follow him
into your joy;
in that time when all hope had died,
he touched our souls with the fire of your love;
in that time when death's cold grip
wrapped tightly around our hearts,
he came to surround us with your life.

While we cannot understand the mysteries
of your holiness and grace,
when we are called to Christ's side
we can only cry, "Here we are; we will follow"
even as we hope for that faith which was his.

Memorial Acclamation

In this time of silence,
Spirit of God,
may this bread which is broken,
become our wholeness.
In this time of grace,
may this cup which is poured
touch our lips with healing.
In this time when we feel the brush
of your fingertips caressing us,
may we believe that your justice and peace
are to be shared with all people;
that our hearts can bear the burdens of others;
that we may bring joy to the lonely and hurting.

Then, when our journey is ended,
and we have followed you into eternity,
we will gather around your Table,
in that silence, which is only your grace,
in that place, which is only your heart,
in that time, which is only your love:
God in Community, Holy in One.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman