Friday, February 23, 2007

Lent 2-C

Call to Worship
How am I to know that God loves me
as God loved Abraham and Sarah?
At the center of the covenant
is God's promise, and honor.
How are you to know that if you cry out
God will listen to you?
At the center of our relationship with God
is love.
How are we to trust what people
like Paul and Jesus tell us is true?
At the center of Scripture
is the God of mercy and grace.

Prayer of the Day

Sheltering God:
when we are afraid,
you bring us into your heart;
when we have lost our way,
you give us gentle guides;
when we cry out to you,
you grace us with your presence.

Jesus Christ:
like a mother hen,
you gather up our doubts
and transform them into confidence;
you surround our fears
and transform them into faithfulness;
you pick up our brokenness
and transform us into your Body.

Holy Spirit:
you hold fast to us,
so we might stand firm in the Lord;
you are with us
in the long hours of the night,
so we might wait for the Lord;
you fill us with your gifts,
so we might bless the One
who comes in God's name.

God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray as Jesus teaches,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
God's face is not hidden from us, but turns to us full of grace and mercy. God does not turn away from us in horror, but reaches out to gather us together as brothers and sisters. Let us trust such a God with our prayers of confession, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
Refuge of our hearts, we must speak of how we have not made you the center of our lives. We look for shelter in the false security of the world, not in your promises. Our fears are driven by our emotions and decisions, not by our trust
in you. We look to the powerful, the beautiful, the athletic to be our role models, instead of the One who comes in your name

Have mercy on us, our Light and our Hope, and touch us with your forgiving grace. Fill our hearts with your presence, so we might recognize the One who has come to gather us up and lead us into your Kingdom, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
God does not give us up to the temptations and ways of the world, but shelters us with
love, with hope, with grace.
We are forgiven people. Our songs of joy are lifted to the One who forgives us and
saves us. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to God.
It is right to give both thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you praise,
Star Maker.
From the depths of the terror of chaos,
you created all that is beautiful and good.
Our grandparents in the faith
could have contemplated the heavens,
but gazed instead
into the shadowed corners of the world,
choosing rebellion, sin, and death.
You sent prophets to call us back
into your glory and grace,
but we ignored their witness,
scoffing at their words.
Yet, you would not let us remain broken,
but sent the Bread which could make us whole.

Therefore we gladly join our voices
with the songs of your people
in heaven and on earth:


Holy are you, God of Grace,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
Choosing to leave the shelter of heaven,
he comes to gather us into your kingdom;
sharing our life in every way,
he knows our struggles and our doubts;
taking the weight of sin on his shoulders,
he carries us into the joy of your grace;
broken and dying for our sake,
he delivers us from sin and death,
creating the new covenant of your heart.

As we remember his life, his death, his rising,
we would proclaim that mystery we call faith:

Memorial Acclamation

God of mystery:
pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and on the bread we break
and the cup we share.
Make us one with the Risen Christ,
and send us forth to be
sisters and brothers to the world.
Calm the worries and fears of our hearts,
so we might be bearers of your peace;
fill our emptiness with the Bread of Life,
so we might feed the hungry around us;
cool our thirst with the cup of grace,
so we might reach out to all
who travel through the desert of life;
walk with us through the streets of the kingdom,
until we reach our journey's end,
seated around the Table you have prepared
for the redeemed of every time and place.

Then we will merge our shouts of joy
with those who have modeled for us
trust and obedience in you,
singing our praise to you, God of the Covenant,
through Jesus Christ, our joy and crown,
and in the oneness of the Holy Spirit,
now and forever. Amen.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman