Saturday, April 14, 2007

Easter 3-C

Call to Worship
Sing, all people of God!
Sing the good news:
We cry ourselves to sleep
and God comes in with the dawn,
to awaken us with Joy's embrace.
Sing, in every land, in every tongue!
Sing the good news:
when our lives bottom out,
God takes us by the hand
to lead us into the light
Sing, in heaven and on earth!
Sing the good news:
Broken, hopeless, lost -
we cry out to God,
who hears our hearts.
Sing, all people of God!
We will sing the good news of Easter!

Prayer of the Day

You take away
the drab gray dress
of our despair
and clothe us
with hope and joy.
You fill our empty souls
with the resurrection feast
of peace and life.
You are worthy, Healing God,
and so we worship you.

You come to us,
not as a ravenous lion,
but the Lamb
who leads us into God's heart.
When we long
to keep you
in our pockets
like a good luck charm,
you challenge us to live
a love which goes beyond
mere friendship
You are worthy, Heaven's Light,
and so we follow you.

You make us speechless
with your mercy,
yet choose us to tell
God's story of new life
to all the world.
When our secret wounds
would sap our energy,
you pour your peace into us,
so we may be agents of healing.
You are worthy, Love's Spirit,
and we will praise you.

God in Community, Holy in One,
you alone are worthy
of all that we have, and all that we are,
and so we lift our prayers to you,
saying as Jesus has taught us,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
We can carry our grudges around with us for years, just waiting for the right time for our hurt to erupt. But God gets angry for but a moment, while surrounding us with grace and mercy all the days of our lives. Join me as we pray to God, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
We sing loud songs to you, Morning Joy, trusting they will drown out our mean-spirited murmurs about those around us. We hope you will turn a blind eye to our behaviors, while we imprison our families and friends with impossible expectations. We pull a muscle stretching to pat our selves on the back, but our attitudes and actions towards the poor and outcast of the world reveal we are not worthy to be called your children.

You never give up on us, Healing God. You are quick to forgive us, and quicker to offer us ways to share your name with everyone we meet. As you continue to be loving and affirming towards us, let us go to share the good news of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Do not cry. The Lamb of God has come, to lead
us into the kingdom, where we may praise our God,
and serve our sisters and brothers.
Songs of blessing, glad shouts of joy;
hearts for others, hands for service.
All these we offer, and more, to the One
who forgives us and makes us whole.
Thanks be to God, we are forgiven. Amen.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman