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

Friday, February 16, 2007

Lent 1-C

Call to Worship
Jesus began his ministry to the world,
led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
As we begin our Lenten journey,
let us be led by the Spirit,
even into the uncomfortable places.
In those forty days, and in that place,
Jesus was faced with hunger, doubt
and temptation.
As we seek to follow Jesus,
we would be led,
even into the uncomfortable choices.
Jesus left the wilderness,
faithful and obedient to God,
rejoicing in the One in whom he trusted.
As we continue on our path to faithfulness,
we will be led by our Christ,
rejoicing in the Lord our God

Prayer of the Day
Holy God,
Refuge of desert wanderers:
as the seeds of grace
you have planted within us
bear an abundant harvest,
we would offer the first fruits
in thanksgiving to you
and in service to others.

Jesus Christ,
Companion of Lenten pilgrims:
you understood
that God alone feeds us,
and so became the broken Bread;
you knew that the power
to transform our lives
comes from God alone,
and so became our Servant;
you did not ignore
the warning not to test God,
and so became our Hope.

Holy Spirit,
Leader of Christ's apprentices:
you fill the hungry
with the Bread of life;
you fill the arrogant
with the Servant's humility;
yoou fill the hopeless
with that trust which endures.

God in Commnity, Holy in One,
in our hearts and with our lips,
we pray as Jesus has taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
God makes no distinction between us. We are all sinners, we are all children of God, we are
all precious to God, and we are all saved by God. Because God makes no distinction, let us confess our common humanity to the One who is generous to all.

Unison Prayer of Confession
God of our ancestors and God of our children, we come knowing we have preferred to test you, rather than to trust you. The famine in our souls makes us
long to be filled with the empty promises of the world. We listen to the soothing words of the advertisers, rather than to the uncomfortable words of discipleship.

Forgive us, God of our lives. Bring us out of that dependence on ourselves, and bring us into the presence of the One we seek to follow, not only to Jerusalem,
but beyond - into life with you forever, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
God has listened to our prayers and to our
silence. God reaches out, with signs and
wonders, with grace and forgiveness, and
makes us whole.
On our lips and in our hearts, we give thanks
to the One who loves us and heals us. Amen.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, February 01, 2007

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time - C

Call to Worship
Blessed are those who trust -
in God.
We come in trust,
to be grounded in God's love.

Blessed are those who hope -
in God.
We come in hope,
trusting in the One who gives us life.
Blessed are those who delight -
in God's Word.
We come to hear God's Word,
and to be healed of our brokenness.

Prayer of the Day
God of our hearts,
Heart of creation:
we are blessed
when we feast on your Word:
that Word which embraces us;
that Word which teaches us;
that Word which transfigures us;
that Word which grounds us.
Give us your Word.

Jesus Christ,
Heart of God's children:
we are blessed
when we have your heart:
a heart for the poor;
for the hungry;
for those who weep;
for the rejected.
Give us your Heart.

Holy Delight,
Grace's Heartbeat:
we bear fruit
when we are filled with your spirit,
the spirit of generosity,
the spirit of emptying ourselves for others;
the spirit of bearing one another's burdens.
Give us your Spirit.

God in Community, Holy in One,
may our hearts beat as one with your heart,
even as we pray as one as Jesus has taught us,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation

Now if what we have heard from the world is true, we would have no need to come before our God. But in fact, the witness of scripture, and of the faithful, is true: God is to be trusted with the secrets of our hearts, as well as our brokenness. Join me as we pray to the One who is waiting to forgive us,

Unison Prayer of Confession
We confess what we are afraid to confront, Blessing God, that the seductions of the world nibble away at our hearts. We have more and more to pick from at the supermarket, and so we forget those whose only choice is hunger. Our sense that we are your favorites causes us to make fun of those we believe are not. We are so consumed with saving enough for the future, we ignore those who have so little today.

Forgive us, Heartbroken God, for thinking we are the center of your world. Pour your living water into us, so we might send down roots into your heart, and so become those people who are blessings to others, as we have received new life from Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is observed

Assurance of Pardon
Blessed are you: for God forgives you and restores you to new life. Rejoice in this day and dance for joy.
Thanks be to God. Our faith is true and our hope is grounded in the promises of One we can trust, not only on this day, but in all the days to come. Amen.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman