Call to Worship
From north and south,
from east and west, we come:
God's people called to the Table
where simple grace nourishes us.
From down the street to across town,
from single households to apartment dwellers:
God's people are called to community,
where we live and serve one another.
From every class, every race, every status;
from little one with sippy cups to elders with overflowing hearts:
God's people are called to witness to God's hope,
to offer peace to a shattered world.
Prayer of the Day
Seeing your children
in bondage and despair,
you brought them to freedom
by your compassion and hope.
Longing to create a people
who would care for one another,
you spoke simple truths
about integrity and justice.
Fill our worship
with sighs more precious than
all we value, Word Speaker.
not to build a grand scheme,
but to be our foundation of faith.
not to choose sides like us,
but to be that peace
which brings us together.
not worrying about what
lay ahead for you,
so we could see
your kingdom prepared for us.
Fill our worship
with your grace more precious
than our deepest fears, Word Bearer.
When we cling
to all which holds us back,
you empty our arms,
putting our past in a rummage sale.
When we hesitate
to stand with the lost,
you nudge us forward
with the wind of justice.
Fill our worship
with your peace more precious
than the brokenness we grasp, Word of Wisdom
God in Community, Holy in One,
hear the words of our hearts
as we pray as Jesus has taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .
Call to Reconciliation
We are good at rules: making them and then breaking them. Paul reminds us that, when we gain Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we receive exactly what we need - forgiveness, grace, hope. Let us confess our sins to God, that we might know God's healing love for us!
Unison Prayer of Confession
If we were to name all the gods we have before you, Rock of Redemption, we would be here a very long time. We elevate politicians into saviors, though they are as broken as we are. We misuse your name so much during the day, we have trouble speaking to you in prayer at night. We are so busy, we do not notice how creation witnesses to your goodness and grace.
Forgive us, God our Hope. Help us to let go of what we value most, so we may open our emptiness, our hearts, our lives to the healing and loving presence of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Silence is kept
Assurance of Pardon
Persistently, patiently, lovingly, God pours out grace and joy into our lives, healing our brokenness, forgiving our sin.
Loved, we are sent to love;
Forgiven, we are freed to forgive;
Graced, we can offer our gifts to everyone we meet.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
Chaos trembled as you spoke,
not wanting to hear
your goodness breaking it apart,
Rock and Redeemer of all.
creation sang oratorios for you,
while earth drummed out the rhythem.
Each day testified 'God is good';
each night whispered 'Glory!'
All that was beautiful and true
was created for us,
but wanting to know sin and death,
we exchanged the best you gave to us,
for the garbage they offered to us.
Using words and wonder,
silence and speech,
prophets came to call us back
into you covenantal love,
but we continued to yearn
for what we could not have.
Finally, you sent your Son,
in love, in hope, in peace,
that we would accept him
and the gift of new life.
So, with those who trembled at
the foot of your holy mountain,
and with those who press on to follow you,
we join our voices in praise to you:
Your Word opens our eyes to all creation;
Your Word is the sweet taste of joy for hungry hearts;
Your Word endures through every trial and triumph.
Blessed is your Word which comes in your name!
Hosanna in the highest!
Holy are you, God of all creation,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
Yearning for us to know you,
he came to be your face
of love and compassion for all.
Hungering for reconciliation
between you and your children,
he became the broken Bread of Life.
Aching for our release
from the agony of sin and death,
he suffered on the cross,
so we might be made well.
As we remember his goodness and gentleness,
as we celebrate his life in us,
we would speak of that mystery we call faith:
Setting aside all he valued,
Christ became our treasure;
Setting aside his own life,
Christ rescued us from sin;
Setting aside our doubts and fears,
we yearn for Christ's return in glory.
Here at your Table,
Redeemer of all creation,
pour out your Spirit
on the gifts of the bread and the cup,
snd on our sisters and brothers in Christ.
Your Spirit gives us life,
so we may go and serve others.
Your Spirit heals our brokenness,
so we may bring healing to all.
Your Spirit graces us with peace,
so we may be peacemakers
for our communities.
And when we stand around your Table,
all hurtful words silenced,
all pain left behind,
with hope and grace our closest friends,
we will join our hearts and voices
with our sisters and brothers
who forever sing of your glory.
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.
(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman