Tuesday, August 11, 2009

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 15 - B

Texts: 1st Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14; Psalm 111; Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6:51-58

Call to Worship
For cool mornings and rumbling afternoon storms,
for amazing days and even more ordinary evenings,
for deep friendships and shallow wading pools:
we give thanks to God!
For the laughing God who tickles us with joy,
for the broken-hearted Love who joins in our struggles:
we give thanks to God at all times!
For the Bread of heaven who feeds us hope,
for the Spirit of grace who teaches us to dance:
we give thanks to God at all times and for everything!

Prayer of the Day
We long to worship
in high-vaulted cathedrals,
our songs and prayers
echoing the deep sighs
of the saints cradled in the stone.
Yet you, unpredictable Creator,
you compose a canticle
with the gentle drops of rain
on a tin-roofed shelter.

We long to worship
beside the high and famous,
rubbing shoulders with those
clothed in power, wealth, renown.
But you, quirky Redeemer,
you we find sitting at the gutter,
huddling in the shadowed doorway,
curled up on a sidewalk grate
with your long-lost kin.

We long to worship
with drums pounding
and the amps turned up
so high our hearts tremble.
And you, fanciful Spirit,
you would draw us into
that still, silent, sacred
space called peace.

We long to worship you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we pray saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
We would follow Jesus, but sometimes it seems that we do not know how to go out in faith, or come in out of the shadows of life. The One who has sent the Bread of life to us is the God who is just and true, longing to grace us with mercy. Please join me, as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
We try to be so careful, Faithful God, yet we make so many mistakes. We think we are so wise, yet do not understand the simple wonder of a child. We spend so little time in your presence, and ask why we do not know your dreams for us. We long to be good, upright people, but find our hearts tripping over the temptations of the world.

Have mercy, Covenant Keeper, and be gracious to us. As you continue to teach us of your hopes, your dreams, your love for us, may we practice what we learn, as we follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in faith.

Silence may be observed

Assurance of Pardon
Out of our lives laced with foolish mistakes and unwise choices, God is able to weave a tapestry of grace, forgiveness, and healing.
God has sent redemption for all, God has fed us with the healing bread of life. At all times, and for every grace, we give thanks to God in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
All praise is due to you, Amazing God,
for your great works we call creation.
Grace flowed out of your heart,
its gentleness woven into
the light, the earth, the air;
peace rested upon all that was shaped
out of your unpredictable imagination,
all that lived and breathed touched by
the wisdom of your Spirit.
You formed humanity in your image,
that we might bear witness to you,
but we could not discern between
good and evil, choosing to follow
death and sin out of your presence.
You asked your servants, the prophets,
to teach us your ways and will,
but we did not have understanding minds.
So, in grace and mercy, you sent Jesus,
the living bread come down from heaven
that we might have eternal life with you.

So, with the wise and the unwise,
the foolish and the faithful of every time,
we join our voices to sing our thanks:

Sanctus

Holy are you, Awesome God,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, Living Bread.
When he could have remained
in the high places of glory with you,
he became fully human,
walking the paths of pain,
drinking the brackish waters of rejection,
eating the stale bread of our broken promises.
When he could have been careful,
he threw his fears to the wind,
taking up his cross to embrace death,
rising from the grave to lead us to eternal life.

As we gather to eat at your Table of remembrance,
as we give thanks for the life, death, and resurrection of Christ,
we point to that mystery of grace called faith:

Memorial Acclamation

It is not in the high places
but here at this Table graced
with the common loaf and the graced cup
that we find your promises kept,
and your Spirit poured out upon us.
You offer us the Bread of heaven,
broken that we might be made whole,
to us, so that filled with grace,
we might go to find all those
whose hopes have been foreclosed.
You touch the Cup of life,
poured out for our renewal,
to our lips, to our hands, to our hearts,
so that we might be transformed
into servants to all the world.

And when all your works have come to fruition,
when all your children are gathered around you,
we will lift our voices, singing praises to you,
through all time, and for all good things you have done,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman