Tuesday, August 25, 2009

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 17 - B

Texts: Song of Solomon 2:8-13; Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9; James 1:17-27; Mark 7: 1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Call to Worship
Listen! God, our beloved Creator, whispers to us:
echoes of grace sound in our hearts, hope resonates in our souls.
Listen! Christ, our Beloved friend, calls to us:
faithfulness is the life he shares, generous service is the path we will follow.
Listen, the Holy Spirit, our beloved Peace, transforms us:
the voice of our Beloved sound through all creation, welcoming all into the household of God.

Prayer of the Day
Poet of Creation:
you write on our hearts
with indelible grace;
you place beauty within us
that only you can see;
you sketch the blueprints
of the kingdom, marking
where goodness and life intersect.

Love's Poetry become flesh:
you turn our faces towards the world
so, that as we look through the lattice
made out of our fears and doubts,
we can see you welcoming the outcast,
reaching out to lift the oppressed to their feet,
gently tending justice and righteousness,
till they blossom and bear fruit in all the world.

Poetess of peace and grace:
you take us by the hand
and leap high into the air,
twirling us round and round
until,dizzy with grace,
we collapse into your arms,
giggling with love and joy,
as you anoint us with the oil of hope,
that we might welcome others to your dance.

God in Community, Holy in One,
our tongues are ready to sing your praises,
even as we pray as you have taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
How often do we give lip-service to God, holding back our hearts, our souls, our lives? How often do we play at religion, when we are called to be faithful followers of Jesus? Let us confess our faults and our failings, opening ourselves to the One who says, 'Arise, come with me into the kingdom of hope and love.' Please join me as we pray saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
We admit, God of Light, that we are much faster at talking, and too slow at listening. We are quick to engage in power-pleasing hyperbole, but hesitant to hear your simple words of hope, of justice, of renewal. We do not notice how our casual speech can cause great harm and pain to those around us.

Forgive us, God of majesty and mercy, and let your grace refresh us like a summer afternoon's rainshower. Pour your hope into our empty souls, till it overflows to all we have damaged. Call us to new life through the words and witness of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, in whose name we lift our prayers to you.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Did you hear the voice of the Beloved speaking to you - whispering words of hope, of grace, of forgiveness into your heart and into your soul? This is the good news which is for us!
Our hearts overflow with the kindness and generosity God has planted deep within us. Our glad songs of joy are lifted to the One who forgives us. Amen.

The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

Beloved, may God be with you!
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts, Beloved of God.
We lift them to the One who loves us beyond all expectations.
God's Beloved, let us offer our thanks and praise to the Lord our God.
Our voices unite in joy and thanks to the One who brings us hope and healing.

Our hearts overflow with praise and thanksgiving,
God, our God!
Your Beloved's voice spoke to chaos,
calling forth the flowers of grace
which bloom in our hearts.
Because you love righteousness,
you would anoint us with the oil of joy
and clothe us in the robes
of mercy and goodness.
But we break your heart by embracing
the very wickedness you hate,
staining our lives with sin and death.
Still, you love us and seek us out,
for in Christ your grace has defeated sin
and the Risen Lord has opened the way
to life in your kingdom

So, we lift our voices in joy and hope,
singing with the choirs of angels in heaven,
and with all the faithful of every place and time,
telling of your glory forever:

Sung: Lord, I want to be more holy in-a my heart,
in-a my heart,
Lord, I want to be more holy in-a my heart.
In-a my heart, in-a my heart,
Lord, I want to be more holy in-a my heart.

Look, he comes!
Your Beloved Child, Jesus Christ, our Lord,
our Savior, our Companion,
the joy of your Heart.
Gazing into our souls,
he sees our emptiness
and fills us with your grace;
listening to our pain,
he is quick to speak healing and hope to us;
the perfect gift of life,
he declares that sin is past,
death is over and gone,
and resurrection blossoms
in our hearts forever.

As you have called him Beloved at his baptism,
and as you raised him from death to give us life,
so we give ourselves to live for him
in grateful praise and service:

Sung: Lord, I want to be like Jesus in-a my heart,
in-a my heart,
Lord, I want to be like Jesus in-a my heart.
In-a my heart, in-a my heart,
Lord, I want to be like Jesus in-a my heart.

Generous God, pour out your Holy Spirit
upon those who gather around your Table,
and upon the gifts of the Bread and Cup.
As they are the body of your Servant
and the Spirit of your compassion,
may we become the healing and hope
the world longs for in our time.
As you touch our lips with your life,
may we be quick to speak of justice;
as you pour grace into our hearts,
may we be the doers of your Word,
those whose hands are stained
by generous acts of kindness:
feeding the hungry,
clothing the naked,
lifting the fallen to their feet,
comforting all who are broken.

Then, when your Spirit unites us at your Table in heaven,
as we clasp hands with all your beloved,
we will sing your glory for all eternity:
God in Community, Holy in One.

Sung: Lord, I want to serve your people, with-a my life,
with-a my life,
Lord, I want to serve your people, with-a my life.
With-a my life, with-a my life,
Lord, I want to serve your people, with-a my life.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman