Call to Worship
Blessed is God, who created us and loves us beyond measure.
Blessed is God, who calls us to stop measuring out our love.
Blessed is God, who speaks and tells us stories about ourselves.
Blessed is God, who reveals to us who we are and who we could be.
Blessed is God, whose compassion is poured out on every single person.
Blessed is God, who gives us compassion to share with every single person,
even people we do not know or care about.
Prayer of the Day
Rescuer of the weak:
given every reason to judge us,
you seek justice for us.
You stand with the poor
in the ditches
where we have discarded them.
You plant your Word of truth
in the One who gives us
Word of Truth:
you will not pass us by,
but stoop to lift us up
and carry us out of our pain.
You love the faithful enough
to tell us stories
which will shatter our complacency
and send us forth
to carry mercy to others.
Giver of mercy:
you carry hope in your mouth
and breathe it into our souls.
You take us by the hand,
leading us out of the ditches
we have dug for ourselves,
into the brightly lit streets of the kingdom.
You pray for us in every moment,
especially when we are unable
to pray for ourselves.
God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray as Jesus taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .
Call to Reconciliation
Are you in love with God? Do you show it in your words, your thoughts, your actions? Are you in love with your neighbor? Do they know this by your presence, your grace, your friendship? Or are you so obsessed with your self, that you have no time, no room, no pity for others, or for God? Let us confess the limits we place on our love, so we might be filled with God's limitless mercy.
Unison Prayer of Confession
Assurance of Pardon
Children of the Most High: you are forgiven and brought into the kingdom. Be filled with spiritual wisdom, lead lives worthy of your inheritance, bear fruit in all you say and do and think.
God has rescued us and redeemed us from our sins, setting aside judgment to shower us with mercy. We will go and do likewise. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
We would not cease singing
our songs of thanksgiving to you,
You imagine a sky
as wide as eternity,
and fluff it with billowy clouds.
You shape mountains
and top them with snow.
You notice our uncertainty of the dark,
and shower us with fireflies
to twinkle our fears away.
All this, you thought and did, for us.
You would teach us your ways
of kindness, peace and compassion,
but we filled our minds
with the empty words of a wayward world.
You sent the prophets
to retell your story of hope,
but we urged them to go
and preach to someone else.
But when the world turned its back on us,
when others pass by our pain,
you sent Jesus to come and find us
and to carry us into your heart.
Therefore, we lift our songs of joy to you,
joining our voices with those in heaven and on earth,
who forever praise your name:
Holy, holy, holy are you, Rescuer of the weak and needy.
All the hope in creation give glory to you.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who shows us mercy.
Hosanna in the highest!
Holy are you, God of Wonder,
and blessed is Jesus Christ your Son.
Your heart, your soul, your mind, your strength,
he was willing to love you enough
to become one of us;
loving us as much as he loved himself,
he endured the battering of the world,
and stripped of his glory and grace,
he was left by the side of the world
by the gang of sin, evil, and death.
Moved by his love and sacrifice,
you came and found him,
alone and forsaken in the tomb.
Anointing him with the waters of baptism
and the oil of hope's gladness,
you brought him into the new life
of your resurrection love.
As we remember his life of great love,
we praise you,
that as we break the bread of life,
and drink from the cup of grace,
we know the risen Christ is among us:
Christ was broken, that we might be made whole;
Christ was raised, that the gospel might bear fruit;
Christ will come, that we might inherit eternal life.
We come to this Table
looking for answers to our questions
and for healing for our brokenness.
So, pour out your Spirit upon your children,
and upon the gifts of the bread and the cup,
that nourished and fed by you,
we might we strenthened
to serve our sisters and brothers around us.
As we get up from our seats at your Table,
may we stand up for the rights of the lowly.
As you pour out your grace upon us,
may we wrap it around the orphans and weak;
as you whisper your dreams for us,
may we speak out on behalf of the poor;
as you offer us the bread and the cup
from your hands,
may we reach down and lift up those
who have fallen through the cracks of our society.
Then, when all time has come to an end,
and there is only life forever with you,
we will join hands with all your children,
singing our joy and thanks to you,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.
(c) 2010 Thom M. Shuman