Sunday, July 18, 2010

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 12 - C

Texts: Hosea 1:2-10; Psalm 85; Colossians 2:6-19; Luke 11:1-13

Call to Worship
It is in this place of holiness that we can come with our fears, our doubts, all the questions of our hearts.
We come to this place, to hear the words of peace, of hope, of joy God speaks to us.
It is in this place of discovery that we can come searching.
We come to this place, to find the One who has been looking for us.
It is in this place of openness that we can come knocking.
We come to this place, to be embraced by the One whose heart is never locked.

Prayer of the Day
Loving God of heaven and earth:
the morning breezes
whisper your holy name,
the trees clap their hands
in time to creation's songs of joy.
You build your community in our midst,
despite our best efforts to tear it down.
Your simple gifts of love and peace
are of more value than all
the world promises us.

Jesus Christ, Teacher of our hearts:
you walk with us
through the streets of fear and failure,
holding our hands
so we have no need
to reach out for the Evil One.
You give us words to speak
when the worries of our lives
turn us speechless.

Spirit of Grace and Hope:
your river of mercy
tumbles through us
washing our hearts of all
we cannot release,
so we may reach out and embrace
all who have hurt us.
Your peace defends the weak,
your glory shines in the oppressed,
your justice embraces all people.

God in Community, Holy in One,
we lift our hearts to you,
as we pray as Jesus has taught, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Confession
We are invited to pray - all who have hurt someone else, and all who have been hurt by another. We are called to pray: for hope, for healing, for mercy. We pray to the One who seeks to make us whole; whose will is to restore us to new life. Join me as we pray, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
We do not find it easy to speak of how we do not live as your people, but you invite us to share our weaknesses and failures with you, Inviting God. Tempted to think your salvation is for a select few, we put up barriers for others.  Clinging to all you give to us, we are reluctant to share with those in need. Surrounded by evil and violence, we find it easier to close ranks with those just like us, rather than seeking peace and reconciliation for our world.

Forgive us, Salvation's God. Open our eyes to our sisters and brothers all around us. Open our ears to the word of hope you speak to us.  Open our spirits to the presence of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, who flings wide the open doors of your kingdom, that all might find life with you.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Here is the good news, my friends: Christ came searching for us, calling us by name, leading us into God's kingdom.
In Christ, we become new people: broken, we are made whole; lost, we are found; forsaken, we are restored to new life. Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Responsive Pastoral Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven:
remind us this day
that you are not only creation's Architect,
but you are the Babe who cried for food,
the teenager who knew loneliness,
the adult who felt the rejection of loved ones.
Hallowed by Thy name:
yours is the name spun by the stars;
yours is the name whispered by the dying;
yours is the name written on our hearts.
Thy Kingdom come:
may it be a kingdom of peace, not prejudice;
may it be a kingdom of sharing, not grasping;
may it be a kingdom of hope, not hurting.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven:
may your Word be more than print on a page;
may your justice be more than a wish in our hearts;
may your will become our deepest desire.
Give us this day our daily bread:
let us taste it in the kisses of loved ones;
let it fill us in the empty moments of our lives;
let it slip out of our hands to mend the brokenness of our world.
And forgive us our debts as we forgive others:
may those who have hurt us find a welcome in our hearts,
even as we have found our home in yours.
And lead us not into temptation:
turn our hearts from the seductions of our world;
and the simple pleasures that turn us from you.

Keep us from thinking we are so important
that we ignore those around us.
Help us to always bring others to you in prayer,
before we bring ourselves,
as we do in these moments:

Prayers are lifted for others

But deliver us from evil:
not just great evils of war and hunger,
but from ingratitude, self-love, pride,
all those little evils that do such great harm.
For thine is the kingdom:
our heart's true longing;
and the power:
which you set aside to serve us in weakness;
and the glory:
which we would mirror in our lives,
our bodies, our minds, our souls,
this day and every day.
Forever and ever. 

 Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of grace be with you.
And also with you.
People of God, lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the One who shares good gifts with us.
Children of the living God, give thanks to the One who loves us.
We sing our praises to the One who embraces us with righteousness and showers us with kisses of peace.

Our greatest joy is to sing
our songs of thanksgiving
to you, Lord of all eternity.
When you first spoke,
creation was conceived and brought forth
birds to swoop through the clear blue skies
and butterflies to flit about
in the gardens of Eden.
We were offered the chance
to run free in your good universe,
but we immersed ourselves
in the petty philosophies of pride,
and were enticed
by the empty lies of the world.
You sent the prophets
to knock on our hardened hearts,
asking us to turn to you,
but we continued to dance
in the arms of sin and death.
That is when you sent Jesus,
to put on flesh's body,
so we might throw off
the chains of our captivity.

Therefore, we join with those
in every time and place,
who have searched, and found you,
who have asked, and been answered,
who have knocked and been welcomed
in your all-forgiving grace and love,
singing our praises forever:

Holy, holy, holy, God of steadfast love.
Righteousness and peace are lifelong lovers in your kingdom.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who comes to open the door to your forgiveness.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, God of restored lives,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son.
In him,
you turned away from your anger,
so we might turn to you
to receive forgiveness.
In him, you set down your indignation,
to hand us the Bread of Life.
In him,
death and sin were defeated
so we could be revived to life.
So, as we gather at this Table,
remembering how he not only lived and died,
but was raised to life by your love,
we proclaim that mystery called faith:

Christ died, that salvation might be given to us;
Christ arose, ending the search for life forever;
Christ will come again, knocking on the doors of our hearts.

Pour your Spirit of peace and hope
upon these good gifts
of the bread and the cup
and upon those who have gathered here
at your gracious invitation.
May the Bread which is broken
make us whole,
so we may go forth
to speak peace to a world
which has been fed violence and death.
May the Cup which is shared
open our hearts to the pain
of those around us,
so we may bring healing and hope.
And when we leave this Feast,
may we follow your righteousness
into the streets of the world,
taking all we meet by the hand
to show them the path
to your heart.

And when our wills have been
subsumed into yours,
and when your kingdom has come
in its glory and grace,
we will gather with our sisters and brothers
from every time and place,
embracing and kissing
all children of the living God,
sitting down at the great Feast of the Lamb,
singing your glory through all time and space,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

Now, go out into God's world, asking those you mee what they need.
So we can share God's grace with them.
Now, go out as Christ's people, seeking the ones who have been forgotten.
So they can find God's hope in and through us.
Now, go out with the Spirit as your guide, knocking on the hearts of those around you.
So we can walk ing to offer them God's love.

(c) Thom M. Shuman