Monday, August 09, 2010

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 15 - C

Texts:  Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19; Hebrews 11:29-12:2; Luke 12:49-56

Call to Worship
The One who commands the clouds calls us to be poured out for others.
We can, by faith, be the waters of peace which quench the fires of hatred.
The One who creates mercy and hope, longs for a world of fair play and grace.
We can, by faith, let righteousness and justice be our constant companions.
The One who is with us in every moment composes a love-song for our hearts.
We can, by faith, teach this song to everyone we meet.

Prayer of the Day
Gracious God,
in the debris and litter of the world,
you clear a place
where we can be planted:
your justice
which can bring hope
to the oppressed;
your righteousness
which can receive
even our enemies
in peace.

Jesus Christ:
you break up
the stony ground
of our hearts,
so grace might be planted.
You take us by the hand
to lead us through
the waters of baptism,
so we can stand
on the far shores
on your kingdom.

Holy Spirit,
early every morning,
you are out ahead of us,
walking the paths of life,
clearing away all the temptations
which would cause us
to stumble and fall.

God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray as Jesus Christ,
our Lord and Savior, has taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Being human, we never find it easy to ask for forgiveness. But as God's children, called to live in relationship with one another, we know we must speak of how we have hurt others, so we might be forgiven and restored to new life.  Please join me as we pray to God, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
What more can we say, Expectant God, that you don't know already? You long for justice for all people, but it is washed away by the flood of violence in our world. You hope that righteousness will walk with us, but you hear the clear cries of those we mistreat.  You ask us to speak up for those in need, but we shut our mouths and turn away.

Forgive us, Righteous God. Have mercy when we do not bear the fruit we could. Even though we have not lived our faith to the fullest, may we receive the promises of hope and grace you have given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Silence is kept.

Assurance of Pardon
Shhh, listen! Can you hear them?  The saints of heaven - those who have gone on before us - are cheering us on as we run towards the finish line of our faith.
Thanks be to God! The victory has already been won for us in Jesus Christ.  We are forgiven.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May God be with you.
And also with you.
People of God, lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the One whose heart is broken for us.
Offer your praises and joy to the God who is our Creator.
We sing our love-songs to the One who loves us and watches over us.

It is our greatest joy
to offer our thanks and praise to you,
God of all time.
At the dawn of creation,
you sang your love-song:
covering mountains with cooling shade,
directing the clouds to pour rain
upon the cedar seedlings,
filling your garden of grace
with all the goodness we would need.
But longing for a view
of temptation's delights,
we chopped down the hedges
surrounding Eden and protecting us,
and we were devoured
by sin and death
You sent the prophets
to tend and nurture us,
pruning us so we could bear
the fruit of justice and righteousness.
You took pity on us
as we weakened ourselves by our pride,
and placed your hand upon Jesus
sending him to be strong for us.

Therefore, we lift our thanksgiving to you,
joining our voices with the witnesses of every age,
echoing their glad songs of praise,
offering our hope to you:

Holy, holy, holy, Creator of the Vineyard.
By faith, all creation cries out for your salvation.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who comes to run with perseverance the race which is set before him.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, Shepherd of all people,
and blessed is Jesus Christ,
your sign of hope and grace.
Surrounded by all the faithful,
he humbled himself,
coming to set the pace for us
in this race we call life.
Worthy of all glory and praise,
he disregarded human acclaim,
and died on the cross
that we might be given life.
Picking up sin and death,
and tossing them aside,
he cleared the way to you,
that we might enter your kingdom.

As we remember his death and resurrection,
as we look for signs of his life in our time,
we receive that mystery of faith
which is promised to us:

Christ died, the perfecter of salvation;
Christ is risen, the pioneer of resurrection;
Christ will come again, for the sake of our joy.

Pour out your Holy Spirit
upon the gifts of the bread and cup,
and upon those who, by faith,
come to your Table.
As we receive these signs
of a grace we cannot see,
may we be transformed
into signs of peace and hope
for our time.
As we taste the broken Bread,
may we draw strength
to serve a shattered world.
As we drink of the gift of grace,
may we become robust
in our giving to others.
As we open our hands to you,
may we go to hand out justice
to the lost, the little, the least.

Then, when we are no longer divided,
but all people are gathered
around the Feast of the Lamb,
we will never turn away from you,
but will sing our songs of love
to you through all eternity,
God in Community, Holy in One,
forever and ever. Amen.

(c) 2010 Thom M. Shuman