Sunday, September 19, 2010

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 21 - C

Texts:  Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-13; Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16; 1st Timothy 6:6-19; Luke 16:19-31

Call to Worship
The word has come for us from God:
who promises to shelter us under the wings of hope and grace.
The word has come to us from Jesus:
who encourages us to remember the good news we have received.
The word flows to us from the Spirit:
who reminds us to place our hope and trust in God.

Prayer of the Day

When we fall into the traps
of groundless fears,
you deliver us.
When an epidemic of worry
threatens to overcome us,
you protect us.
When harmful words
are flung at us,
you answer our cries for help.
Gracious God,
we worship you.

When our lives crumble,
you urge us to buy hope's fields.
When we are tempted by wealth,
you point us to those
who have nothing but share all.
When we are eager
to grasp senseless lies,
you wrap our hands
around God's promises.
Servant of the poor,
we follow you.

When the world silences our hope,
you give us the words to make
the good confession of faith.
When we have lost our way
and can no longer endure
the emptiness of our lives,
you satisfy us from the abundance
of God's grace and joy.
Sheltering Spirit,
we seek your peace.

God in Community, Holy in One,
our Refuge, our Trust, our Hope,
we lift our prayer to you
as Jesus has taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation

In God's presence, our lives are exposed, our words are shown for their hollowness, our need is revealed.  Let us confess who we are, as we ask God to embrace us with grace and hope.

Unison Prayer of Confession
   We need to confess, God of Abraham and Lazarus, how often we are not content with the simple gifts and lives you offer.  Tempted by everything, we can become insensitive to those who have nothing.  Encouraged by the world to accumulate more, we may miss the chance to gather your goodness and godliness.  Chasing after all which has no value, we may not have the energy to pursue the faith, the love, the gentleness you have for us.

Forgive us, God of Reversals.  You have sent the One who speaks the words we need to listen to in order to have life.  Help us to remember how you have redeemed us, and in remembering, may we make that good confession that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, now and forever.
Silence is observed

Assurance of Pardon

This is the good news that comes from God:  I will hear your prayers, I will answer with hope and  peace, I will deliver you from your sins.
God has covered us with grace; under God's hope we will find shelter.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

In your presence, life-shaping God,
your heart besieged chaos,
planting hope and joy
where there was only despair,
bringing forth fields of flowers
where there was only emptiness.
You created us in your image,
signing the deed for all creation,
and sealing it for us, the Word
and Spirit witnesses to your generosity.
But we sought shelter in sin,
choosing to live in the shadow of death.
You called to us through the prophets,
but we did not answer.
Determined to rescue us,
you sent Jesus to us,
bring hope and grace and mercy
to us once again.

So, with those who have trusted you
in every time and place, we join
our voices with our sisters and brothers,
singing your glad praises:

Holy, holy, holy, God of faithfulness.
All creation takes hold of your life.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who dwells in unapproachable light.
Hosanna in the highest!

King of Kings,
Jesus humbled himself as our servant,
bringing everything we need into our world.
Lord of Lords,
he set aside eternal glory with you,
to take on our fleeting life.
Brother to the poor,
he turned from the riches of heaven,
to offer the wealth of your mercy to all.
Bearer of your good news,
he bore witness to Pilate
and all who rejected him,
of your grace which is stronger than death,
your love with defeats evil,
your redemption that gives new life.

As we remember Jesus' faithfulness in life,
as we celebrate his victory over death,
we would speak of that mystery we know as faith:

Christ died, enduring the cross;
Christ rose, taking hold of eternal life;
Christ will come, giving new life to all things.

Here, in the shelter of your grace,
surrounded by the gifts of the bread and the cup;
here, in the shadow of your love
which stretches through all creation
and touches your children everywhere,
we pray that you would pour out
your Spirit of peace, of hope, of joy.
As we are strengthened by the life
shared with us by the Broken One,
we would go forth to live out our faith,
satisfying the hunger of the world
for reconciliation and for freedom.
As we take hold of the Cup of life,
we will not fear the terrors that besiege us,
but journey on in trust and obedience,
pursuing righteousness and justice for all.

And when all life has ended and your Word calls to us,
at that time we will gather with our sisters and brothers
around the Table of wonder and mercy you have prepared,
forever singing our praises to you,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

© 2010  Thom M. Shuman