Sunday, October 10, 2010

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 24 - C

Texts:  Jeremiah 31:27-34; Psalm 119:97-104; 2nd Timothy 3:14-4:5; Luke 18:1-8

Call to Worship
We have gathered in God's holy presence, the One who etches grace on our hearts.
This is the place where God will transform us into disciples.We glorify our God, who yearns for justice, not just for a favored few, but for the least of our world.
This is the place where God will write compassion on our souls.
We give thanks to God for unceasing grace; we remember God's persistence in saving us.
This is the place where God will breathe the Word into our lives.

Prayer of the Day
Holy God:
with the precious jewel
of holy scripture,
you share with us
the treasure of your heart.
Engrave your covenant -
your hopes, your dreams,
your vision, your peace -
upon our hearts,
that they might beat
as one with yours.

Holy Word:
ever clear,
you keep us from wandering
down the wrong paths;
ever longed for,
you make us persistent
in bringing justice
to the lost and to the least;
ever practical,
you show us how
not to misplace our hearts.

Holy Wisdom:
as you breathe the Word
into our hearts,
tutor us in faithfulness
so we are trained
in using the tools
of justice and hope;
so we are equipped
to share the good news with all;
so we become skilled
in compassion and grace.

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

Call to Reconciliation

Seeking to follow Jesus, we often wander down the wrong roads.  Impatient with God's schedule, we rush off to do things our way.  Let us confess our foolishness, that we might receive God's hope for our lives.

Unison Prayer of Confession
   Your words are given to us, Author of Life, so we might be reformed, but we are intent on changing others.  Your words are offered to us so we might be transformed, but we are focused on conforming to our culture.  Your words are spoken to lead us into new life, but we hold our old ways tight to our chests.
   Forgive us, God of Wonder.  Do not remember our sins, but continue to touch us with your steadfast mercy.  Show us how to be persistent in living out our faith, even as you were so tenacious in offering us your grace and life in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is observed

Assurance of PardonJesus reminds us that we are to be resolute in our lives of faithfulness and service.  The good news is that God is steadfast in filling us with love and grace.
We are forgiven people.  May we live as sisters and brothers in Christ, God's children in word and deed, in hope and joy.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

'The days are surely coming,'
you announced to chaos, God of power,
dividing it into morning and night,
sowing seeds of humanity and other life
into the rich loam of your creation.
You took us by the hand to show us
the place where we might have life,
ever feasting on your bounty of love.
But we drank deeply of sin's sour wine,
our teeth set on edge by the sound of death
scraping its fingernails across our souls.
You sent the prophets to us,
your hopes written on their hearts,
but since we did not fear you,
we had no respect for them.
So you took Jesus by the hand,
asking him to proclaim the good news
that you would forget our sins,
you would forgive our foolishness.

With all who have wandered from your path,
with all who have the new covenant on their hearts,
we sing our songs of praise to you:

Holy, holy, holy, God of incredible patience.
All creation cries out for your justice.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who comes to teach your ways.
Hosanna in the highest!

He did not shrink from your command, God of hope,
but obediently, Jesus became one of us
so we might know you face-to-face.
When the law no longer
wanted to be seen with us,
he became our constant companion.
Wiser than our enemies, sin and death,
he defeated them at the cross,
the empty tomb the sign of his victory.

As we remember his persistence in offering grace to us,
as we celebrate the joy of life with him,
we speak of the mystery we know as faith:

Christ died, for all our sins;
Christ rose, for all our sakes;
Christ will return to take us by the hand to lead us into your presence.

As for us, we pray you
to send your Holy Spirit to us,
to bless the gifts of your love
and to transform your gathered people.
What we know, what we believe,
we have learned at your knee,
gathered up into your lap,
your call to wholeness a taste so wondrous
we share it with all who are broken;
your cup of  grace sweeter
than the honey of our hopes.

And when we are are gathered together
into the kingdom you have built in eternity,
we will join our voices with our sisters and brothers,
crying out to you day and night forever,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

© 2010 Thom M. Shuman