Monday, December 26, 2011

First Sunday after Christmas - B

Texts:  Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Psalm 148; Galatianss 4:4-7; Luke 2:27-40

Call to Worship

Praise the One who spoke and made everything!
Let the rivers ripple with joy;
let the mountains stamp their feet.

Praise the One who adopts all of us as children!
Let old folks tell familiar stories;
let little children swim with dolphins.

Praise God!
We will sing of God's glory;
we will shout our joy to the hevens.

Prayer of the Day


Creation's Father:
of all that you created and love,
you choose us to be your children;
of all the places
you could love,
you make us holy
by your Spirit's presence;
of all that you could offer to us,
you have given us Jesus.

Destiny's Child:
you came to clothe us
in salvation's finery;
you amazed the wisest
with your humility;
you know all the thoughts
we dare not share with anyone.

Spirit of Abba:
as we celebrate a Birth,
be born in us each day;
as we sing God's praises,
whisper the good news to our ears;
as we seek to be faithful to our calling,
lead us into the kingdom waiting for us.

God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray as we have been taught,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation

It is easy to become slaves to our passion, it is harder to live as God's children. Let us confess the easy choices we have made, so God can strengthen us to be faithful sisters and brothers of Christ.

Unison Prayer of Confession

Abba God: we know that given the chance, we rarely praise others. We are guided more by meanness than by your gentleness. And we are seldom wise enough to listen to your voice, preferring instead the sweet, sweet songs of sin.

Forgive us, Heart of Heaven. Touch those inner places of hope and joy that they might become the gifts we can offer to those around us, as we seek to follow Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.


Silent prayers may be offered

Assurance of Pardon

Hear the good news.
the time is now;
the place is here:
God has redeemed us from sin;
God has claimed us as the children of Hope.
Praise God, all people,
for life is given to us anew;
eternity is our home.
Thanks be to God. Amen.


Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

May the God of Christmas Joy be with you.
And also with you.
Children of God, lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the One
who came to us in Bethlehem.
Children of Hope, give thanks to God.
We sing our songs of Joy
to the One who became one of us.


How can we keep from praising you,
Glory's Father?
You spoke,
and stars danced in the sky;
you whispered,
and snow fell gently in the night;
you sang,
and the Spirit
breathed life into us.
Yet, we allowed ourselves
to be guided by the Evil One,
being led into the wilderness of sin.
But you could not sleep,
tossing and turning in grief.
You sent the prophets
to adorn us with your grace,
but we ignored them.
Finally, when time almost running out,
you sent your most precious possession,
Jesus Christ, your Beloved Son.

So, with all creation echoing
the songs of angels,
we join in praising your name:

P:   Holy, holy, holy are you God, who alone is exalted.
      All creation rejoices in you.
      Hosanna in the highest!

      Blessed is the One who would not keep silent.
      Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, Mighty God,
and blessed is your Son, Jesus Christ.
When we thought we could do no wrong,
he came to make us right;
when the world had forgotten us,
he called us by a new name;
when the time came,
he went to the cross,
that sin's slaves might be set free
and become your children.

As we celebrate his Birth,
and remember his death and resurrection,
we speak of that mystery we call faith:

P:     by Christ, we are redeemed from sin;
        by Christ, we are delivered from death;
        by Christ, we are adopted as God's children.

Guiding Spirit,
as you moved over creation,
come to bless this bread and cup,
and your children gathering around this Table.
As we eat of the Bread of angels,
may we be nourished by your justice,
to bring hope to all people.
As we are filled with the Cup of grace,
may the seeds of righteousness
planted deep within us,
bloom that all creation can be made whole.
Then send us forth
not as slaves to sin,
but as servant of salvation
to those longing for new life.

And when the time comes,
and we are all gathered in heaven,
we will join hands and dance around your Table,
singing our praises to
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever. Amen.

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman