Monday, May 14, 2012

The Ascension of the Lord

Texts: Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:15-23; Luke 24:44-53

Call to Worship
L: We gather in this place,
some empty, some filled,
some whole, some broken:
P: yearning for the Holy Spirit to fill us.
L: We come, with these ordinary people,
who have shown us the way:
P: trusting that God will continue to illumine our hearts.
L: We surround the Table of grace,
so we might be fed by the Bread of life:
P: that graced, we may serve others;
that healed, we may bring hope to the world.

Prayer of the Day
Exalted God,
you are the constant lover
who never forsakes us;
you are the mother
who cradles her children,
you are the teacher
patiently repeating your words for us.
We worship you.

Jesus Christ:
in you we are convinced
God loves us;
through you,
we are formed
into your people;
with you,
we serve those
the world has forgotten.
We follow you.

Holy Spirit:
you are the powerr
that gives us peace;
you are the wisdom
that reveals the broken
in our midst;
you are the spokesperson
of the voiceless
to whom we are deaf.
We welcome you.

God in Community, Holy in One,
we lift our prayers to you
as Jesus taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Called to proclaim repentance, we are
reluctant to look at our own failings.
Invited to witness to God's loving
forgiveness of sins, we would rather
not speak aloud of our own. Let us
trust in the One who offers us hope
and healing, as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
You call us to proclaim a gospel we
find difficult to practice, God Most High.
We watch our clocks to make sure we
spend more time with ourselves than with
you. We are hesitant to witness to your
power from on high, as we are uncertain
of your presence in our lives.
Forgive us, God of Light. Fill us with the
healing presence of your Spirit, that we may
proclaim your good news, as we participate
in the life and suffering of our world, as did
your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
L: Choosing to set aside judgment, God gives
us justice; choosing to let go of punishment,
God fills us with peace; choosing to release
anger, God's steadfast love rests upon us.
P: Forgiven, redeemed, restored--we will tell
everyone, through the lives we lead, what
God has done for us. Thanks be to God.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L: The Ascended Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Lift up your hearts to the One who gives us
a spirit of wisdom.
P: We open our hearts to Jesus who opens
God's words to us.
L: Clap your hands, God's people! Sing songs
of praise to our God!
P: We sing praises to the One who blesses and blesses us!

We do indeed lift loud songs of joy
to you, Awesome God!
Everything in heaven, and on earth,
provides all the proof we need
of your goodness and mercy.
But closing our hearts to such evidence,
we looked to our own wisdom,
devising foolish ways to save ourselves.
Patiently you waited, hoping
we would return to yu,
but when you could no longer wait,
you came to us in your Word
made flesh and blood.
Therefore, with all your people
of every time and every place,
we sing our glad songs to you:

P: Holy, holy, holy, Sovereign over all the earth.
The riches of your glorious creation forever praise you.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who will return to us.
Hosanna in the highest!

All glory is due to you, God on High,
and blessings on your Son,
our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Stripping himself of glory
he came that we might be clothed
in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Wearing the thorny crown of death,
he is the Head of all the Church,
his Body made whole for the world.

As we remember his life, his service,
his death, his resurrection, his ascension,
we speak of that mystery called faith:

P: Christ died to reveal salvation for us;
Christ arose to reveal resurrection life for us;
Christ ascended and will return to reveal glory to us.

We will not stop giving thanks to you,
Generous and Wonderful God,
as we pray that you
would pour out your Holy Spirit
upon your children gathered at the Table,
and upon the gifts of the bread and the cup.
We are filled with Christ's presence,
so we may go to empty ourselves:
telling your story of grace and hope,
carrying your mercy to those
who cannot forgive themselves,
pouring cups of cold water,
embracing the untouchables of our time.

Then, when we gather at your feast in glory,
seated with our sisters and brothers from all time,
we will clap our hands, shouting our joy to you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
now and forevermore. Amen.

(c) Thom M. Shuman