Monday, May 14, 2012

Seventh Sunday in Easter - B

Texts: Acts 1:15-17, 21-26; Psalm 1; 1 John 5:9-13; John 17:6-19

Call to Worship
L: From the comfort of our homes,
with the discomfort of discipleship:
P: we gather in this place
created by God for community.
L: In our gardens battling weeds,
with our neighbors serving needs:
P: we are enveloped in that gift
offered by Christ called grace.
L: Through the witness of the little known,
through the words of a children's song:
P: we learn the truth passed on to us
by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer of the Day
In the silence,
which can call us
to pay attention;
in those holy moments
which open our eyes
to your Word;
in the ability to grasp
your grace and never let go:
in all these ways, you give testimony
to your faithfulness to us,
Creative God.

In the gentleness
of a father's touch
which can calm our fears;
in the passion
of a mother's belief
which endures through all our years;
in words, spoken and silent,
which can guide our feet
every stop of the way:
through all these gifts, you vouch for
the gracious goodness of Abba,
our Brother and Friend.

In common sense
of the teacher
who dared us to dream;
in the innate wisdom
of the co-worker
who never got past 6th grade;
in those seeds placed
deep within our hearts,
which bear fruit in odd moments:
with all these wonders, you affirm
the One who completes our joy.

We are one with you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
so we lift our prayer to you, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Christ has promised to be with us, yet we live
as if we have been left all alone, on our own.
Let us confess our rootlessness, as we pray,

Unison Prayer of Confession
You call to us, God of mercy, but we are too
busy listening to the whispers of those who would
draw us away from you. Rather than follow Jesus
as you hope, we are filling in the potholes on sin's
streets for a more comfortable journey. You
promise to keep watch over us, but we hope you
will close your eyes to how we treat others.
Forgive us, Author of life. Forgive our wavering
commitment and plant our feet firmly on the paths
to the kingdom. Forgive our low expectations of
discipleship and give us opportunities to serve your
people. Forgive our faltering faith and fill us with
the delight and joy we find as your children, sisters
and brothers of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
L: In forgiveness, God plants us deep in the rich
soil of mercy and grace, our lives watered by
hope, our joy made complete in Jesus Christ.
P: The fruit we bear - hope, love, peace - is not
our doing, but comes from the seeds God has
placed within us. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L: May the Lord of Easter be with you!
P: And also with you!
L: People of Easter, God sends us forth to serve the world.
P: We open our hearts to be filled with the gifts
we are to share with all of God's children.
L: Children of God, let us sing to the One who feeds us at
the Table of grace and wonder.
P: We lift glad songs to the One who nourishes us
with streams of hope and peace.

In that deep, rich gift we call creation,
you planted seeds, Imaginative God.
Some blossomed into spring flowers,
while others filled the world
with your grace and hope.
Some grew sturdy and tall,
strong roots drinking deeply
from your streams of joy,
while others feed the creatures
of your imagination with life.
All these gifts were yours, yet in love,
you shared them with us.
When we listened to
the hollow words of sin,
you sent the prophets
to make us sit up and take note;
when we chose death as our guide
through the ways of the world,
you sent Jesus to put our feet back
on the right paths to your heart.

So we join our voices
with all from every time and place,
singing the great song of thanksgiving
echoed in heaven and earth:

P: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of glory and grace.
All creation sings of the One who gives eternal life.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who comes to make your name known.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, God of all life,
and blessed is Jesus, our Brother, our Friend.
When he could have chosen
to stay by your side in glory,
he came to be our companion
in this journey we call life.
When he could have pointed to himself,
he spoke those words
which made you known to us.
When he could have taken a safe seat,
he carried his cross to Calvary,
where sin, death, and evil
cast lots for him.
When you could have kept silent,
you spoke that Word
which raised him to new life.

As we set aside our wisdom to learn your heart,
as we empty ourselves so you can fill us with hope,
we speak of that mystery we call faith:

P: Christ died, so sin would have no power over us;
Christ was risen, so death would lose its sting;
Christ will come again, to guide us to God.

We open our hands
so we may receive
the gift of the Bread,
touched by your Spirit of life,
so we might be strengthened
to go forth into the world,
to bring healing to the broken,
to offer hope to the desperate.
We open our souls
so we might be nourished
by the Cup, filled to overflowing
by your Spirit of compassion,
so we may serve as your heart
in all those places where the lonely live,
so we might become a community
welcoming the lost, the last, the little, the least.

And when all time has come to an end,
when, by your wisdom, we are gathered
with our sisters and brothers around your Table,
we will sing our songs of joy forever and ever,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

(c) 2012 Thom M. Shuman