Monday, June 11, 2012

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 6 - B

Texts: 1 Samuel 15:34 - 16:13; Psalm 20; 2 Corinthians 5:6-17; Mark 4:26-34

Call to Worship
L: The church is the place where the broken gather:
P: let us worship God who reconciles us to one another and to God.
L: The church is the place where sinners are welcome:
P: let us worship God who, with forgiving hands, shapes us into new people.
L: The church is the place where the lost, the least, the forgotten, the ignored gather:
P: let us worship God who looks at us with the eyes of love.

Prayer of the Day
Holy One:
you anoint us with living water,
so we may go to serve the world
in these troubled days.
You open our eyes
so we will see everyone
as our sisters and brothers.

Seed Planter:
you place faith
deep within us,
so we can bear witness
to your just and loving kingdom.
Your love regulates our hearts,
so we can welcome all
in your name.

Gentle Spirit:
when we cannot see the way,
you take us by the hand
so we can step forward,
in faith,
into the kingdom.
You fill us with hope,
so we can sing God's joy
all of our days.

God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray as Jesus has taught us,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Why is it so easy to boast of our achievements, yet so hard to humbly come
to God with the mistakes we make? This is the place where we stand in the
presence of the One who longs to shape us into new people. So, let us ask
our loving God to forgive us, as we pray, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
We confess, God of Faith, that we ask about someone's background to see
if they are like us, while you look at where their heart is grounded. We
examine another's good looks or athletic prowess, while you take notice of
how they reach out to those who are different. We gaze at the size of
another's house or car or portfolio to judge how successful they are, and
you observe whether or not they have faith the size of the smallest seed.
Forgive us, Anointing God, for looking at those around us with human
eyes, and not seeing them as created in your image. As you shape us into new
people, give us new eyes, new hearts, new lives to follow Jesus Christ, our
Lord and Savior.

Silent prayers may be offered

Assurance of Pardon
L: This is the good news: no longer must we walk the old paths of sin and
death. Christ has come to take our old ways on himself, and to fill us with
new life in God.
P: Now, we know we are forgiven;
now, we know we are at peace;
now, we can step forward in faith,
to live with our God forever. Amen.

Invitation to the Table
The Table has been prepared - for us!
This is not my Table, it is not the church's -
this is the Table offered to us by our God.
So, come to this Feast.
Come, if your faith is blossoming and full,
and come, if it is but a tiny seed planted in your heart;
come, if you always show up for this Meal,
and come, if this is the your very first taste;
come, if you have always walked with Christ,
and come, if you have stumbled along the way.
But come - for our God awaits to serve you
with joy, with affirmation, with hope, with peace.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
We do not know when or how it happened,
Holy Gardener,
but you planted the seeds of your imagination.
The Spirit gently nurtured them
with the waters and warmth of life;
the Word whispered their names
and called them into being.
All that is good, all that is true,
all that is beautiful sprang forth
in that wonder we call creation.
You shaped us in your image,
breathing hope and life into us,
that we might enjoy your good gifts.
But, tasting the temptations of sin,
our growth was stunted, as we became
a rich harvest for death.
But you do not see us as we do,
and so sent the prophets to sow
the words which call us back to you.
When we continued to follow
only what we could see,
you sent Jesus to be among us,
so we might recognize your love for us.

So, with those who walk by faith
in this time and in this place,
and with those who are at home with you,
we offer our hearts' desire to you:

P: Holy, holy, holy, Lord of grace and glory.
All creation is filled with the tapestry of your love.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who comes with your new creation.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, God who fulfills all your plans,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, the Seed of salvation.
>From the beginning of creation,
your Word sang of your hopes for us;
until the end of time,
your Child will urge us on to love you.
He set aside his glory, to become one of us,
so that we might discover your grace
which overflows from your heart upon us.
No longer living for himself,
he died, once and for all, for us,
so that, as he was raised to new life,
so we might become the new creation,
walking by faith into your kingdom.

As we now see him through the eyes of redemption,
as we now remember him through hearts of hope,
we speak of that mystery we call our faith:

P: In death, Christ became our life;
in life, Christ shapes us into new creatures;
in glory, Christ will come to fulfill all God's plans.

To what can we compare this Feast,
and the simple gifts you have transformed
into the Bread of life and the Cup of grace?
As you poured out your Spirit into all creation,
pour out your blessings upon those
who gather around your Table of life.
As the bread fills us with those seeds
of hope and peace for all people,
may we go forth to offer the harvest
of justice and righteousness to all
who have been mistreated in our time.
As the cup touches our lips,
may we shout for joy over your love,
calling out to all the lonely and lost,
no longer regarding them from
the world's point of view,
but recognizing them as
our sisters and brothers of the kingdom.

And when we have risen and stand around
that Table of blessing and life,
we will join our hearts and our hands,
forever singing your praises,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen

© Thom M. Shuman