Sunday, June 17, 2012

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 7 - B

Texts: 1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23) 32-49; Psalm 9:9-20; 2 Corinthians
6:1-13; Mark 4:35-41

Call to Worship
L: We gather in this place to worship our God:
P: calm Presence in our times of confusion,
Comforter in our nights of struggle.
L: We gather with fellow pilgrims,
as we seek to follow Jesus:
P: Brother to those swamped by fears,
Friend to all overwhelmed by loss.
L: We are brought together by the Spirit
who lives in the depths of our souls:
P: the Serenity who travels with us
on this up-and-down journey we call life.

Prayer of the Day
You lay the foundations of the universe,
building a shelter for our battered souls;
you create wonders which are priceless,
yet you always remember the needy.
We open our hearts to you,
God of Graciousness.

When evening comes and fears
prowl the shadows of our days,
you whisper, 'Peace! Be still!'
to our hammering hearts,
so we know that you are always with us.
We open our hearts to you,
dearest Friend of life.

Doubts and despair may
swamp our lives,
but you calm us with a word;
illness and death struggle
to control our futures,
but you comfort us with peace.
We open our hearts to you,
Spirit of hope and grace.

We open our hearts to you, now and forever,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we pray as we are taught,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
We let fears control us, we let doubt become the
way of life for us. If we but look, we will see
our lives, and our world, cradled in God's loving hands.
Let us confess our lack of faith, even as we trust the
One who has promised to listen to our words, as well
as our hearts. Join me as we confess together, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
They can be such giants in our lives, God of
Grace. Each day, our fears, our doubts, our worries
wash over us, until we come to believe that you do
not care for us. There seems to be so much wrong
in the world, we are convinced that there is nothing
good we can do. The storms of sin and temptation
batter at us, and we cower, unable to find the faith
to withstand them.
Forgive us. God of Hope. Remind us that if
we but open our hearts, you will heal us. If we but
listen to your words, we will hear peace and joy.
If we but open our lives to you, we can go forth
to serve our sisters and brothers, even as we have
been served by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
L: With calming words, with a peaceful Spirit, with
overflowing love and hope, our God forgives us
and fills us with faith.
P: Our God affirms us for who we are - those whose
brokenness is made whole, whose sin is forgiven,
whose lives overflow with faith. Thanks be to
God! Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L: May the Calmer of our storms be with you!
P: And also with you.
L: Lift up your hearts, all whose fears threaten you.
P: We open our hearts that God might touch them with peace.
L: People of faith, join in glad songs to the One who is with you.
P: Our voices join in praise and thanksgiving to God.

You poured the foundation of grace
over the emptiness of chaos,
Caretaker of the Cosmos,
so that creation would find firm footing
for all the gifts your imagination provided.
You formed the seas and filled them with life,
you created the morning stars to sing your praises.
You created us in your image, calling each of us by name,
but we defied your dreams and hopes for us,
choosing to live in the valleys of despair and sin.
Refusing to forsake us, you sent prophets
who urged us to embrace your grace,
but it was never the right time for us to listen,
and we opened our hearts wider to temptation.
But you would not let us stay
in the pits of suffering and death we had dug,
and sent Jesus, creative Word of life for all,
to remove all the obstacles in your way.

So as we prepare to come to the Table of joy,
we join our voices with those who open their hearts to you
in every time, and in every place, forever singing your praise:

P: Holy, holy, holy, God of grace and glory.
All creation declares the wonders of your hands.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who comes bringing salvation for all.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, Bulwark of the oppressed,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, who calms our troubled hearts.
When we were mired in the quicksand of our sin,
he came to pull us to safety.
When we treated him as an imposter,
he came to show us his true nature.
When we sat at death's door,
waiting for it to open and welcome us,
he went inside, in our place,
coming out to take us by the hand
and lead us into life with you.

As we sing praises for his life and ministry among us,
as we remember his death, as well as his resurrection,
we declare that mystery we call faith:

P: We declare that Christ has died for us;
we proclaim that Christ has been raised from the dead;
we believe Christ will come again in glory.

Here at this Table of life and hope,
you pour out your calming Spirit
upon the gifts of the Bread and the Cup,
and on your children gathered for this feast.
As you feed us with that brokenness
which can restore us to wholeness,
remind us that our lives are not empty,
but filled with every blessing which
can bring hope and joy to the poor.
As our hearts overflow with your grace,
let us hear the cries of the afflicted,
so we might go to stand with them
until all people are transformed
by your justice and righteousness.

And when our journeys have ended,
and the storms of life have been calmed forever,
we will gather around the Table in glory,
joining our hands and hearts with all your children,
singing praises to you through all eternity,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

(c) Thom M. Shuman