Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Proper 5/10th Sunday in Ordinary Time - B

Texts:  1 Samuel 8:4-20, 11:14-15; Psalm 138; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1; Mark

Call to Worship
L:  On this day, we gather with thanksgiving in our hearts.
P:  For God's love is ever constant in our lives.
L:  On this day, we would talk of all that is ours.
P:  Grace upon grace has been poured into our lives.
L:  On this day, we would speak of what we believe.
P:  We will sing glad songs for all that God has done.

Prayer of the Day
When we are too weary
to take another step
on the road to the kingdom;
when our hearts are worn down
by the pain always rubbing
against our lives;
when we are wasting away
because of fears and worries,
you come, Soul Strengthener,
stretching out your hand
to hold us in your love.

When everyone else has turned
their backs on us and walked away;
when we cry out in the night
only to find the world has
turned a deaf ear to us;
when folks think we are crazy
because we believe that
   good can overcome evil,
   love can conquer hate,
   hope can replace despair,
you do not forsake us,
but stay at our side,
Brother to all people.

When our doubts rub
a callus on our souls;
when we wonder if we
are able to see your kingdom
emerging all around us;
when others seem to want
only the worst for us,
you pull us out of harm's way,
Spirit of faith and hope.

Grace upon grace are the gifts
we have received from you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
and we give you our thanks
as we pray as we are taught,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
We know what it is like to be rejected, but
we also remember turning our backs on others.
We have experienced conflict, as well as caused
pain to others.  Let us confess our foolish
lives to the One who seeks to forgive us on this
day, and every day.

Unison Prayer of Confession
   Everybody else does it, Watching God, and we
confess that we do as well.  We listen to those
whose promises are sold to the highest bidder.
We idolize celebrities as if they were teachers
of ethics.  We long for that one person who will
make everything right, once again, once and for all.
   Is it any wonder we are a disappointed people,
God of Hope?  Forgive us for turning our backs on
you, even as you continue to stretch out your arms
to us.  Forgive us for trusting in those who prove
to be false, rather than having faith in your love.
Forgive us, and fill us with the spirit of faith
which is given to us in Jesus Christ, our Lord
and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
L:  Do not lose heart! God seeks to strengthen our
souls, filling us with forgiveness, wonder, and joy!
P:  Glory to you, God of mercy and grace.  You want
only the best for us, and so we sing praises to you.
Thanks be to God, we are forgiven!  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L:  May the God of steadfast love be with you!
P:  And also with you!
L:  Sisters and Brothers of Christ, lift your hearts to God.
P:  We open ourselves to the One who fills us with grace.
L:  Beloved of the Lord, sing glad praises to God.
P:  Songs of praise are offered to our God.

Catching a glimpse of goodness and beauty,
you shattered the stillness of chaos
with your imaginative Word, your Spirit of faith
moving, transforming, shaping, creating.
What had not been seen before sprang forth:
   suns and moons spinning in the galaxies,
   rivers racing one another to the seas,
   gentle grains whispering in the breeze.
This garden of wonders and hopes
were shared with those you created in your image,
but we wanted to do things our way
and forsook you for the temptations
offered to us by sin and death.
You would not forsake us
and sent the prophets to us
with words of hope and grace,
but we rejected their words
as having no meaning for us.
Your love was steadfast
and your faith for us did not diminish
as you sent Jesus to call us
back to your heart.

With those whose faith is strong and firm,
with those who struggle to believe,
with all of every time and place,
we sing our songs of thanksgiving to you:

P:  Holy, holy, holy are you, God of our hearts.
    All creation praises you with words of hope.
    Hosanna in the highest!

    Blessed is the One who comes to strengthen our souls.
    Hosanna in the highest!

You are holy, God of hope and forgiveness,
and Jesus Christ is your love made human.
He could have come to divide us,
but came that we might be one with you
and with our sisters and brothers.
He could have come to judge us,
but came to pull us out of harm's way.
He could have come to deby us,
but came to reject Death and sin's claim on us,
defeating their power once and for all.

As we remember how we have turned out backs on him,
as we hear his invitation to this Table of grace,
we speak of that faith in which we believe:

P:  Christ died, showing us the way of obedience;
    Christ is risen, showing us the way of new life;
    Christ will come, showing us your glory.

You surround us with your care,
stretching out your hand upon
those gathered in this place,
your Spirit transforming ordinary gifts
into sacred grace and hope.
We taste the bread and drink from the cup,
and notice what we have not seen:
   the hunger of the world,
   the loneliness of those around us,
   the child with no hope,
and we do not lose heart,
trusting that you will use us
to serve these needs around us
so that grace upon grace
might be shared with our sisters and brothers.

And when you stretch out your hands to lead us home,
and we are gathered around the Feast of the Lamb
which we can only glimpse in this moment,
we will sing of your steadfast love and faithfulness
forever and ever, God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

(c) 2012  Thom M. Shuman