Sunday, January 12, 2014

Liturgy for January 19, 2014 (2nd Sunday after the Epiphany/Ordinary Time 2 - A)

Texts:  Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 40:1-11; 1st Corinthians 1:1-9; John 1:29-42

Call to Worship
L:  We wait patiently for our God.
P:  We will sing, we will sing new songs
     of the One who calls us here.
L:  We will not chase after other gods.
P:  We will sing, we will sing new songs
     of the One in whom we can trust.
L:  We will tell of all God has done for us.
P:  We will sing, we will sing new songs
     of the One whose salvation is for all.

Prayer of the Day
There is none like you,
God of infinite patience.
You promise to listen to us,
     always.
You speak more words
     of hope and grace
and offer more acts
     of mercy and hope
then we can count
on the fingers and toes
of every person who ever lived.

There is none like you,
Shaper of servants.
Gathering up all the words
     we should never have spoken,
  you rearrange them into
     stories of peace and reconciliation.
Sweeping up the messes
      we leave littered behind us,
   you recycle them into gifts
      which soften the hardest hearts.

There is none like you,
Ever-listening Spirit.
You gather up all our cousins
      scattered throughout the earth,
   bringing us to the Table of life.
You point the way to Jesus
      when we have lost sight of him
   on the fog-filled days of our souls.

There is none like you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
and our hearts will sing new songs
even as we pray, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
It is clear that God wants to hear our prayers
and forgive us, for God is willing to lean close
to our hearts to listen to our failures, our poor
choices, all the things we have done wrong.
Please join me, as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
     You are faithful, Patient God, even as
we continue to live in the shadows of life.
We could delight in your hopes for us, but
choose to do things our way.  We could serve
the most vulnerable around us, but long to
pal around with the powerful.  We could
share the glad news of deliverance, but prefer
to swap stories and gossip.
     There is none like you, Redeemer of all
your children.  You lean over to listen to our
prayers, and whisper forgiveness to our souls.
You lift us out of the holes we dig for ourselves,
and set us on hope's solid ground.  You strengthen
our weak faith with the life, grace, and love of
Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
L:  Come, dear friends and receive God's grace;
     see all the God is doing for you;
     follow Jesus, as he leads you closer to God.
P:  I will sing of God's love for me;
     I will sing a new song of hope and wonder.
     Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L:  May the God of patience be with you.
P:  And also with you.
L:  Offer your hearts to the One who waits for you.
P:  We open them to God, who is our Life.
L:  Come and sing new songs to our God.
P:  We will praise the One who dwells in our hearts.

You saw the emptiness of chaos,
God of before-time,
and so the Spirit and Word came
bearing the gifts of creation:
   coastlands lapped by ocean waves;
   goats playing king of the mountains;
   children laughing in summer showers.
You shaped us in your image, hoping
we would see you wonders,
and stand up to walk with you.
     But we chose to follow
     those false gods, sin and death.
Women and men came trying
to call your children back home,
     but we would not listen to them.
Then you sent Jesus to us,
the Faithful One pointing
out the way for us.

Together with all around us,
with those in every place, from every time,
we will sing our songs to you:

P:   Holy, holy, holy are you, Redeemer of all.
     Creation joins in praising your name.
     Hosanna in the highest!

     Blessed is the One who invites us to 'come and see.'
     Hosanna in the highest!

You are the Holy One of all time,
and Jesus is the Lamb who takes
     away the sins of the world.
He would not remain in glory,
     but came to gather us up
     and bring us home to you.
He would not hoard,
     but poured out your grace
     on everyone he met.
He would not remain silent,
     but told us of your kingdom
     in our midst.
Despised by evil, abhorred by death,
     he defeated their power
     by dying on the cross and
     being raised to new life for us.

Called to be faithful as he was,
sanctified by his grace and love,
we sing a new song of the mystery called faith:

P:  Christ died, blameless in God's eyes;
     Christ rose, honored in God's sight;
     Christ will return, so we will be seen
          as without fault.

Here your children are gathered, where
the gifts of the Table are offered for all.
Here  you bring us together
from every place on earth,
where the Spirit transforms
simple gifts into sacred us.
Here where the bread is broken,
     we are strengthened to go
     and bring the good news to all.
Here where salvation is poured out,
     we are called into fellowship
     with those despised by the world,
     with those who live in the shadows,
     with those who long for someone
          to listen to their pain.

And when you have brought all time to an end,
when you gather your children home,
seating us around the great Feast of the Lamb,
we will sing that new, new song of praise to you,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

© 2014 Thom M. Shuman