Call to Worship
Young or old, slow or fast; tall or small, know-it-alls or eager learners:
Wonder of wonders! God has called each of us here.
Wrinkled, white-haired, stooped with age;
bright-eyed, smooth skinned, leapers of two steps at a time:
Wonder of wonders! Each of us is made in God's image.
Parents volunteering at school, kids playing tag;
workers stocking shelves, retirees planning a trip:
Wonder of wonder! God works through each of us.
Prayer of the Day
It doesn't matter
how far we go
to run from you,
you reach out
and touch us
with healing in your hands,
and turn us around
so we can follow you home.
It doesn't matter
we are of you,
you remove our fears
with your compassion,
you take away our doubts
with complete acceptance
of who we are.
It doesn't matter
we ignore your words,
you whisper to us
until our ears
tingle with anticipation
and we listen
with eager hope.
God in Community, Holy in One,
continue to call us by name,
even as we pray in the name
of the One who has taught us to say,
(The Lord’s Prayer)
Call to Reconciliation
We break our word - God knows;
we hurt another - God knows;
we ignore the needy - God knows.
God also knows the sins we try to hide, even from ourselves. Let us confess to the One who has called us and will make us whole.
Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
How foolish we are to think we can hide our failings from you, Seeing God. We treat our bodies as trash cans for junk food, not as sanctuaries for your Spirit. We get drunk on the seductions of our society, while daintily sipping at your living water. We doze under the tree of temptation, hoping you won't see us and expect us to get up and follow Jesus.
Forgive us, our heart's only Hope. Your grace mends our brokenness, making us whole; your compassion removes our sin, making us new; your voice speaks tenderly to us, silencing our pride; your Love is made human in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, redeeming our lives.
Silence is kept
Assurance of Pardon
In front of us, behind us, to our right, to our left: look! God is there!
In our past, beside us today, waiting in the future: look! God is there!
in the shadows, in the light: look! God is there!
From the top of the mountains, to the bottom of the seas;
in the morning, in the evening, in every moment: God is with us!
Thanks be to God. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication/Offertory
You call us, not because you need us, but because others do. You gift us, not because we are so special, but because others need to be blessed by our gifts. We give from the abundance which is ours, not because we are so generous, but because you have graced us with so much. May our gifts go to serve the work of your kingdom, we pray. Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God who created us be with you!
And also with you!
Open your hearts to the One who writes grace on them.
May God's words of hope and wonder guide our lives.
Sing praises to your God, children of the Creator of the universe.
Glad songs are lifted to the one who gives us new life.
Into the silence of chaos,
you called, Wonderful Crafter,
and creation responded, 'here I am,'
as mountains pushed up to tower over the rivers
that raced each other to the seas.
Your words did not fall to the ground
but became the stars that dance in the night.
You shaped us in your image,
telling us everything, hiding nothing from us.
But the tempting songs of sin made our ears tingle
and we did not restrain temptation's demands.
You refused to give up on us,
continuing to call us through the prophets,
but we were dominated by death's power.
So you sent Jesus to us,
to search us and know us
for who we are meant to be -
So with youngsters who hear your songs in the night,
and those who follow you in every time and place,
we lift our songs of thanksgiving to you:
Holy, holy, holy are you, Searcher of all hearts.
All creation praises your name.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One in whom there is no deceit.
Hosanna in the highest!
Holy are you, Knower of every thought,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, who is your heart.
When he could have wandered the streets of glory,
he searched up and down temptation’s paths to find us.
When we doubted anything good
might come of humility and sacrifice,
he called us to follow him into service to you.
When he could have shunned the cross,
he said, 'here I am,' confronting sin and death,
defeating them as he was raised to new life,
glorifying you in his resurrected body!
As we remember his ways of goodness and life,
as we celebrate the gift of the resurrection which is ours,
we speak of that mystery we call faith:
Christ died, trusting that he was held in your heart;
Christ rose from the grave, as you brought him out of death;
Christ has promised to welcome us into new life with you.
You search for us down every path we wander and,
finding us, lead us to this Table of hope and peace,
where the Spirit not only blesses these simple gifts,
but all your children who gather at your feast.
Speak, Lord, for your servants are listening,
so that as we are fed by the bread of life,
we would be ready to go forth to carry healing to the world;
so that as we drink from the cup of grace,
we would go to tell everyone we meet
that we have found the One who offers
the life and joy we are all long to have.
And when our lives have come to an end,
when we are gathered with your children from every age,
we will sit at your Table, finally knowing your ways,
and singing to you of our love and joy forever,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.
Wonder of wonders! God sends us from this place,
to be healing hands to the world's brokenness.
Wonder of wonders! Jesus calls us as sisters and brothers,
to accept others as completely as we have been embraced.
Wonder of wonders! The Spirit is at work through us,
wherever we are - work, home, playground, shelter, school.
Wonder of wonders!
We will go to live as God's people!
(c) 2014 Thom M. Shuman