Sunday, September 27, 2015

Liturgy w/communion for October 4, 2015 (Pentecost 19/Trinity 18/Proper 22/Ordinary 27 - B)

Texts: Job 1:1, 2:1-10; Psalm 26; Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12; Mark 10:2-16

Call to Worship
Welcome to this place:
where children and seasoned citizens sit side by side,
where heaven and earth embrace in peace,
where God has been, is, and always will be.
Welcome to this place, as we gather with all of God's children:
where we find God's love,
where we hear the tender voice of Jesus,
where the Spirit teaches us new songs.
Welcome to this place, where all is made ready by our God:
where we bring our hunger, and find food;
where we bring our brokenness, and find healing;
where we bring our very selves, and find acceptance.

Prayer of the Day
We will not find
that needed justice
in our apathy;
 
we will not find
that elusive wholeness
with our quarreling;
 
we will not find
our hoped for unity
with our doctrines;

we will not find
our misplaced love
with our hating;
 
we will not find
that rest we crave
in our overflowing planners;
 
we will not find
the peace you offer
in our well nursed grudges.
 
but

we will find you
     in the brokenness of the Bread
     and in the breaking of our hearts;
 
we will find you
     when we drain the Cup,
     refill it with our gifts,
     and offer it to a little child;

we will find you
     when we squeeze closer together,
     making room at the Table
     for all your people.
 
Help us to find you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we pray together, saying,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
We marginalize peace, yet it is the horizon towards which we journey. We are divided from others, not so much by belief, but by fear. On this day of unity around God's Table with our sisters and brothers throughout the world, let us confess how we have not lived as God's beloved children. Please join me as we pray, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
     We have not been your people, Preparer of Peace. When we could see our brother Jesus in others, we turn away from those who are unlike us, who scare us. When we could offer peace to those around us, we break our promises, we hoard grudges in our hearts, we pander to prejudice. When we could speak of hope, we fling words that shatter another's heart. When we could live as one with all people, we try to push them as far away from us as possible.
     Redeem us, Lover of Peace, and pour out your grace upon us. May the warmth of your tenderness melt our frozen souls, may the balm of your words mend any broken hearts we have damaged, may we be as trusting and vulnerable as a little child, as we follow Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Brother, into your kingdom of joy.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
The forgiveness of God be upon you;
the peace of Christ rest upon you;
the grace of the Holy Spirit be the gift
which is placed in your life, this day and forever.
From this day to the end of eternity, we are God's children:
citizens of God's kingdom, brothers and sisters of the Prince of Peace. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offertory
We love your house, Holy God, but love your people even more.  So, may our gifts be used to bless those considered worthless by the world, but so valued in your heart, that as they are blessed by your grace and hope, they might sing songs of thanksgiving and praise to you, even as we have just done.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the Lord be with you, little children of the kingdom.
And also with you.
Sisters and brothers in Christ, open your hearts to God.
As we seek to walk in integrity in the kingdom,
we offer our hearts to God for wisdom and peace.
Come to the Table which has been prepared for you,
with songs of thanksgiving in your hearts.
With this people gathered in this place, we give thanks
to God for all the blessings which are ours.
 
Long ago, so long ago
only you can remember, Imaginative God,
you brought creation into being,
subjecting chaos to your will.
It was fitting for you to do this,
for your Word shaped glory
into mountains, fields and streams;
your Spirit breathed hope
into all that has life in you.
You spoke to our ancestors,
inviting them to walk in your integrity,
but their hearts became hardened
by the sweet words of seduction,
their hands were full of sin's bribes.
Prophets were sent by you,
pleading, cajoling, calling all your
children back to your side,
but we continued to consort with hypocrites.
So in your steadfast love,
you sent Jesus to us, that we might receive
your kingdom of peace and redemption
as your little children.

So, with those who gather around tables
of peace and hope in every corner of our world,
and with those who are with you in glory,
we offer our praises to you with glad songs:
 
Holy, holy, holy, God of glory and goodness!
All creation joins in one voice in glorifying you.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the Pioneer of our redemption.
Hosanna in the highest!

There is no one like your Servant, Jesus our Brother,
God of holiness and grace.
Walking in your integrity,
he wandered the world's ways,
calling us to follow him into the kingdom.
Walking in peace with you,
he invites us to set aside
all differences and divisions,
so we might live as one in you.
Walking in trust towards you,
he tasted death for everyone,
that we might feast at your Table
of forgiveness through all eternity.
 
As we remember his gentle words and tender heart,
as we celebrate the gift of his resurrection,
we speak of that mystery we call faith:
 
Christ has died, destroying death;
Christ was raised, bringing peace to all;
Christ will come again, proclaiming God's name to his sisters and brothers.

 Pour out the Spirit of the Prince of Peace,
upon the gifts of the bread and the cup,
not only on those gathered in this place,
but on all your children throughout the world:
on those who gather around war-scarred tables
and at the tailgates of military vehicles,
longing to pass the Bread of life
from hand to hand, mouth to mouth,
until all have been fed;
and on those who stand on both sides
of walls built by hatred and fear,
daring to share the Cup of salvation
with those labeled as the 'enemy'
until all are graced.
 
And when the eons of our fighting and destruction are done,
when all of your children are gathered in peace
around your Table of glory and grace in heaven,
we will bless you in that great congregation,
singing our love, our hope, our joy to you,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

Sending
We will go from this place,
to sit at the side of those forgotten by the world,
as we are welcomed by their grace and God's holy presence.
We will to wherever your children gather,
to be blessed by their love, as they echo Jesus' gentle voice.
We will go with our hunger, and be fed;
we will go with our brokenness, and be healed;
we will offer ourselves, and be accepted by the Spirit,
who lives and works in every person we will meet.

(c) 2015 Thom M. Shuman