Call to Worship
Sing praises to our Lord:
who heals us and makes us whole.
Sing praises to our Lord, faithful children of God:
whose joy rises in our lives each and every day.
Sing praises to our Lord, faithful children of God;
give thanks to God's holy name:
God's Kingdom is near to us; God's peace resides in our hearts.
Prayer of the Day
With songs of thanksgiving on our lips,
we come before you, Helping God.
While your anger may last only a moment,
your grace rests upon us until the 12th of never.
When we find ourselves knee-deep
in the muck and mire of life,
you provide a way out for us,
if we but trust enough to serve you.
Glad choruses of praise greet you,
Jesus, Companion of pilgrims in this life.
You take us by the hand to waltz up past
the outstretched arms of sin and death.
You send us out into the world,
teaching us not to boast about
ourselves or all that we have done,
but to point out to others
the path to the kingdom,
if they but trust enough to follow you.
We offer a harvest of praise to you,
Spirit of joy and wonder.
You pour out your gentleness upon us,
so we might be energized to do what is right.
You patiently sit down to teach us,
using bold print so we might learn
lives of service, gratitude and humility,
if we but trust enough to listen to you.
God in Community, Holy in One,
may we trust always in you,
even as we pray as we have been taught, saying,
(Our Father) . . .
Call to Reconciliation
Unlike ours, God's anger does not last. But God's favor, God's grace, and God's forgiveness are for us, not just in this moment, but forever. How can we not want to confess to such a One who is ready to heal us? Please join me as we pray, saying,
Unison Prayer of Confession
Holy One, why is it that we can grow so weary of doing what is right, yet always energetically do that which we know is harmful to us and others? We sow seeds of hurt and anger, and wonder why we harvest so much bitterness. We spend too much time comparing ourselves to those around us, and too few moments in following Christ's example.
Rather than letting our sins gloat over us, Healing God, we would open ourselves to your mercy and grace. As you reach out to heal us with your forgiveness, may we embrace your love, your mercy, your grace for our lives. As you pour out your Spirit of gentleness, may we bring the peace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to all the world.
Silence is kept
Assurance of Pardon
Sing praises to our God, faithful children. God has heard our prayers and made us whole.
We will not be silent, but will sing our joy to the One who has forgiven us and made us a new creation. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication/Offertory
In the offering of our gifts, as well as the living of our days, may we not grow weary of doing what is right, but commit to speaking up for the voiceless, healing the broken, feeding the hungry, and all those mercies which are such a part of your heart and hopes for all your children. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the Lord our God be with you.
And also with you.
Children of God, lift our hearts.
We lift them to the One who heals us at the Table of brokenness.
Children of God, give thanks to the Lord our God.
We will sing our praises to the One who restores us to life.
We do not bring silence to you,
Holy One of all people,
but shouts of praise and laughter
for your gracious love.
Your healing river flowed through creation,
bringing life and joy to all who drank from it.
But we preferred to splash
in the sewers of the world,
rejecting all that you intended for us.
Yet, you never grew weary
of bearing the burdens of your children.
When you could have shaken
the dust of our sin from your feet,
you chose to lead us out of the Pit
of our rebellion and sin.
Joining with those who sing your praises,
lifting our voices with faithful ones of every time and place,
we sing of our thanks to you forever:
Holy, holy, holy are you, God the Creator!
the mountains sing your praises, the valleys echo your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!
We welcome the One who comes in your name, who calls us to life.
Hosanna in the highest!
Holy are you, God of compassion,
for when death threatened your children
and sin vowed to turn the universe back to chaos,
you sent your Son, our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ, to heal the brokenness fo the world.
He did not grow weary
of doing the right things,
but confronted the wrongs of the world;
he endured the violence of sin,
that we might receive the gentleness
of life with you forever;
he carried our sins to the cross,
that we might bear the burdens
of our sisters and brothers;
he went ahead of us into death,
that we might walk in the Kingdom.
As we dance to the Table to be filled with hope,
we remember all that Jesus has done for us,
and all that we have been called to do in his name.
Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ died, bearing our burdens.
Christ arose, mocking death’s power.
Christ will return, for the good of all.
Flow through us, Healing Spirit,
as we drink deeply of Christ's cup.
You never grow weary of feeding us
with the Bread of Life,
or refreshing us
with the Cup of Grace,
for you use these simple gifts
to transform our brokenness.
And as we turn from the Table,
send us forth:
to bring healing to the sick,
freedom to the oppressed,
to speak peace
to the human household,
to carry the Kingdom with us
wherever you would lead us.
For we will not keep silent,
but praise you forever and ever,
God in Community, Holy in One.
Let us never grow weary of doing what is right!
We will go to seek justice for all of God’s children.
Let us not grow weary of leading others to the kingdom!
We will go to follow Jesus’ example of gathering all into grace.
Let us not grow weary of speaking of hope and peace.
We will go to sow the Spirit’s seed of life and hope.
Alternate Great Prayer of Thanksgiving for Independence Day
L: May the God of freedom be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Children of God, lift up your hearts.
P: We lift them to the One who sets us free
for lives of service and hope.
L: God's children: let us give thanks to
the Lord our God.
P: We will sing our songs of freedom
to the One who calls us to new life.
Starry nights that stretch across the sky,
waves of every grain shimmering in the sun:
these are the gift you gave to us,
God of wonder and joy.
Mountains tower above plains
overflowing with abundant fruit;
land stretching from sea to sea
where we could live with you.
Freely, you offered the abundance
of all that is good and beautiful to us,
but we mocked your hopes,
choosing to be deceived by sin.
you appointed prophets, sending them
to every town and place we lived,
sharing your peace with us through them.
But we would not welcome them
into our homes, or into our hearts.
Then you sent Jesus to us,
to share with us that freedom
which calls us to follow in obedience.
As we sing of those who have gone before us,
as we remember how they lived as
sisters and brothers as you called them to live,
we proclaim our thanks to you:
The One who could heal our brokenness,
the One who could teach us self-control,
the One who could lead us out
of all the places our feet have strayed,
Jesus came to live among us,
leaving the starry band of glory behind.
Loving your mercy for us
more than his own life,
he willingly chose to go to the cross,
that we might receive your gracious gift
of life forever with you.
As we remember the freedom he offered to all,
as we celebrate the gift of life which comes to us
here at this Table of love, we speak of that mystery called faith:
As you pour out your Spirit
upon this Table abundant with the gifts
of the Bread and of the Cup,
shed your grace upon your children
gathered in this place.
Gorged on the moldy meals
offered to us by sin and death,
we forget those who hunger for freedom.
But eating the Bread of life,
we can go, carrying a harvest of hope to them.
Intoxicated on the world's sour grapes,
we forget the injustices imposed
upon our sisters and brothers.
But drinking from the Cup of grace,
we can go where you intend to go,
inviting everyone we meet to join us
in your new creation of peace, mercy, and wonder.
And when all that holds us back is gone,
when the freedom of your eternity is given to us,
we will gather with brotherhood and sisterhood
of believers of every time and place,
who have been crowned with your goodness and love,
forever singing your praises,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.
© 2016 Thom M. Shuman