Sunday, December 25, 2016

New Years Day - ABC

Texts: Ecclesiastes 3:1-13; Psalm 8; Revelation 21:1-6a; Matthew 25:31-46

Call to Worship
We wake up in the morning
and see the sunrise:
how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
We are warmed by the sun;
the rain cleanses all creation:
how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
We watch the moon light up the night,
we fall asleep to the lullabies of the stars:
how majestic is Your name in all the earth!

Prayer of the Day
You call us
     to be Your children;
You gift us
     to serve all people;
You send us to proclaim
     Your good news to all:
Glory to You,
Creator of all that is new!

When you are lonely,
     we have a chance to visit you;
when you are hungry,
     we can share our food with you;
when you are naked,
     we can give you
          the clothes off our backs;
when you are sick,
     we can nurse you back to health:
Glory to You,
Savior of the world!
 
You whisper in our ears,
     so we may praise You;
You fill our souls,
     so we may serve You;
You lead us into the kingdom,
     so we may live with You:
Glory to You,
Spirit of Gentleness!
 
Glory to You,
God in Community, Holy in One!
Hear us as we pray as Jesus teaches us,
(The Lord's Prayer)
Call to Reconciliation
Will this year be a time of new life, new ways for us - or will we continue to live the same old way? Let us confess to our God our failures, as well as our hopes, as we begin this year.

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
    
We admit that we always find the time to fill our stomachs, God of every moment, but not our souls. We spend hours watching television, but not the wonders of Your creation. We arrange outings with our friends, yet ignore Your invitation to sit and talk. We make resolutions to change every aspect of our lives, except for that which pertains to You.
    
Forgive us, God of Glory, and make us new. In the moments to come this year, remind us that if there is a time for everything, than we do have those moments for grace, for hope, for joy, for a relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
It's over - last year is gone. Our words, our thoughts, our deeds are in the past. Today, we begin anew. Today, and every day, God offers us life and hope.
Here, now, forever - we are forgiven and healed. This year, let us live as such people. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication/Offering
May we not keep our blessings, but give them away, so that others might learn new dance steps, so children might be fed, so bridges might be built, and so grace may flow to all in Your world.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of new beginnings be with you.
And also with you.
People of God, lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the One who makes all things, including us, new.
Children of God, sing praises to the One who gives you new life.
We praise the One who continues to surprise us with hope and grace.
 
Before there was time,
Hope of Eternity,
You took a moment
     to bring creation out of chaos.
You took time to create mountains,
     and carve deep canyons;
You made the time to fill the oceans
     and to plant food for all creatures;
You found the time to plow rivers
     to water a Garden,
     and to shape us in Your image.
But we did not have time for You,
          preferring to spend our days chasing sin,
     and our nights seeking death.
You always made time for us,
speaking of Your hopes
     through the prophets,
sharing Your dreams
     through the angels.
Then, one day You decided
to do a new thing,
becoming one of us
as Jesus become human
to bring hope and grace to us.
 
So we join with the saints in heaven,
and our sisters and brothers on earth,
who sing of Your glory:
 
Holy, holy, holy, God of every time and space.
All creation sings of Your majesty and glory.
Hosanna in the highest!
 
Blessed is the One who gives us the water of life.
Hosanna in the highest!
 
Holy are You, Keeper of our days,
and blessed is Jesus Christ,
who is with us in every season of life.
He comes, not to judge us,
     but to forgive us;
He comes, not to cast us out,
     but to gather us into
     the new Jerusalem;
He comes, not to watch us suffer,
     but to die on the cross,
           that we might live with You.
 
As we give thanks for his life,
and remember his death and resurrection,
we would talk of that mystery which is our faith:
 
Christ died, so sin would have no more power over us;
Christ rose, destroying death's grip on us;
when the new heaven and new earth come,
     Christ will make all things, including us, new.

In these sacred moments,
send Your Spirit
to sanctify the bread and the cup,
and to open the hearts
of those who approach the Table.
As the Bread of life touches our lips,
     may we be strengthened to serve
     those whom the world has forgotten.
As the Cup of salvation quenches our thirst for You,
     may we be enabled to bring relief
     to those who wander
     the desert wastes of our society.
 
And when all time ends,
and all people are gathered
around Your Table in Heaven,
we will rejoice in Your presence,
and sing your praises forever:
One God, Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit, now and forever.  Amen.

Sending
Let us go from this time of silence and song, to be God's voice,
to speak out for the oppressed of our communities and world.
Let us go from this time of community, to be Jesus' faithful,
to feed the hungry, to visit the sick, to be a friend to the prisoner.
Let us go from this sacred space, to share the peace of the Spirit,
to work for reconciliation in our neighborhoods,
to put an end to violence and death as solutions for fear.

(c) 2015 Thom M. Shuman