Sunday, January 29, 2017

Liturgy w/communion for February 5, 2017 (Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany/Ordinary 5 - A)

Texts:  Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 112:1-10; 1 Corinthians 2:1-16; Matthew 5:13-20

Call to Worship
Called to be light,
we would carry God's hope into
the shadows of the world.

Called to be salt,
we would enhance the lives
of those around us, with joy.

Called to live in God's reality,
we would welcome everyone
as sisters and brothers in faith.

Prayer of the Day

When we see the hungry
     and refuse to pass them by;
when we humbly notice
     those walking shoeless
          in winter
     before we repair the holes
          in our souls,
we will worship you truly,
God of the Feast and the Fast.

When we think the line workers
     are as valuable as the CEOs;
when we give our
     in-law apartment
     to a homeless family,
we will follow you faithfully,
Servant of the oppressed.

When we mend fences
          with our siblings
     and build bridges
           to our enemies;
when our cries for justice
     are louder than a
we will proclaim your hopes,
Spirit of justice.

Then we will be like
a royal botanical garden
watered by that grace
which never runs dry,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we pray as we are taught,
(The Lord's Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
This is what God hopes for us - that we will speak of the mistakes we make, so we might be forgiven.  Relying on the Spirit for the right words, let us pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
     It is true we break your commandments, God of our lives.  Much worse, we break your heart when we point the finger at those who are different from us; when we gossip about our friends and neighbors; when we think everything is all about us.
     Forgive us, Loving God, we pray.  We long to know your ways, so open our ears to hear those words we always ignore.  We search for you each day, so open our eyes to your wonders so we may see them anew.  We would believe in your promises, so fill our hearts with the presence of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
God will show us the way to God's realm. Gracious, merciful, and righteous is our God of salvation!
God rebuilds our lives, repairs our mistakes, fills our emptiness with hope and joy.  Thanks be to God, we are forgiven!  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
May the gifts we offer, Loving God, be used to fix breakfast for hungry children, to shower others with grace, and to patch the potholes poverty has created in the roadways of the kingdom.  This we ask in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of the Table be with you.
And also with you.
This is the fast God chooses for us as we come to the Feast,
that we empty our hearts in service, so they may be filled again.
This is the way God offers to us,
We will sing our praises as we journey to the realm of hope and love.

When you came proclaiming creation,
God of wonder,
you brought forth what no eye had seen:
     snowflakes drifting in a meadow,
     hawks floating lazily in the sky.
You whispered what no ear had heard:
     whale songs in the deeps,
     a coyote caroling the moon.
You established what no heart believed:
     justice for the most vulnerable,
     healing for the broken.
Day by day, you called us to your side,
but when evening fell, we slipped
     into sin's enticing shadows,
     dashing your dreams for us.
You sent the prophets to us,
relying on the Spirit
to give them the right words,
     but we did not notice
     as we practiced hubris.
So you asked Jesus to come,
dashing the hopes of the wicked.

So with those who do not fear
the good news which he brought,
we lift our voices in glad shouts of joy:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God who shows the way.
Creation joins in praises to you.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who knows your mind.
Hosanna in the highest!

He came proclaiming your salvation,
God of Holiness,
your Child of salt and light.
For those in the shadows
of mourning,
     he brought light.
For those whose lives
have crumbled around them,
     he rebuilds their hopes.
For those who are separated
by the chasms of fears,
     he stretches a bridge
     so they can meet each
     other in harmony.
For all who face death's
     he went into that unknown,
     coming forth to reassure us
that its power had been broken.

As we seek to seem him in our midst,
as we try to hear your Word of life,
we trust in that faith which is mysterious:

Christ died, showing us the way to death;
Christ was raised, showing us the way to new life;
Christ will come, to show us the way to your heart.

Here at the Table of grace,
the Holy Spirit proclaims life,
transforming these simple gifts
and the people gathered in this place.
As we taste the hope in the broken bread,
we would go to
     break the bonds of injustice,
     and free the oppressed.
As we are filled with the cup,
we would be light to the world,
     opening our pantry to the hungry,
     wrapping a naked child in our love.

And when God's time is fulfilled
and we are gathered together
with our sisters and brothers
in the kingdom of heaven,
we will not keep any thing bottled up,
but will shout our praises to you,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

To those huddled in the shadows of fear and worry,
God sends to be light.
To those whose lives and hopes have lost all flavor,
Jesus sends us to be salt.
To a society where love is tossed aside as easily as a food wrapper,
Spirit sends us to be faithful carers of everyone we meet.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman