in the shelter of God’s love and hope.
It is good to be here with folks we know well, as well as with new friends,
joining with all of God’s beloved, sisters and brothers of Jesus.
It is good to be here, where we can hear God’s voice,
calling us to be eyewitnesses to the Spirit’s presence.
Prayer of the Day
We could build grand edifices
crafted out of our opinions
of how you should act and be,
God of mountains,
or we could gather up
all the broken dreams
of the most vulnerable
to build a more just world.
who have been pushed aside
by those climbing to the top,
Dawn of Hope,
or we could hear songs
of reconciliation and hope
in the lingua franca
of all who seek peace.
We could avert our gaze
from those who have fingers
pointed at them because
of where they come from,
Spirit of love,
not who they are,
or we could catch
a glimpse of you
coming down from the
closet shelf where we put you
so you can be with us.
When we could stay on the mountaintop,
take us by the hand to lead us into service,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we pray as we have been taught,
(The Lord’s Prayer)
Call to Reconciliation
We wait for God to show up, and while waiting, do not notice the words we might have spoken, the good we could have done. Let us confess to our God, who waits to surround us with grace and hope, as we pray together, saying,
You can take all our foolishness, Creative God, and make us wise enough to see you among us. You take the shards of our broken lives to recast us into a faithful people. You speak gently to us, so we can listen to your dreams of our seeing each person as your beloved, even as Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, sees us through such eyes.
Assurance of Pardon
On mountaintops and in valleys, in moments when our lives are shrouded and as well as when we reflect Christ’s light, God is with us, declaring we are the beloved!
In this moment, in every moment, may we glimpse the grace of God which comes and transfigures our lives. Thanks be to God, we are forgiven! Amen.
And also with you.
Let us open our hearts to God who gathers us at this Table.
We delight in the grace which fills our lives.
May we offer our praise to the One who calls us the beloved.
We give thanks to our God of holiness.
You took the shards of chaos,
Repairer of all brokenness
and transfigured them into
mountains where we could draw closer to you,
valleys where we could serve your people,
bright stars of each morning.
These gifts, and so many more, were offered
to the children of dust you call Beloved,
but we joined death and sin
in their conspiracy to make themselves
more important than you in our lives.
You waited for us to return to you,
sending invitation after invitation
through men and women of every age,
but we continued to plot,
listening only to sin’s foolish words.
When you could no longer wait,
you sent Jesus to us,
so we might take shelter in you.
With those who have seen your glory,
with those who hunger for your grace,
we join in praising your name:
Holy, holy, holy are you, God who offers shelter.
We join all creation in glorifying you.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the Morning Star of salvation.
Hosanna in the highest!
You alone are holy, God who laughs
at our foolish posturing,
and blessed is Jesus Christ,
who came to tell everyone of your love.
He could have remained seated in glory,
but chose to walk with us
down this path called life.
He could have remained on the mountaintop,
but came down to minister
to all in despair’s empty valley.
He could have simply told us
how we should live,
but demonstrated genuine love
by dying on the cross, so
death’s power might be broken
by the grace of the resurrection.
As we rejoice in your heart’s Beloved,
as we would listen to him with our souls,
we speak of that transfiguring mystery called faith:
Christ died, breaking sin’s power forever;
Christ was raised, as love conquered death;
Christ will return, to gather all the beloved to God.
Overshadow us with your grace, we pray,
as the Holy Spirit is poured out on us
and the gifts of this holy table.
As you give us the broken bread
to strengthen our service to others,
may we offer hop to all
surrounded by injustice.
As your cup of life nourishes us,
may we see each person,
not as a stranger or outsider,
but part of your beloved family.
And when the waiting is ended,
when the stars of mornings and evenings
shine the way to your holy feast,
we will join our sisters and brothers
in forever singing your praises,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.
God sends us from this experience of worship
to serve all those around us.
We will go to take the light of hope
into the shadowed corners in our midst.
Jesus, the Beloved, invites us to join him
in everyday life, in everyday service.
We will go to be blessed by all those
overlooked by the world.
Glory’s Spirit takes us by the hand
to lead us down path of humility.
We will enter into the mists of mistrust,
so we can offer hope to many.
© 2017 Thom M. Shuman