Saturday, July 01, 2017

Liturgy with communion for July 9, 2017 (Pentecost 5/Trinity 4/Proper 9/Ordinary 14 - A)

Texts:  Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67; Psalm 45:10-17; Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Call to Worship
Come to our God, all who hunger for life:
for it is God who nourishes us at the Table of Grace
Come to our God, all who are worn out by life:
for it is God who provides the rest we need.
Come to our God, all who are weighed down:
for it is our God who carries our burdens with us.

Prayer of the Day
Eternal God:
you sing a song
of silence
to our noisy hearts,
inviting us to still
our fidgeting souls,
and find our peace
in your cupped hands
which cradle us.

Jesus Christ,
Wanderer of the kingdom:
you are called
to reveal God to us
and do so in
    the tenderness of your touch,
    the gentleness of your words,
    the goodness of your heart,
    the peace of your shared yoke.

Spirit of Rest:
your childlike presence
opens our eyes
to the wonders of the world.
As we hand you
our anger, our hurt, our sin,
may our burdens
become our songs of joy.

May we find our rest, our hope, in you,
God in Community, Holy in One
even as we pray as Jesus taught us, saying,
(The Lord's Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
Fretful, agitated, longing for more and more of this and that, we spend our lives in a never-ending, never-fulfilled search for that which satisfies.  But Christ knows that we will only find the end of our journey in God, and so invites us to that peaceful place known as God's heart.  May we let go of our burdens of anger, hurt and sin so we can find our rest.

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   We are so skilled at being in control, at taking charge, Sabbath-Taking God, that we are not very good at resting.  We think we have to be constantly busy, so we have no time for you.  We are trained to be extremely productive, and so create our harried, stress-filled lives.
   Forgive us, Shalom Giving God.  Help us to let go of our distractions, so you can act in us; calm our creaturely activity, so you can re-create us; help us to follow Jesus, not only into discipleship, but into our rest with you.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
It sounds so simple, we think it is too simple.  But which is the burden you would choose: hate or love; anger or forgiveness; pain or peace?  God invites us to receive the gifts which make it possible to have lives of faithful obedience.
This is the good news:  God forgives us and takes our burdens from us.  We would let go of them and welcome hope, joy, grace into our lives.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
You invite us to offer our pain, our burdens, our troubles to you, and we do so easily.  Yet when you challenge us to offer our abundance for others, we resist and grumble.  Help us to be as welcoming, as caring, as generous as you, Loving God, as we share our gifts with you and the world.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
The Lord be with you.
and also with you.
People of God, lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the One who invites us to rest in the heart of the Trinity.
People of God, give thanks to the One who offers you rest.
We bring our thanksgiving to God, who sings to us of peace.

With hearts filled with joy,
we bring our praise to you,
God of Rest.
On the first morning of creation,
you whispered of peace,
and the cacophony of chaos
was stilled.
You walked softly
through the grasses of the earth
and all creation
sang of your goodness.
Created to find our peace with you,
our fretful desire to be in control
led us into a nomadic existence
of rebellion against you.
Prophets spoke and angels sang
to invite us home,
but our stubborn pride
only grew stronger.
When the burden of our sin
became too great for your heart,
you sent Jesus to carry it for us.

With those who have found their rest in you,
with those who long for their burdens to be lifted,
we join in singing your praise:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God of the weary.
All creation celebrates your name in all generations.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who yokes himself to us.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, God of our footloose hearts,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son,
our Lord and Savior.
Watching our restless striving
for more and more,
he modeled the life
of self-denial and service;
seeing us weighed down
with the burdens of sin and death,
he picked up his cross,
carried it to Calvary,
where he died to give us life.

As we remember his life and his rest in you,
as we celebrate the good news of lightened burdens,
we speak of that mystery we call faith:

Christ came, that we may have life;
Christ died, so that the burden of death might be lifted from us;
Christ was raised to new life, so grace might be revealed to every generation;
Christ will return, to yoke us to God through all eternity.

Pour out your Spirit of rest and shalom
upon this bread and this cup,
that these gifts might nourish us.
As we find our rest in you,
may we become restless
in service to your children;
as we engage with you
in solitude,
may we build a community
of justice and righteousness;
as we listen to your silence,
may we speak out
for all whose voices
are ignored by the world.

Then, when we gather with all
who have found their rest with you
at the Table of the Lamb,
we will sing our praise for all eternity,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

We leave with the presence of the Holy,
so we may show others the way to grace and hope.
We leave with Jesus, who draws living water for us,
so we can share it in the heat of summer,
and in the bitterness of winter.
We leave with the Spirit, who teaches us how to listen,
so we may hear the cries of the lonely
and the voices of all who are ignored.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman