Sunday, September 10, 2017

Alternate texts liturgy with communion for September 17, 2017 (Pentecost 15/Trinity 14/Proper 19/Ordinary 24 - A)

Texts: Genesis 50:15-21; Psalm 103:1-13; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35

Call to Worship
Disciples and doubters,
faithful and feckless,
we are God's,
who welcomes us all.
Followers and those who lag behind,
open-hearted and close-minded,
we are the Lord's,
who is always patient with us.
Reconcilers and rabble-rousers,
foolish and fearless,
we are the Spirit's,
who encourages us in every moment.

Prayer of the Day
You are our forgiveness,
Gracious God,
not because you should,
but because it is what you desire:
   to offer us that compassion
   which welcomes all
   who have been tossed aside.

You are our justice,
Brother of the forgotten,
welcoming all those
   weakened by oppression,
   hungering for hope,
   who have been judged but never heard.

You are our healing,
Spirit of comfort,
bringing peace where
   we would do violence;
offering hope to all
   we choose to despise;
remembering everyone
   we have forgotten.

God in Community, Holy in One,
our Forgiveness, our Justice, our Healing,
hear us as we lift our prayer
as we have been taught,
(The Lord's Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
We do not have to beg God to forgive us, but simply confess our foolish words, our mistaken acts, our grudging hearts.  Please join me as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   We could have mercy, Compassion's heart, but we judge others by those standards we cannot even meet.  We could welcome all around us as sisters and brothers, but hold them at contempt's length away from us.  We could have patience with family and friends, but tap our feet and drum our fingers until they do what we want.
   In your forgiveness, Tender God, you wipe the board clean of all our poor accounting.  You don't deal off the bottom of the deck to us, but turn up the ace of grace for us.  You gather up all our foolishness and hurl it beyond the edge of the universe, so the healing you intend for us through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, will take place.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Here is the good news.  God does not hold a grudge against us.  God lets go of anger to welcome us as sisters and brothers of Jesus.
We will not be afraid, but will open our hearts and lives to God's compassionate grace.  Thanks be to God, we are forgiven!  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
May these simple gifts offer a welcome to the friendless, a meal for the hungry, shelter for those in disasters, and hope for all who are despised in our times.  In the name of Jesus, we pray.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of compassion be with you.
And also with you.
Children of grace, lift your hearts to God.
We bring them to the One who has mercy on us.
Join in glad songs of thanksgiving, God's people.
We lift our voices in praise and hope.

We bless you, O God,
for you would not welcome chaos,
but brought forth all creation:
   summer breezes over beaches,
   leaves changing colors in autumn,
   brittle stars for crisp winter nights,
   butterflies over spring's flowers.
You crowned all this goodness
with those created in your image,
so we could be with you forever,
   but we had no patience for your hopes,
   choosing the gifts offered by temptation.
You sent the prophets to us,
hoping their words would help us
to realize the harm our lives caused,
   but we continued to despise
   your steadfast love and mercy.
So you came to us in Jesus,
that we might not live for ourselves,
but live for your and others.

Realizing your intentions for us
are compassion and grace,
we lift glad songs of praise:

Living, we seek to follow you;
following, we share our lives with others;
sharing, we receive unexpected gifts.

Blessed is the One who is patient with us.
Hosanna in the highest!

We bless you, O God, for your
compassion flows from your holiness
and is shared with us
through Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
   he showed us how to serve others;
   he poured your words of hope
   into those despised by others;
   he gave us the model
   for all who would be faithful;
   he revealed your compassion
   for all of you children
   as he was brought out of
   the desperate grasp of death.

As we gather at your Table of mercy
to feast on your steadfast love,
we proclaim that mystery we call faith:

Christ died, trusting in your love;
Christ was raised, your resurrection grace
   entrusted with him;
Christ will come, so where we live or die,
   we are yours forever.

We bless you, O God, for you
pour out your Spirit on
the gifts of the bread and the cup
and on your children in this place.
Here, may the broken bread
heal us so we may
   forgive those who hurt us,
   even as we are forgiven by you.
Here, may the cup of compassion
humble us so we may
   serve everyone we meet
   with grace and hope.

And when all time has ended
and you gather us at the Lamb's Table
with our sisters and brothers,
we will sing of your love and mercy forever,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

Whether we believe or whether we struggle,
we are God's.
Let us go out to welcome
the doubters and disciples around us.
Whether we live or whether we die,
we are the Lord's.
Let us go to embrace all
who have been abandoned by the world.
Whether we are brave or quake at the knees,
we are the Spirit's.
Let us go to encourage
our sisters and brothers who struggle.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman