Saturday, September 09, 2017

Liturgy with communion for September 17, 2017 (Pentecost 15/Trinity 14/Proper19/Ordinary 24 - A

Texts: Exodus 14:19-31; Psalm 114; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35
 
Call to Worship
In sacred times of word, wonder, and awe,
in ordinary days of work and play:

in every moment, God is with us.
Whether we are stuck in doubt's mud,
or standing on faith's shoreline:

in every place, God is with us.
In those who teach us
     and those who trouble us;

 in those who surprise us,
     and those who forgive us:

in every person, God is with us.

Prayer of the Day

When we look over our shoulders
at fear shadowing us today,
you go before us into tomorrow,
     making a path through
     the sea of yesterday's doubts.
When our legs tremble
from the effort of standing up
for what you hope for all creation,
you are at our side,
     offering your heart's strength.
Cloud of Grace,
we offer our love to you.

When we turn our hearts
into deserts of stony bitterness,
you transform them
     into oases of joy.
When we come up
with all sorts of rules
for those who come to us
seeking to find you,
you tear up the list,
     stretching wide your arms
     in welcoming grace.
Servant of all,
we offer our lives to you.


When we would clasp
old worries to our hearts,
you open our eyes to that hope
     which paves the path ahead of us.
When we spend each day
consumed with doubts and fears,
you remind us that this day
     is the time to honor God,
     by serving God's children.
Mist of Mercy,
we offer our hearts to you.

God in Community, Holy in One,
as you are all to us,
so we would offer all we are to you,
even as we pray as Jesus taught us,
(the Lord's Prayer)


Call to Reconciliation

As we stand before God, we think of all the ways we bicker with others, all those times we have not shown mercy and grace to those around us. Let us bow our hearts and confess our sin to God, as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
It is never easy for us to confess
but deep down inside, we know that
     graced,
          we have trouble
          being grace-full to others;
     forgiven,
          we are eager to judge
          and punish all who hurt us;
     freed,
          we find ways to put restrictions
          on people we fear.


Forgive us, Servant God. You show mercy more often than we deserve; you pardon us more times than we can count.  And why? Because we are the Lord's - sisters and brothers of Jesus Christ, who died and lived again, so we might live beyond death
with you.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon

God's hand of mercy is stretched out to us, making a way through all that threatens us, to touch us with grace and hope.
We stand before our God, singing praise to the One who turns our despair into joy, our fears into faith. Amen.


Prayer of Dedication/Offering
We have a variety of intentions for offering these gifts to you, Loving God, but whatever the reason, whatever might be our purpose, we trust you will use them to bring healing to brokenness, hope to despair, and welcome to the forgotten.  In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

May the God of hope be with you!
And also with you!
God, our God, leads us through the flood of fears
into the future of wonder and hope.

We open our hearts to the One who journeys
with us, in the past, in the present, into tomorrow.

God goes before us, preparing the Table piled high
with grace and peace.

We sing songs of glad thanksgiving to the One
who fills us with goodness and mercy.


You stretched out your hand,
Cloud of Glory,
parting a way through chaos,
so your goodness might come forth.
You looked, and laughed out loud,
     as seas ran forth in joy,
     mountains played leapfrog,
     and hills hopscotched with valleys.
Creation became a sanctuary
for those created in your image.
But we decided to live for ourselves,
     every day becoming one in which
          we could turn your dreams to ashes,
     your overflowing love into
          dust bowls of despair.
Out of pity, you sent the prophets,
those pillars of faithfulness,
     but we wrangled with their gentle words.
So, you sent Jesus,
to lead us through evil's deeps,
to that freedom found only
in your kingdom of life.


Therefore, on this day,
when we stand in your grace
around your Table of life,
we join our voices with all
who offer praise to the One who saves:


Living, we serve others in God's name;
serving, we die unto ourselves;
dying, we are given life eternal with God.

Blessed is the One who comes forgiving us 
more times than we can count.
Hosanna in the highest!


Holy are you, Cloud of Joy,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Servant.
When we were weak in faith,
     he came to strengthen us
     with your everlasting hope;
when we were slaves to sin,
     he came to lead us into
     the promised land of mercy;
when our hearts became like flint,
     he softened them with compassion;
when we could only focus on ourselves,
     he came to die for us.

As we gather at your Table,
we remember his love for us,
his patience with our failings,
his hope in our willingness to follow,
his trust in that mystery we call faith:


Baptized in Christ, we would live for him;
forgiven through Christ, we would emulate him;
putting on Christ, we wait for his return.
Alleluia! Amen!



Creator God,
send your Spirit in peace
upon us and these simple gifts
of the bread and of the cup.
As we share the bread,
we share the presence of Christ,
     strengthened to go out
     with forgiveness in our hearts.
As we pass the cup,
we share Christ's Spirit
with our neighbors,
     and are called to welcome all
     as our sisters and brothers,
          especially those held captive
          by the bitterness of the world.

As you gathered your children
to lead them to that promised land,
so you will bring all your children
from the very ends of time itself,
to seat us around your heart,
where we will feast on your grace,
lifting our hearts to praise you forever:
God our Maker,
Christ our Brother,
Spirit our Compassion,
one God, now and forever. Amen.


Sending
In every person, God is with us.
We will welcome God in the family we know all too well,
and in the strangers we will meet in the coming days.
In every choice, Jesus is with us.
We will welcome the Christ who serves us unexpectedly,
and in those who will offer us forgiveness.
In every moment, the Spirit is with us.
We will welcome the Spirit who calls us to live
as well as calling us to give of ourselves without question.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman