Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Baptism of the Lord - C

Call to Worship
God's voice speaks to our chaos,
echoing in our empty hearts.
gathering us together
to remember our baptism
and to feast at the Table.
God's voice flows like
the living waters of grace,
our new name, 'Beloved,'
resounding in our souls.
God's voice stirs
the waters of baptismal hope,
calling us to be bearers of peace
to a world of broken hopes.

Prayer of the Day
You speak, Holy God,
and your voice
silences the chorus of chaos;
you whisper,
toppling the giant redwoods,
and shattering our hardened hearts;
you laugh,
and little children
play hopscotch in the kingdom.
And we cry, "Glory!"

You speak, Word of Life,
and the waters of the Jordan
embrace you in grace;
you call to us,
your hope shimmering
like stars in our darkness;
you sing,
and we join hands with you
in the dance of resurrection.
And we cry, "Glory!"

You speak, Spirit of Wonder,
and we are given
a new name;
you cry out to us
that we have nothing to fear,
and we are filled with peace;
you shout your joy for us,
and we know we are loved.
And we cry, "Glory!"

Speak to us,
God in Community, Holy in One,
as we lift our voices to you, praying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
To a world of brokenness, God speaks of healing. To a time of confusion, God tells of that future grounded in love. To a people longing for redemption, God comes to bring us home. Let us confess how we have not heard God speaking to us, as we pray, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
God of Spirit and fire: baptized, we have not done a god job as your people. We are drawn to the shadows of sin, hoping you will not see our foolishness. We fall into the arms of temptation, letting it spin us until we are out of control. We selfishly cling to your hope and grace, convinced that others will misuse
these gifts.

Forgive us, Bearer of Grace. Touch us with your Spirit, so we may be restored to new life; touch us with your grace, so we may offer forgiveness to all people; touch us with your peace, so we might be healers to our world. This we pray in the name of the One who went into the waters of baptism to cleanse us of sin, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
We expect the fire of judgment,
but are given the Spirit of grace;
we expect God to yell at us,
but we are called by a new name;
we expect God to stay angry,
but we are handed the dove of peace.
This is the good news for us!
Thanks be to God. Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of glory be with you!
And also with you!
People of God, offer your hearts to God.
We give them to the One
who comes to redeem us.
Sing songs of praise and joy,
Children of God.
We lift our voices to the One
who journeys with us through
the waters of baptism and who feeds
us at the Table of hope.

With the waters of baptism
reminding us of your love for us,
Heaven's Voce,
we lift our praises to you.
Before you breathed the Word
which tamed chaos,
you named us your children,
heirs of all the goodness
you desired for us.
You sang to us in Eden's fields,
inviting us to glorify you forever.
Yet, we walked into the shadows
of the world,
leaving the songs behind.
You persisted in your hopes for us,
knowing that where
no life is anticipated,
no hope is expected,
no future is seen,
there you gather us up
to carry us into your kingdom.

So, with angel choirs in every region,
with shepherds who caroled a homeless family,
with those who came home singing from exile,
we lift our voices in joy and hope:


Holy are you, God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Bearer of grace and Singer of truth.
When we lost our voice to sin,
you sent your Word
to teach us new hymns of joy and praise.
When our feet were muddy
from playing in life's puddles,
he stepped into the Jordan,
to make us clean.
When our ears were filled
with the lies of the world,
he spoke the truth
of your hopes for us.
When we were about to die,
he came running to us,
defeating sin and death,
marking us as your own
with the kiss of the Holy Spirit.

As we remember Christ's baptism,
as we recall his life and ministry,
as we follow him through death
into the resurrection of new life,
we proclaim that mystery called faith:

Memorial Acclamation

Holy Spirit,
fill us with the Bread of forgiveness
and the Cup of hope.
Flow through us with baptismal waters,
so we might become
a river of reconciliation;
grant us your peace,
so we might carry it to others;
set our hope on Christ,
so we might build such hop
in our neighborhoods and communities.

And then, when the river of time
stops flowing,
and we gather around your Table,
we will join our voices as one people,
singing "Glory!"
to God, Child, and Spirit,
God in Community, Holy in One.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman