Monday, June 25, 2007

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 8 - Year C

Call to Worship
We would follow you,
Lord of our days . . .
but we need to go
do the shopping for vacation first.

We would follow you,
Lord of love . . .
but we forgot about
our friends visiting this week.

We would follow you,
Lord of our hearts . . .
but could we do so
next week after the Fourth?*
We would follow you,
Lord of every moment . . .
We will follow you
(* the Fourth is a national holiday
in the States. For those not observing,
you could use the phrase:
but could we do so
next week after work?

Prayer of the Day
Inspiring God,
Giver of words:
you speak
and chaos is transformed
into the starry skies of night;
you whisper
and the wind leaps
to caress our cheeks
on a summer's evening;
you smile
and all creation
rejoices in delight.

Jesus Christ,
Uncomfortable Word:
you stand with society's castoffs
outside the halls of respectability;
you break bread with sinners
and give them the seats of honor
at your Table;
you walk the darkened hallways of death,
comforting those who are taking their last steps;
and you call to us, saying,
"Follow me."

Holy Spirit,
Sifter of words:
by your touch,
our anger can dissolve
into gentleness;
by your peace,
our enemies
can become friends for life;
by your joy,
our envious spirits
can become generous hearts.

God in Community, Holy in One,
set us free to be your servants,
even as we pray as Jesus teaches, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Called to freedom, we think we have a license
to do as we please, whenever we want. But the
call is one to a life of service to others, of giving
ourselves completely to God, and trusting in the
One who has set us free. Let us confess how we
have misused our freedom, as we pray,

Unison Prayer of Confession
Set free for freedom, Redeeming God, we find
ourselves tied down by sin, by fear, by doubt.
Given a chance to commend our friends, we
condemn them with our gossip. Our addiction
to winning at all costs, keeps us from engaging
in costly service. Guided by our passions, we
make ourselves sick by gorging on the fruit of
the flesh.

Forgive us, High and Holy One. Call us to
freedom, so we may serve others, and not focus
on ourselves. Set us free, so we may walk in
your way, placing our feet in those invisible
footprints of obedience and faith created by
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, to lead
us to life with you.

Silence may be kept.

Assurance of Pardon
Hear the good news: by God's grace, we
are set free, so we choose to follow Jesus
and to live by the Spirit.
Guided by the Spirit, we can feast on that
Fruit which strengthens us to follow Jesus
and to serve others. Thanks be to God.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of freedom be with you.
And also with you.
Children of God, lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the One who sets us free
for lives of service and hope.
God's Children, let us give thanks
to the Lord our God.
We will sing our songs of freedom
to the One who calls us to new life.

Your voice thundered,
Holy One of Creation,
and silenced the fractious voices of chaos.
As the sun, moon and stars
light our days and nights,
so your love illumines our souls.
When our fears
threaten to flood our lives,
you make a path for us
to your heart.
All this you do,
out of your love for us,
yet we forgot all your wonders,
and stretched out our hands
to grasp the rotten fruit of the world.
You sent the prophets
to help us remember your great acts,
but we dismissed their words
as being of no value to us.
Then, to keep your promise
never, never to forsake us,
you sent Jesus Christ,
to put our feet back
on the Holy Way.

Therefore, trusting that you will hear us,
we join our voices with the chorus of heaven,
and our sisters and brothers around us,
singing our glad songs to you:


Holy are you, God of all generations,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Savior.
When he could have remained safe
by your side in glory,
he took the risk to follow your call
to become one of us.
When he could have ignored
our cries for help,
he opened his ears and his heart,
to bring us words of healing and hope.
When he could have pointed
to his miracles and wonders,
he spoke of your grace,
and called us to service.
When he could have ignored
sin and death to return to you,
he picked them up
and carried them to Calvary,
turning and renouncing them forever,
as he strode out of the empty tomb,
into the new life waiting for each of us.

So as we remember what God has done for us
in the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus,
we speak of that faith which is a mystery:

Memorial Acclamation

Pour out your Spirit
upon the gifts of the Table,
and upon your children
who have come to feast.
As we taste the Bread of Life,
may we be filled with that freedom
which makes us servants.
As we drink from the Cup of Grace,
may we be nourished
by the Fruit of the Spirit.
Then, we will go forth
to follow where you lead us:
to bring justice and mercy
into communities crumbling by hate;
to bring hope into those neighborhoods
where despair has moved;
to bring peace to a broken world
governed by violence and war.

Then, when all time has come to an end,
and we gather with our sisters and brothers
from every moment and every place,
we will sing our glad songs to you,
God in Community, Holy in One.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman