Monday, September 10, 2007

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 19 - Year C

Call to Worship
The foolish say,
'there is no God.'
We come, trusting in Jesus,
the face, the voice, the presence
of the God who loves us.
The scoffers of our age ask,
'why do you seek after God?'
We come, in this time,
because God's grace has
spilled over in our lives.
The hopeless around us think,
'no one cares about me.'
We come, in this time, to this place,
because Jesus has found us
and brought us home.

Prayer of the Day
When we are short-sighted
and think we can't see you,
you show us a mother
cradling her sick child.
When we are anxious,
certain you don't care about us,
you are confident enough
to trust us with your grace.
When we are cynical,
sure that nothing matters,
you are optimistic enough
to become one of us.
God, you are our Hope.

You sweep the streets
of the world,
to uncover the people
we consider to be trash.
You shine your grace
into sin's shadows
to find us when
we have lost our way.
You would leave us
to go find the sister
we left behind.
Jesus, you are our Joy.

When we walk
the dusty desert of desolation,
you refresh us
with showers of grace.
When our lives
lie in ruined rubble,
you come and build
a foundation for us
out of love and faith.
Spirit, you are our Life.

God in Community, Holy in One,
our Hope, our Joy, our Life,
hear us as we pray as Jesus teaches,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Which of us has not hurt someone this week? Which of us has not spoken (or thought) ill of a sister or brother in Christ? Which of us has failed to do good when given the chance? Which of us - all of us and each of us! But Christ came to save people just like us, so I invite you to join me as we offer our prayers to God, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
Although we believe we are experts at faithfulness, Holy God, we must confess we are unskilled workers at doing good. Too often, we turn a deaf ear to the cries of
people we have judged to be fools. We easily scoff at those we believe have nothing to teach us or share with us.

How foolish, Searching God, how foolish we are! Forgive us, and restore us to your goodness. Then, send us forth to search for all who sit in the shadowed corners of our world, yearning for someone to come and find them, even as Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, came to find us.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Our actions sometimes show we do not know God. Our words and lives show we do not understand God's hopes for us. But with utmost patience, God sets aside our foolishness, and fills us with mercy.
Mingled with faith and love, grace is poured into our sin-parched souls, giving us new life, restoring us as God's children. Thanks be to God. Amen.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman