Sunday, October 07, 2007

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 23 - Year C

Call to Worship
Whether we live in an apartment or a house;
if we reside in the suburbs or the city:
God tells us to pray for the places
where we live.
Whether we are exiles or prisoners for the gospel;
if we are young, old, insider, outcast:
God says, when you search for me,
you will find me.
Whether we have been wandering and lost;
or if we have lived in the same place all our lives:
God says, i will gather you from all your places
and bring you home.

Prayer of the Day
Awesome Creator:
you bring us together in this sanctuary,
calling us from all those places
where we live and work and play,
so we can recognize you
in faces lined with wisdom;
so we can hear you in the questions
of the smallest child;
so we can sit up and notice
all that you do in our midst.

Cradler of Grace:
you speak your words,
so we might hear the sighs
of the outsiders of our world.
You walk the borderlands
of our joys and sorrows,
so we might embrace your healing.
You enter our hearts,
despite our best efforts
to close them to your presence.

Enduring Spirit:
when we are tempted
to imprison the good news
with our politics, our fears,
our prejudices, our doubts,
whisper that Word
which shatters all chains,
and sets us free to be God's people.

God in Community, Holy in One,
we pray as Jesus, our Brother and Savior,
has taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Despite our foolish and angry words, God continues to speak of mercy to us. Despite our best efforts to be faithless in our living, God remains faithful in keeping the promise to forgive us and restore us to wholeness. Let us confess our sins to God, that God's hope and grace might endure in our brokenness.

Unison Prayer of Confession
God beyond borders, we know that on our way to worship, we may not have noticed the exiles in our neighborhoods. We admit how easy it is for us to wander down the street of temptation, pausing at the corner of easy choices. We fall silent in the presence of those who speak words of anger and hate. We tolerate a culture that suspects all who are different from us.

Have mercy on us, O God, for surely you take the side of justice. Open our hearts to all the wonders you are performing in our lives. You gift us with those of other cultures, that our lives might be blessed. You send us friends out of places we least expect, that our community might be enriched. You call us to be generous with our blessings, so others might be graced with the gift of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is observed

Assurance of Pardon
God challenges us, God encourages us. God confronts us, and God accepts us. God works wonders in our midst, and gives us the eyes, the hearts, the souls to see such miracles.
God forgives us, God guides us through the wilderness of the world, God leads us home. Thanks be to God. Amen.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman