Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reformation Day

Texts:  Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 46; Romans 3:19-28; John 8:31-36

Call to worship
L:  Be still!
P:  We come to quiet ourselves in this haven of holiness.
L:  Be still and know . . .
P:  we come to discern the Word which can set us free.
L:  Be still and know that God is
P:  our Hope, our Help, our Refuge, and our Redeemer.

Prayer of the Day
You break the cycle of wars,
   so we can be enriched by your peace;
you shatter the grip of violence,
   so we may be freed from our fears;
you plant your words deep within us,
carving on our hearts:
   you are mine.
You give us the Word we need,
so we might live in your grace,
God of creation.

You freely became one of us,
   so we would be liberated
   from our addiction to sin;
you take us by the hand
   to lead us out of our doubts;
you give us the words we need,
   so we can continue to share
    your good news of life,
Friend of the needy.

You pull us to safety
   when sin's waters swirl around our feet;
you surround us with serenity
   when doubts rattle our souls;
you give us words we need,
   whenever we wander onto the paths of trouble,
Spirit of holiness.

God in Community, Holy in One,
you give us the words we need,
to pray as Jesus has taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
We can no longer flatter ourselves about how good
we are.  Wee do not need to make grandstand plays
to get God's attention.  We only need to confess
our lives, as God makes good on the promises of
grace and mercy.  Join me as we ask God to reform
us into God's children, praying together,

Unison Prayer of Confession
   Heart of the Covenant: we have know your hopes
for us, and have disappointed every on of them. 
We have heard your words of faithfulness, and
forgotten every one of them.  We have seen your
dreams for us, and turned them into nightmares.
   Forgive us, Hope's Heart.  Silence every
blustering word, so we may hear your mercy.
Still every feeble attempt to justify ourselves,
so we may be made right with you.  Melt every
frozen heart, so we might be drenched in your
river of joy.  May Jesus Christ continue to live
in us, so we might be free to live forever with

Silence is kept

Assurance of pardon
L:  Be still and know the good news:  god has not forsaken
nor forgotten us, but redeems us.
P:  Why should we be afraid?  God is in our midst -
forgiving, restoring, sending.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L:  May God our refuge be with you!
P:  And also with you.
L:  People of God, lift your hearts to the One who created you.
P:  We offer them to God, who writes words of hope upon our hearts.
L:  God's children, come to the Table of grace.
P;  We will feast on the wonders of the God who loves us.

You took creation by the hand,
leading it out of chaos,
as the first morning dawned,
   mountains trembling in the mist,
   running rivers which gladdened your heart,
God of our hearts.
You created all this for us,
giving us peace and righteousness
to be our playmates in the fields of grace.
   But when we beheld the works
   of temptation, sin, and death,
   we became their slaves,
   writing their lies on our hearts.
Longing to be our God,
you sent the prophets
to call us to be your people,
but we refused to listen.
Finally, Jesus came, the bearer
of truth and freedom for all.

With those whose hearts are broken,
and those who long for your days of peace,
we sing our thanksgiving to you:

P:  Holy, holy, holy are you, God who forms our hearts.
    All creation finds refuge in your tender care.
    Hosanna in the highest!

    Blessed is the One who sets us free by your truth!
    Hosanna in the highest!

You are our strength, God of holiness,
and Jesus Christ is your Son, our Savior.
When our lives are filled with despair,
   he is our Hope;
when we are lost and cannot find our way,
   he is our Help;
when the world closes its doors and heart to us,
   he is our Refuge;
when sin and death hunger for us,
   he is our Redeemer,
present with us in this life
and in the one to come.

As we remember his life, death, and resurrection,
as he continues to re-form us into your people,
we proclaim that mystery called faith:

P:  Christ died, his heart broken for us;
    Christ is risen, resurrection written upon his heart;
    Christ is ever with us, in every moment, until your days come.

Pour out your Spirit
upon the gifts of this Table,
and upon the gathered people
who seek to be your faithful people.
The bread symbolizes that Life, though given,
which can reshape our brokenness into
   the peace which a warring world needs,
   the hope which can bring healing to others.
The cup which is filled with your grace
can strenthen us to be new people,
   who go forth to speak truth to power,
   who bring freedom to all the oppressed.

And when your days of eternity finally come,
when we gather as your children around
the Table of wonder and life,
we will sing your praises forever and ever,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

(c) 2012 Thom M. Shuman