Sunday, April 20, 2014

Liturgy for April 27, 2014 (Easter 2 - A)

Texts:  Acts 2:14a, 22-32; Psalm 16; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31

Call to Worship
L:  Alleluia!  Christ is risen!
P:  The whole creation rejoices;
     the birds sing from every tree.
L:  Alleluia!  Christ is in our midst!
P:  Babies babble with sounds of joy;
     words cannot express our overflowing hearts.
L:  Alleluia!  Christ is our light forever!
P:  Breathing peace on us in these moments;
     surrounding us with grace and hope.

Prayer of the Day
All that is good and beautiful
are the generous gifts
from your heart of love.
All the grace we will ever need
is held out to us
in your hands of hope.
We have nothing apart
from you, God of Easter.

By your living example,
we can set aside our fears
to live as God's faithful children.
By your compassion,
we can stand in the midst of the broken,
and share healing with them.
We can do nothing apart
from you, Brother of our souls.

You are the Breath which gives
us the gifts and lives
to pour out for others.
You are the composer
of songs of joy which echo
throughout the universe.
We are nothing apart
from you, Spirit of wonder.

God in Community, Holy in One,
may we never be apart from you,
even as we pray as we are taught,
(The Lord's Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
Afraid that God will find out how faithless
we are, we try to lock up our hearts so God
cannot see our foolish lives and failures.
Let us confess our sins to the One who offers
us peace and healing, as we pray together,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
     Hear the echoes of our locked hearts, Path
of Life.  We cross the borders into temptation
and never seem to find our way back.  We multiply
the sorrows of others by our hurtful words and
the harmful deeds we do.  We see the ones you
would give us to serve, but believe we do not have
the abilities to care for them.
     Have mercy on us, God whose Breath gives us
life.  Walk through the closed doors of our worries
and doubts to stand in our midst, offering us that
grace which can heal us, that hope which can enliven
us, and that faith which enables us to follow Jesus
Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
L:  It is God's great mercy through the resurrection
of Jesus which gives us that hope which lives within us.
P:  Thanks be to God for this precious gift by which
we are able to believe and rejoice in our inheritance.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L:  May the God of mornings be with you.
P:  May the God of evenings be with you.
L:  Do not fear, but open your hearts to God.
P:  We offer them to the One who is our living hope.
L:  Rejoice!  The Lord of life is always with us.
P:  We sing glad thanksgivings to our God.

In the evenings of creation,
Loving God, you looked and saw
all that was good and beautiful:
     loblolly pines reaching to the sky,
     lochs and glens brimming with life;
     chains of islands in the warm seas.
The Holy Spirit breathed upon us,
whispering, 'receive creation,' as your gifts
were entrusted to our care,
     but sin enticed us into its
     closed room of fears, turning
     the key of death in the lock.
Prophets came, standing among us,
speaking of your invitation to come home,
     but we refused to listen
     to what they had to say.
Determined never to abandon us,
you sent Jesus, to make known to us
the ways of life which your offer.

With those who saw and witnessed,
with those who have not seen, yet believe,
we sing with glad hearts to you:

P:  Holy, holy, holy are you, God of are evenings.
     All creation rejoices in the good news of Easter.
     Hosanna in the highest!

     Blessed is the One who stands among us.
     Hosanna in the highest!

In the evenings, your holiness never rests,
and Jesus Christ, the risen One, is ever with us.
Into the closed rooms of our lives, he comes,
     breathing Spirit's peace;
using grace and hope, he picks
     the locked doors of our hearts
     that he might be with us;
showing us his hands and side, he reminds
     us that death can no more cling
     to us, than it did to him,
for you will never abandon us.

As we believe, though we have not seem;
as we rejoice in that living hope which is ours;
we speak of faith, that mystery more precious than gold:

P:  Christ died, believing what he could not see;
     Christ was raised, becoming our living hope;
     Christ will come, bringing our inheritance kept for us.

In the evenings of our lives,
you send the Spirit to fill us with peace,
as the bread and the cup
are filled with the life and grace of Jesus.
Cradling the broken bread
in his nail-scarred hands,
Jesus shows us
     his grieving brothers,
     his hungry sisters,
           so we may go to serve them.
Handing us the cup of living hope,
we are invited to drink deeply
and then go into the world
     to offer peace to those wearied by war,
     to give freedom to all who are oppressed,
     to share grace with those who need it most.

And when the last evening comes, you will
gather us in that upper room called your heart,
where we will feast with all your children,
forever singing our praises to you,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

L:  Go forth in the love of God.
P:  We will take this love into
     unlovely parts of our lives.
L:  Go forth in the grace of Jesus Christ.
P:  We will look for him in the faces
     of every person we meet.
L:  Go forth in the peace of the Spirit.
P:  We will share this hope
     with our broken world.

© 2014 Thom M. Shuman