Sunday, June 29, 2014

Liturgy w/communion for July 6, 2014 (Pentecost 4/Trinity 3/Proper 9/Ordinary 14)

Texts:  Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67; Psalm 45:10-17; Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Call to Worship
L:    Come to our God,
        all who hunger for life:
P:    for it is God who nourishes us
        at the Table of Grace
L:    Come to our God,
        all who are worn out by life:
P:    for it is God who provides
        the rest we need.
L:    Come to our God,
        all who are weighed down:
P:    for it is our God who carries
        our burdens with us.

Prayer of the Day
Eternal God:
you sing a song
of silence
to our noisy hearts,
inviting us to still
our fidgeting souls,
and find our peace
in your cupped hands
which cradle us.

Jesus Christ,
Wanderer of the kingdom:
you are called
to reveal God to us
and do so in
    the tenderness of your touch,
    the gentleness of your words,
    the goodness of your heart,
    the peace of your shared yoke.

Spirit of Rest:
your childlike presence
opens our eyes
to the wonders of the world.
As we hand you
our anger, our hurt, our sin,
may our burdens
become our songs of joy.

May we find our rest, our hope, in you,
God in Community, Holy in One
even as we pray as Jesus taught us, saying,
(The Lord's Prayer

Call to Reconciliation
Fretful, agitated, longing for more and more
of this and that, we spend our lives in a
never-ending, never-fulfilled search for that
which satisfies.  But Christ knows that we
will only find the end of our journey in God,
and so invites us to that peaceful place known
as God's heart.  Let us let go of our burdens
of anger, hurt and sin so we can find our rest.

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   We are so skilled at being in control, at taking
charge, Sabbath-Taking God, that we are not very
good at resting.  We think we have to be constantly
busy, so we have no time for you.  We are trained
to be extremely productive, and so create our harried,
stress-filled lives.
   Forgive us, Shalom Giving God.  Help us to let go
of our distractions, so you can act in us; calm our
creaturely activity, so you can re-create us; help us
to follow Jesus, not only into discipleship, but into
our rest with you.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
L:    It sounds so simple, we think it is too simple.
    But which is the burden you would choose:
    hate or love; anger or forgiveness; pain or peace?
    God invites us to receive the gifts which make it
    possible to have lives of faithful obedience.
P:    This is the good news:  God forgives us and
    takes our burdens from us.  We would let go
    of them and welcome hope, joy, grace into our
    lives.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L;    The Lord be with you.
P:    and also with you.
L:    People of God, lift up your hearts.
P:    We lift them to the One who invites us
        to rest in the heart of the Trinity.
L:    People of God, give thanks to the One
        who offers you rest.
P:    We sing our thanksgiving to God,
        who sings to us of peace.

With hearts filled with joy,
we bring our praise to you,
God of Rest.
On the first morning of creation,
you whispered of peace,
and the cacophony of chaos
was stilled.
You walked softly
through the grasses of the earth
and all creation
sang of your goodness.
Created to find our peace with you,
our fretful desire to be in control
led us into a nomadic existence
of rebellion against you.
Prophets spoke and angels sang
to invite us home,
but our stubborn pride
only grew stronger.
When the burden of our sin
became too great for your heart,
you sent Jesus to carry it for us.

With those who have found their rest in you,
with those who long for their burdens to be lifted,
we join in singing your praise:

P:  Holy, holy, holy are you, God of the weary.
     All creation celebrates your name in all generations.
    Hosanna in the highest!

    Blessed is the One who yokes himself to us.
    Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, God of our footloose hearts,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son,
our Lord and Savior.
Watching our restless striving
for more and more,
he modeled the life
of self-denial and service;
seeing us weighed down
with the burdens of sin and death,
he picked up his cross,
carried it to Calvary,
where he died to give us life.

As we remember his life and his rest in you,
as we celebrate the good news of lightened burdens,
we speak of that mystery we call faith:

P:  Christ came, that we may have life;
     Christ died, so that the burden of death might
            be lifted from us;
     Christ was raised to new life, so grace might
            be revealed to every generation;
     Christ will return, to yoke us to God through
            all eternity.

Pour out your Spirit of rest and shalom
upon this bread and this cup,
that these gifts might nourish us.
As we find our rest in you,
may we become restless
in service to your children;
as we engage with you
in solitude,
may we build a community
of justice and righteousness;
as we listen to your silence,
may we speak out
for all whose voices
are ignored by the world.

Then, when we gather with all
who have found their rest with you
at the Table of the Lamb,
we will sing our praise for all eternity,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

© 2014 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Liturgy for June 29, 2014 (Proper 8/Ordinary 13)

Texts:  Jeremiah 28:5-9; Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18; Romans 6:12-23; Matthew 10:40-42

Call to Worship
L:  Sing, sing of God's unalterable love!
P:  We will rejoice as we walk in the light of our God.
L:  Tell everyone around you of God's faithfulness.
P:  We will share the stories of the One who experienced
    our life in all its fullness.
L:  Shout out loud of God's presence with us,
    on this day and in all the days to come.
P:  Justice and goodness are God's gifts to us;
    truth and love walk by our side.

Prayer of the Day
In a world shaped by conflict,
where we seem to be slipping
back into tribal divisions,
   you call us to welcome those
   with whom we have absolutely
   nothing in common.
In a culture full of inequalities
which only seem to be widening,
   you call us to treat each person
   as our sister and brother.
In a time of intensifying injustices
which are found in every community,
if not in every neighborhood,
   you call us to yoke ourselves
   to your radical hope.
In a lifestyle which idolizes the individual
to the exclusion of all others,
   you call us to notice
      the parent who works three jobs,
      the dementia-diminished senior,
      the refugee family on the corner.

May we offer not just cups of cold water,
but all that we are and all we have
to those who are in our midst,
even as we pray to you,
God in Community, Holy in One, saying,
(The Lord's Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
The idol of our times is personal independence, but
in truth, we are bossed around by our faults, our
poor choices, the hurts we cause to others.  Yet,
by God's grace, we are set free from all these passions,
so let us join in offering our confessions to the One
who welcomes each of us with forgiveness and hope.

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   It seems so simple, God of compassion, to
offer a cup of cold water to a thirsty person,
yet we know we worry more about how that might
inflate our bill at the end of the month.  We
are to open our hearts to others, but they may
need to be careful lest they slip on our icy
attitudes towards them.  People are looking for
places to lay their heads, yet our spare bedrooms
continue to be the place where only the dust
bunnies sleep.
   Forgive us, Radical Hope.  You did not have
to become one of us, but you did, so we might know
your love.  You did not have to welcome us into
your family, but you do, so we might experience
unexpected grace in our lives.  You did not have
to die for us, but in Jesus Christ you did, so we
might have life with you forever.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
L:  Broken, we are made whole; thirsty, we are
filled with living water; longing for a renewed
relationship with God, we are welcomed with open
arms by the One who forgives us.
P:  Without a doubt, God's love never comes to
an end.  We will tell our kids and grandkids of
the grave and peace which is ours.  Thanks be to
God, we are forgiven!  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offertory
We are not blessed by God so we might hoard them
for ourselves, but use them to welcome those who
are looking for a community, to feed those who
hunger for friendship, to serve those whom the
world has cast aside.  Here are our gifts, Holy
God.  We pray you will use them as well as us in
the work of your kingdom.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L:  May the God of constant love be with you.
P:  And also with you.
L:  Come to the One who welcomes each and everyone
    of us to this Table of grace.
P:  We bring our broken hearts so they might be
    made whole.
L:  Join hands with your sisters and brothers and sing
    to the One who fills us with hope.
P:  Together we will praise God, who has made us one.

When chaos slammed the door on you,
God of faithfulness,
you whistled up creation and
she tagged along at your side
as your hospitality flowed forth:
   springs to refresh our wearied feet,
   sweet corn to fill our hunger,
   beds of pine needles on which to rest.
We were formed by you
so we might belong to you,
   but we let ourselves be held
   captive by lust, greed, and fear.
Prophets came, seeking to call us back
to you, fulfilling your words of welcome,
   yet we coninued to obey our passions.
Jesus came, offering us cups of living water,
words of hope and grace,
wrapping us in arms of joy.

With those who seek your peace,
with those who work for your justice,
we sing our praises to you:

P:  Holy, holy, holy are you, God of radical hope.
    All creation welcomes your words.
    Hosanna in the highest!

    Blessed is the One who walks in your light.
    Hosanna in the highest!

Compassionate God, you are the Voice
behind the Word who comes in Jesus Christ.
When sin would hand us
a pay envelope stuffed
with evil's crumpled bills,
   he fills our pockets
   with your gifts so
   we may be a blessing to others.
When temptation and worry
become our jailers on death row,
   he comes, with your pardon
   in his hands, setting us free
   so we may walk in
   the new light of your hope.

We remember his love and grace offered to all,
we hear his welcome extended to each of us,
as we speak of that mystery of our faith:

P:  Christ died, welcoming our death as his own;
    Christ was raised by the gift of God's hope;
    Christ will come to fulfill God's words.

Your compassionate welcome is extended
to anyone, any time, any place
as your Spirit is poured out
on the gifts of the Table of life
and on your people gathered for the feast.
Your life, which is broken in love,
becomes the wholeness which strengthens us
   to feed those for whom hunger
   is a constant companion,
   not a skipped meal.
Your grace, which is poured into us,
becomes the hospitality by which
   we welcome itinerant immigrants
      into our communities and hearts;
   we open our arms to every child
      held captive by poverty.

Then, when your glory becomes our home,
and we are gathered around your table -
con artists and poverty's prophets,
the most vulnerable and power brokers -
we will join in singing your praises
through all eternity,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen  

L:  Let us go forth to walk in God's light.
P:  We will show others the way to God's heart.
L:  Let us go to bring hope and healing to the world.
P:  With a gift as simple as a cup of water,
    and as complex as our lives, we will join Jesus
    in serving those around us.
L:  Let us go forth to gather up the little ones
    of our communities into our homes and hearts.
P:  With the gift of the Holy Spirit,
    we are no longer strangers but God's family.

(c) 2014 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Liturgy for June 22, 2014 (Pentecost 3/Trinty 2/Proper 7/Ordinary 12 - A)

Texts: Jeremiah 20:7-13; Psalm 69:7-18; Romans 6:1b-11; Matthew 10: 24-39

Call to Worship
Troubled prophets and struggling families,
you listen to our voices, whoever we are.
There is no one like you, God of the listening heart.
Those who live in fear, and those who look for signs,
you fill us with hope and surprises.
There is no one like you, God of steadfast love.
Seekers of power, as well as those who serve the vulnerable,
you challenge us to use our gifts for others.
There is no one like you, God of all people. 

Prayer of the Day
God of those empty of hope
and those who are cast out:
into the chaos of every life
you enter with the silence of love;
when we choke on bitter memories,
you hand us the cup of healing;
when we wander down lonely streets,
you bring us home to your heart.

Jesus Christ,
conqueror of sin's power:
into our deepest pain
where life has bottomed out,
you dare to enter;
when we cry out with fear,
you cradle our hearts;
when we face death,
you stride out of the grave,
pointing the way to the kingdom.

Spirit of the forsaken
and bearer of compassion:
you are the mist shimmering
over the valleys,
stirring the waters of creation;
you are the dew bathing
the flowers every morning,
anointing us with resurrection's grace.

God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray as we have been taught,
(The Lord's Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
We struggle daily with that human tendency to always do wrong, say hurtful things, turn our back to others.  But God will never hold our sins against us or our foolish nature.  Let us confess to our God, who frees us forever from judgment, as we pray,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
     In baptism, we are promised new life, God of  grace, yet we continue to focus on those old ways which are so comfortable and seductive.  We are so good at fooling others that we are convinced we can trick you as well.  We have been called to walk with you, and run down those paths paved with foolishness and fears.
     Forgive us, God of steadfast love.  You have claimed our lives in baptism, so we might be set free from sin and be raised to new life.  Just as you save us, so give us the strength to be willing to take up whatever task you give us, and the faith to be willing to lose our lives for others, so we might find life forever with you, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. 

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
This is the good news:  God hears our prayers, our cries, our hearts.  And, in Christ, we receive new life.  We are free, free to walk in the Light of the Lord.
So, this is what we will do.  We will open our hearts to God's grace; we will live as people who have died to sin and who live for Christ.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offertory
We offer our gifts to you, as well as our lives, Loving God, so they might find their way to those who need your grace, your hope, your joy, and your peace in their lives.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of steadfast love be with you.
And also with you.
Saints of God, lift your hearts to the One who saves you.
We offer them to God, who sees our hearts and minds.
Sing to the Lord; praise God's name.
We lift our voices to the One who hears our need-felt songs. 

Chaos tried to restrain you,
but failed, Glorious God,
as you cried out, "Create!"
     and gases spun into galaxies,
     rivers rushed to become seas,
     flowers danced in summber breezes.
You shaped us in your image, pointo to all
that had been crafted from your joyous imagination,
and gifting us with all your love.
     But we loved sin and death
     more than you, and followed them.
You sent prophets, those women and men,
whose hearts burned with your voice,
and called us back to you,
     but we kept fooling ourselves,
     playing our childish games with temptation.
You senet Jesus to us,
so we might once again walk with you.

With relctant prophets and fearful followers,
we draw near to you with songs of thanksgiving:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God of every hope. 
Creation sings praises to you in every moment. 
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who delivers the needy.
Hosanna in the highest!

There is no love like you, Steadfast God,
and Jesus Christ is our hope and grace.
Seeing us going down the wrong paths,
   he showed us the streets of the kingdom;
seeing us drowning in pools of seduction,
   he was baptized, so we might be pulled to safety;
seeing us held captive by our worst selves,
   he died and was burined,
   so sin's plans would be destroyed,
   and death would fall flat on its schemes,
and he brought the gift of the resurrection
from the grave.

As we live through these ordinary days,
as we seek to be faithful followers of Jesus,
we speak about that mystery called faith:

Christ put on death, to set us free;
You clothed Christ in resurrection,  so we might believe;
Christ will come, to clothe us in eternity. 

You turn to us, Holy God,
your arms full of the bread and cup,
your Spirit transforming these gifts
   into a holy feast.
The Table is made ready for your children
who will eat of your salvation
and go forth to remind
   the broken, the lost, the young, the old
   that they are of more value to you
   then the finest songbird.
We will drink of your grace
so we may turn to
   the hungry, the homeless, the fearful
   and embrace them in your love.

And when we gather with the faithful
of every time and of every place,
our sisters and brothers baptized in grace,
we will sing your praises forever,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

As you leave this place, remember that you may be the only grace
someone will meet this week.
We go, to share God's graciousness with all.
Remember you may be the only love someone will encounter this week.
We go, to be the love of Jesus for all.
Remember you may be the only peace  someone will find this week.
We go, to share the Spirit of hope and reconciliation with all.
(c) 2014  Thom M. Shuman