Sunday, November 02, 2014

Liturgy w/communion for November 9, 2014 (Pentecost 22/Trinity21/Proper 27/Ordinary 32 - A)

Texts: Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25; Psalm 78:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13

Call to Worship
If we will but listen,
God will speak to us in parables,
God will tell us stories lived out by our grandparents.
If we will but remember,
we will discover all we have heard and known,
all the wonders God has in store for us.
If we will but share,
we can tell our children and grandchildren -
even those not yet born -
the glorious stories of our God.

Prayer of the Day
We stand at the crossing,
Holy God,
arms, hearts, souls
full of the burdens
the gods of this world
have placed on us.
You remove them,
throw then to one side,
taking us by the hand
to lead us into your kingdom.

As we turn to you in our despair,
Holy Friend,
you come and fill our emptiness
with the holy oil
of your compassion,
so we might always
be ready to serve
those who come to us.

Holy Wisdom,
you would not leave us
uninformed of God's love for us,
so you whisper in our ears
of wonders beyond imagination;
you remove the blindfolds from our eyes
so we may  behold the grace
flowing all around us;
you open our hearts
to the family God has given us.

God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray as Jesus teaches us,
(The Lord's Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
How quickly we forget - our faith, our calling, our hope.  All because we try to do everything our way, rather than God's.  But God is quicker to forgive, and to restore us to new life.  Let us confess to our God, as we pray, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
     It is never easy to admit how foolish we are, Approaching God.  You have chosen us for yourself, and we continue to shelter false gods in our hearts.  You promise to be with us in every moment, but we can find little time for you.  You send your Word to us, but we are too busy listening to the noise of our culture to pay attention.
     Have mercy, Eternal One, and forgive us.  Speak to us, so we might listen, and in hearing be transformed into your people.  Fill us with holiness, so we might give ourselves wholly to others.  Enable us to serve you faithfully and completely, even as did our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
This is our assurance: God forgives us.
This is our hope: God's love is everlasting.
This is our truth: God is with us always.
We will speak the truth;
we will live the hope;
we will share God's mercy.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
We can stand at the edge and watch while you seek to bring hope, healing, peace, and joy to everyone in the world.  Or we can take that step, of committing our lives as well as our gifts, in working with you in this ministry of grace.  Bless our gifts, bless our lives, bless our service, we pray.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the Lord be with you.
And also with you.
People of God, lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the One whose faithfulness never ends.
People of God, give thanks to the Lord.
We offer our praise and thanksgiving to the One whose love is eternal.

How good and right
it is to praise you,
God who gathers us
around this Table!
You opened your mouth,
and creation's glory sprang forth;
you appointed the stars
to glitter in the night;
you established the waters
to nourish the earth.
You shaped us in your image,
calling us to be your children
to live with you in harmony and joy.
But we chose to serve sin,
crossing the River back into chaos,
hugging our false gods to our hearts.
But you would not give up
on your hope for us,
sending us the prophets
so we might pay attention
to the words of your heart.
When we would not forsake
our reliance on the world's idols,
you sent Jesus to us,
who died and was raised for our sake.

Therefore, we join with those
who await us there in heaven,
as well as those who witness to us here,
singing forever of your glory:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God of all wanderers.
All creation cries out in praise to you.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who comes that we might have hope.
Hosanna in the highest!

You alone are holy,
God of all time,
and blessed is Jesus Christ,
our Lord and Savior.
When we had walked away
from your gracious love,
you turned to us in Christ
to save us.
When we no longer
were willing to listen,
your Word of hope
came among us
to live your love in our midst.
When we foolishly clung
to sin's deadly ways,
Jesus reached out to pull us
from the grasp of death,
and showed us the Kingdom.

As we remember his death and resurrection for us,
we tell those who come after us
of that mystery we call faith:

Christ died, the witness that love is stronger than hate;
Christ was raised, the witness that life is stronger than death;
Christ will witness to us that hope is stronger than grief.

As we come to this Table
of healing and gentleness,
we pray that you would
send your Spirit upon the gifts
of the bread and of the cup,
and on your children gathered here.
As we reach out our hands
for the bread which has been broken for us,
we seek to encourage others
to discover you love;
as we drink of the Spirit of Christ,
may we no longer plead ignorance,
but with full awareness,
and open hearts, go forth
to serve all your children.

Then, when we gather at
the Wedding Banquet in your kingdom,
we will praise you,
Creating God,
Jesus of the poor,
Healing Spirit -
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

Go now to tell the stories of our God.
We will listen to the lives of those around us as we do.
Go now to discover the gifts of everyone you meet.
We will remember Jesus, who blessed us with hope and life.
Go now to share all that is within you.
We will tell everyone - from the smallest child to the oldest person -
of the Spirit who longs to shape us into one community.

(c) 2014 Thom M. Shuman