Sunday, September 20, 2015

Liturgy w/communion for September 27, 2015 (Pentecost 18/Trinity 17/Proper 21/Ordinary 26)

Texts: Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22; Psalm 124; James 5:13-20; Mark 9:38-50

Call to Worship
We have walked with you, O God,
from many parts of the world to this time and place.
And we will walk with you, O God,
into the world to serve all people.

We leave behind our old securities;
we leave behind our reliance on worldly goods.
And we will walk with you, O God,
into the world to live with all people.

We leave behind all which holds us back;
we leave behind all which keeps us from following you.
And we will walk with you, O God,
into the world to work with all people.

We leave behind the fears which bind us;       
we leave behind the hurts which damage us.
And we will walk with you, O God,
into the peace you offer to all people.

Prayer of the Day

Wherever the stories of Jesus are told,
wherever gifts are offered in service,
wherever hope is a part of healing,
wherever songs of joy are sung,
in every land, in every heart,
in every village, and every place:
Bless to us, O God,
the tenderness of your heart.

Bless to us, Christ of Peace,
the path which people walk
seeking to follow you:
    worn smooth by the feet of pilgrims,
    yet still rocky in places;
    the destination unknown to many,
    yet the way to life and hope.

Bless to us, Salty Spirit,
the companions you give to us:
    mentors and mischief-makers,
    curmudgeons and gigglers,
    builders and believers,
    brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles;
    neighbors and strangers
who gather in dusty villages
and centers of power
to feast on the goodness of your grace.

God in Community, Holy in One,
give us your peace, as we pray
as Jesus has taught us, saying,
(The Lord's Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
Sometimes our words and actions show how we are salt for the world.  But then come those moments when we lose our flavor and our way.  Let us confess our sins to our God, so we might be restored and forgiven.

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   Called to be your people, Living God - why do we find it so hard to answer?  You ask us to speak out against injustice, and we whisper because we are afraid someone might hear us.  You ask us to see the pain and poverty around us, but we close our eyes.  You tell us that everyone, and each one, is created in your image, yet we persist in noticing the differences between us and others.
   Forgive us, God of the Past and Creator of the Future.  May we be the ones who go out into the world, bearing your gifts of peace, of hope, of healing, of joy to every one who is broken, even as we have been made whole through the gift of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Touched by the healing hands of our Lord, filled with the grace of our God, led by the compassion of the Holy Spirit, our hearts are opened and we discover we are forgiven and at peace with God.
Those who are created to love the unlovable; those who are created to bear grace; those who are created to embrace all people: we receive our forgiveness, giving thanks to our God.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offertory
May we open our hearts and offer our gifts to others so, that as the hungry are fed, the homeless are housed, the grieving are comforted, and the lost are led home, may they bring healing to your heart which breaks at all the brokenness in our world.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
My beloved sisters and brothers, may the Lord be with you.
And also with you.
My beloved brothers and sisters, lift up your hearts.
Our hearts are lifted high to God.
Beloved of God, let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
Thanksgiving is in our hearts, and praise is on our lips.

It is our hearts true longing
to praise and glorify you,
God of all glory.
You shaped us in your image,
so we might reflect your grace;
you breathed the Spirit into us,
so we might live your hope.
But we were wiser than you
and so chose another path.
You spoke to our grandparents of the faith
in a shrub burning with the cries of captives;
in the thunder of stuttering prophets;
in the still, small voice of a weeping mother.
Yet we persisted in our stubbornness,
hardening our hearts towards you.
And so, you whispered to us one morning
in the borning cries of a Child
in the dirt and grime of a stable.

Therefore, we join our voices
with our sisters and brothers in all the world,
and with those of every time,
singing songs of joy to your heart:

We adore you, Holy God,
in all the congregations of the world,
and we bless you, for by the gift of Christ,
you have redeemed all creation.

We praise you in this congregation, Holy God,
and bless your Son, Jesus our Lord.
Stamped with your image,
he walked among us
so we could see who we could become.
When he spoke your Word of peace,
he shattered the walls of war and violence.
When he was offered the easy way out
of his suffering and death,
he carried his integrity to Calvary,
where he was broken to make us whole,
where he died so we might live with you.

We remember, and in remembering,
we would tell others of your wonderful love,
and would be peacemakers for the world,
even as we live out that mystery we call faith:

Christ died, so peace might be our companion;
Christ has been raised, so life might be our eternal promise;
Christ will come again, to take us to God's glory.
Pour out the Spirit of the Prince of Peace
not only on us
and the gifts of the bread and the cup,
but on all your children throughout the world:
who gather around war-scarred tables
and at the tailgates of humvees
   to pass the Bread of Life
   from hand to hand
   until all the hungry are fed;
and who stand on both sides
of those walls built of our fears and hurts
    and dare to offer the Cup of peace
    to those known only as 'the enemy'
    unto all are graced
    and embrace one another in love.

Through your Son, Jesus, who is our peace;
through the Spirit, who empowers us to be weak;
we honor and glorify your hopes
for all people in all creation,
Great God our hope and our joy,
now and forever.  Amen.
May God walk with you this day,
as we seek to walk with the lonely and afraid.
May Jesus walk with you this day,
as we follow Jesus, leaving all our fears behind us.
May the Holy Spirit walk with you this day,
as we go to serve all who have been tossed aside by the world.
(c) 2015 Thom M. Shuman