Sunday, October 25, 2015

Liturgy w/communion for November 1, 2015 (All Saints' Day - B)

Texts: Isaiah 25:6-9; Psalm 24; Revelation 21:1-6a; John 11:32-44
Call to Worship
See how God loves us!
God loves us enough to swallow up death forever.
See how Christ loves us!
Christ loves us enough to share our loss and grief.
See how the Spirit loves us!
The Holy Spirit loves us enough to offer us words
of hope we can trust.
Prayer of the Day
You have blessed us
with saints all of our lives,
God of the ages:
those who put up with us,
and those who prepared us for discipleship;
those who have touched us with their compassion,
and those who illumine the way for us.

Through the valleys and over the hills,
down the dusty streets of every village,
saints traveled with you,
Jesus, Child of grace and glory:
those who impetuously chased after you,
and those whose feet longed to turn back;
those who jostled for your attention,
and those who made sure little children
were able to meet you.
You surround us with saints,
even when we don't recognize
or much less appreciate them,
Spirit of wonder:
some live down the corner from us,
while others are on the other side of the world;
some run to catch the leaves spiraling to the ground,
while others make a meal for a sick neighbor's family.
For all the saints of every age, especially our,
we give you our gratitude and praise,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.
Call to Reconciliation
Here in this community of those who seek God, we know we are not saints. We are wrapped in those strips of words, of thoughts, of actions which bind us to sin, not to God. But our God has promised us new hope, new life, fresh mercy, if we will but confess. I invite you to join me, as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
     We come to you, Listener of our broken lives, with our hands soiled with the pain we have caused, with our ears stuffed with the words of those who speak falsely, with our hearts stained with those lusts and hungers we would be embarrassed for others to know.
     Forgive us and have mercy on us, Wiper of our tears.  As we seek to journey from the baptismal waters towards the feast you prepare in glory, may we turn our faces toward you in every moment, listen to your words in the depths of our hearts, and follow Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, every step of the way.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Lift up your heads, saints of God! Your sin is gone, your hands once full of foolishness are now empty. God has clothed you with garments of joy to wear to the feast.
Our former life has passed, our new life in Christ has begun.  All things are new - including us! Thanks be to God, we are forgiven! Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
Now, as God's saints in this time and place, we have the opportunity to feed others from the abundance of all we have, to swallow up the pain and suffering of others, to wipe away the tears of children who are lonely and fearful.  May the gifts we offer, and the lives we lead, reveal the One for whom we have waited and who invites us to spread grace over all the world.  This we pray in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of all saints be with you!
And also with you!
Lift your hearts to God, all you who seek God's face.
We offer them to the One whose heart weeps with ours.
Lift up your heads, O people, singing glad songs of praise to God.
With joy in our hearts, with words of truth and life on our lips,
we give thanks to our God.

With a simple Word,
with a gentle Breath of life,
Wondrous God of glory,
you shrouded chaos with your imagination,
earth spinning and whirling through space
the seas teeming with new life.
All that is in creation is yours,
all that lives in it is your gift.
You shaped us in your image,
gathering us in your garden of joy.
But we turned our backs on you,
seeking the seductive face of sin.
You would show us the way,
filling us with hope's promise,
through the gifts of those saints
we call the prophets,
but we were deaf to their words.
So, deeply moved by our helplessness,
you sent Jesus into our presence,
the One we waited for that we might be saved.

So, with that community of faith
from every place and time -
with saints and sinners, with apostles and angels,
with those who know how deeply you love us,
we forever sing to the glory of your name:

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, strong and gentle.
As they await their renewal, heaven and earth glorify you.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who comes to call us from death.
Hosanna in the highest!
Gracious are you, Creator of suns and saints,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, Sharer in our lives.
With clean hands and a pure heart
he descended from your holy side,
coming to wipe away our tears,
to remove the disgrace of our sin,
to walk with those who seek your face,
to stand with us at grief's doorstep.
With scarred hands and a shattered heart,
he descended into the grip of the grave,
taking off the swaddling clothes of death,
leaving them behind as you called
to him to come out of the tomb.
As we wait to come to this gracious feast,
as we remember the spirit in which Jesus
lived, served, died, and was raised,
we speak of that mystery we call faith.
In Christ, the shroud of death has been destroyed.
In Christ, all creation is given new life.
In Christ, we will be God's people forever when he returns.
Pour out your Spirit
upon these gifts of the Table
and on your children in this sacred space.
With a simple cup filled with hope,
with bread broken in love,
you make a feast for those
who are with this band of believers.
As we open our hands
to receive grace's brokenness,
may we go forth to dirty them
in service to all around us.
As we swallow the
well-aged hope of your Spirit,
may we discover our hearts
to be as broken as yours,
by the injustices of our world.

And when all things become new,
as we are gathered in the New Jerusalem
with our sisters and brothers of every age,
we will join our voices together,
singing before your throne of grace,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we pray together, saying,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Now let us go to show others how much God loves them!
We will go to bring life into all the places where death seeks to swallow those around us.
Now let us go to how our sisters and brothers how much Christ loves them!
We will go to share in the loss and grief of everyone around us.
Now let us go to show the world how much the Spirit loves them!
We will offer words of hope to all filled with despair.

(c) 2015 Thom M. Shuman