Sunday, June 19, 2016

Liturgy w/communion for June 26, 2016 (Pentecost 6/Trinity 5/Proper 8/Ordinary 13)

Texts: 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14; Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20; Galatians 5:1, 13-25; Luke 9:51-62

Call to Worship
On days when we think God has nothing to do
with work or family or the world:
The Book tells us of One who was a carpenter;
who wandered the streets;
who upset his family.
On days when we think the purpose of life
is to make more money and fewer friends:
The Book speaks of a life of giving away of ourselves
and finding a community as we do so.
On days aching with loneliness and empty of love and laughter:
The Book draws us into the embrace of God's open heart.

Prayer of the Day
Inspiring God,
Giver of words:
     you speak
          and chaos is transformed
          into the starry skies of night;
     you whisper
          and the wind leaps
          to caress our cheeks on a summer's evening;
     you smile
          and all creation rejoices in delight.
Jesus Christ,
Uncomfortable Word:
you stand with society's castoffs
     outside the halls of respectability;
you break bread with sinners
     and give them the seats of honor at your Table;
you walk the darkened hallways of death,
     comforting those who are taking their last steps;
and you call to us, saying,
      "Follow me."
Holy Spirit,
Word sifter:
by your touch
     our anger can dissolve
          into gentleness;
by your presence
     our enemies
          can become lifelong friends;
by your joy,
     our envious spirits
          can become generous hearts.
God in Community, Holy in One,
set us free to be your servants,
even as we pray as Jesus taught us, saying,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
Christ has set us free from everything that might detain, oppress, derail us. But we should not confuse this with the right to do whatever we wish. No, we are called to serve others, to share God's hope and joy with everyone we meet. Let us confess how we have misused this wonderful gift of grace, as we pray, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
     Redeeming God, how easily we say we would follow you, but how often we live as if we don't have a clue as to what that means. We choose to gossip about our friends, rather than surrounding them with love. Our competitive nature wills us to win at all costs, when we could be engaged in costly service. We expect others to do for us and rarely ask what we might do for them.
     Forgive us, High and Holy One. Set us free to serve in love and compassion; help us to feast on the fruit the Spirit offers to us; put us on the path of faithful discipleship, as we walk with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Friends, call to mind what God has done for you; think about how God's love comes in fresh and surprising ways; reflect on the fruit of the Spirit poured out upon you.
We will remember all the wonder, all the joy, all the mercy which is ours. From the rich abundance of the Spirit's fruit, we will serve others. Thanks be to God! Amen.
Prayer of Dedication/Offering
Free to indulge ourselves in every luxury,
   we would share our abundance with those in need;
free to gratify every desire that comes along,
   we would serve those who have so little;
free to hoard all that we have and are,
   we would give ourselves away to everyone we meet,
   risking our good names and reputations with our families and friends, 
   to welcome those who are lonely and afraid.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the wonder-working God be with you!
And also with you!
Children of God, lift up your hearts.
We offer them to the One who gifts us
with abundant fruit of the Spirit.
God's children, let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
We sing songs of joy, love, and peace;
we praise God for the gifts of patience, kindness, generosity;
we lift our thanks for faithfulness, gentleness,
and self-control in our lives.
Your voice thundered, Holy One of Creation,
and silenced the fractious voices of chaos.
As the sun, moon, and stars
light our days and nights,
     so your love illumines our souls.
When our fears
threaten to flood our lives,
     you make a path for us
          to your heart.
All this you do,
out of your love for us,
but we forgot all your wonders,
     and stretched out our hands
          to pluck the rotten fruit of the world.
You sent the prophets to help us
to remember your great acts,
     but we dismissed their words
          as having no value for us.
Then, to keep your promise
never, never to forsake us,
you sent Jesus Christ to
put our feet back on
the Holy Way.
Therefore, trusting that you will hear us,
we join our voices with the chorus of heaven,
and with our sisters and brothers around us,
sing our glad songs to you:
Holy, holy, holy are you, God the Creator!
The mountains sing your praises, the valleys echo your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!
We welcome the One who comes in your name, who calls us to life.
Hosanna in the highest!
Holy are you, God of all generations,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Savior.
When he could have remained safe
by your side in glory,
he took the risk to follow your call
When he could have remained safe
by your side in glory,
     he took the risk to follow your call
     to become one of us.
When he could have ignored
our cries for help,
     he opened his ears and his heart,
     to bring us words of healing and hope.
When he could have pointed
to his miracles and wonders,
     he spoke of your grace,
     and called us to service.
When he could have ignored sin
and death to return to you,
     he picked them up
     and carried them to Calvary,
          turning and renouncing them forever,
as he strode out of the empty tomb
into the new life waiting for each of us.
So, as we remember what God has done for us
in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus,
we speak of that faith which is a mystery:
Lord Jesus, you call us:
     open our eyes that we may see you,
     open our souls that we may long for your presence,
     open our hearts that we may follow you.
Pour out your Spirit
upon the gifts of the Table
and upon your children
who have come to feast.
As we tasted the Bread of life,
     may we be filled with that generosity
          which makes us servants.
As we drink from the Cup of grace,
     may we be nourished by
          the fruit of the Spirit found there.
Then, we will go forth
to follow where you lead us:
     to bring justice and mercy
          into communities crumbling by hate;
     to bring hope into those neighborhoods
          where despair sells its wares on the street corners;
     to bring peace to a broken world
          governed by violence and war.
And when all time has come to an end,
as we gather with our sisters and brothers
from every moment and every place,
we will sing our glad songs to you,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.
Let us go to wander the streets with God:
for God has everything to do with work, family, our lives, our world.
Let us go to give ourselves away as Jesus did:
for Jesus calls us to upset those around us,
as we accumulate less stuff and make more friends.
Let us go to find the lonely, the empty, the searchers:
for the Spirit would embrace each and every person,
drawing them into the open heart of divine love.
© 2016 Thom M. Shuman