Sunday, May 28, 2017

Liturgy with communion for June 4, 2017 (Day of Pentecost - A)

Texts:  Numbers 11:24-30; Psalm 104:24-34, 35b; Acts 2:1-21; John 20:19-23

Call to Worship
On this day, may Grace’s breath
shatter the shutters of our hearts.
On this day, may we step out of our fears
to welcome the new life gifted to us.
Here, in the midst of our sisters and brothers,
may our frozen souls be enflamed by justice’s Spirit.
As we catch a glimpse of the dreams of those around us,
as we listen to the voices of the oppressed in every language.
In the days to come, may we speak
of God’s love and the Spirit’s peace for all.
So that people will find a community awaiting them,
even for those rejected by everyone else.  

Prayer of the Day
Give us just a spark
on this day, Imaginative God,
to kindle our smoldering apathy
until we burst into bonfires
to melt all the injustice
which threatens to consume the world.

Give us just a word
this day, Poet of Pentecost,
that we might be the voice
   of those dispersed by fears,
that we might proclaim the good news
   to all we would meet.

Give us a cool breeze
this day, Shattering Spirit,
stirring and shaking us
until we become a storm
of hopes to clear the despair
from all our neighborhoods and lands.

Give us yourself this day,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we pray as we are taught,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
When our lives remain hidden, when are hearts are shuttered, when our souls are fill with fear because of all we have done and said, God comes, breathing new life, blowing away our failings, restoring us to new hope.  Please join me, as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   Spirit of Pentecost, would that all would tell of your wonders in our lives, your overflowing grace – but we are too busy complaining of someone’s social media post.  Would that we might share the Spirit which has transformed our lives, but we bottle it up, hoping to sell it on the internet.  Would that we might let go of all the envy we have about others, but we let erode our souls day by day.
   Forgive us and pour your mercy into the closed rooms of our hearts.  Breathe your peace upon us, that we might be healers of brokenness.  Breathe your hope upon us, that we might open ourselves to the lonely.  Breath your love into us, that we might be as generous and welcoming as Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.     

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Listen!  This is the good news spoken long ago, yet brought fresh to us by the Holy Spirit.  God forgives us and fills us with all things new.
Thanks be to God!  God gives us new hope, new joy, new life – this day and in all the days to come.  Amen.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
Blow the dust off our fears, Generous Spirit, so we might be more giving people.  Blow the dust off our material gifts we think are so paltry, so we might realize how they can bring hope and life to others.  Blow the dust off our mistaken views of others, so we might see them as our sisters and brothers, ready to grace us, even as we may bless them with these offerings.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the Spirit of Pentecost touch you this day.
And touch you, as well.
May the fresh breeze of love fill your hearts.
We open them to the Spirit who would overflow from our hearts.
May the words of Pentecost offer you new songs.
We will sing praise and thanksgiving to our God.

Wow!  What you do,
God of imagination and wonder!
You breathe your Spirit into chaos,
shattering the emptiness and
shaping all that is beautiful;
you speak your Word into silence, and
   rivers flow down mountainsides,
   creepy crawlies inhabit the grasslands,
   monarch butterflies dance with flowers,
   blue whales leap out of the oceans.
Like them, you would feed those created
in your image with goodness and grace,
   but we run off with temptation,
   locking ourselves in death’s upper room.
Because your glory is eternal,
you continued to send women and men
to tell your words of forgiveness and welcome,
   yet we continued to huddle in fear
   with sin and its disciples.
So you sent Jesus to us,
to breathe your peace upon us
and to bring us back to you.

With those who continue to live in fear
with those who share the Spirit with others,
we will sing your praise forever and ever:

Holy, holy, holy are you, Shattering Spirit.
All creation will sing until it has no more breath.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who stands in our midst speaking peace.
Hosanna in the highest!

Like your glory, may your holiness be eternal,
God of wind and flames,
and may your Child, Jesus, bless us
with words of wonder and joy.
Though we would close our hearts,
   he comes to open them with love;
though we would shutter our souls,
   he comes to throw them wide open
   with laughter and love;
though we would remain hidden away
in death’s cold upper room,
   he enters to take its power
   over us away, so the bright flames
   of the resurrection might dance
   over our lives bringing us hope.

As we would open our hearts to the Spirit,
as we would welcome the peace and power,
we tell of that faith grounded in Pentecost’s mystery:

Drawing his last breath, Christ died for us;
with the sudden breath of the resurrection,
   Christ was raised;
Christ will return, to breathe the Spirit into us forever.

Here in this place, with people gathered in this space,
may you pour the Spirit of Pentecost
upon the simple gifts of the bread and the cup.
with the brokenness of the bread,

we pray hope might dance upon our souls
   so we will rush out like a mighty wind
   to bring healing to our shattered world.
Drinking from the cup of grace,
we pray it flow through us
   to become a fountain
   of unending generosity
      to parched people
      thirsting for life.

And when that day comes
when we no longer need
to huddle under the covers of fear,
you will gather us around the Table
with our sisters and brothers
of every time, of every place,
breathing the Spirit upon us,
telling us the Word of grace and hope,
as we sing our thanks forever and ever,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

The shutters of our hearts have been flung open
by the fresh breath of God!
We will go to offer God’s love to everyone around us.
Our souls have been set on fire
by the justice of the Brother of the poor.
We will go to share visions of hope,
to listen to the dreams of the oppressed.
Our loneliness and fears have been set aside
by the Spirit of inclusion creating community.
We will speak words of peace to all we meet,
we will open ourselves to the gifts of others.

© 2017 Thom M. Shuman