Saturday, November 11, 2017

Alternate texts liturgy w/communion for November 19, 2017 (Pentecost 24/Trinity 23/Proper 28/Ordinary 33 - A)

Texts:  Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18; Psalm 90:1-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:14-30

Call to Worship
Before there was any time,
there was God.
When we wandered the wilderness,
God built a way for us.
When we lived in exile,
our homes were built by God.
When we are overwhelmed life,
God unknots the tightness in our shoulders.
When we seek to serve faithfully,
God provides the opportunities.
When tomorrow comes,
we find God awake and waiting for us.
When time ends,
there will still be God.

Prayer of the Day
Conqueror of Chaos,
you reached down
gathering up the dust,
filling it with your breath,
and giving us life.
We gather in worship
so we might continue
to be shaped by your love.

You walked the paths
of this dusty earth,
Jesus our servant,
lifting us up when we had fallen,
feeding us when we were famished,
healing us when we were broken, and
saving us when we were sinners.

Spirit of Hope,
you laugh,
and leaves dance down the streets;
you whisper,
and children sleep in peace;
you clap your hands,
and our souls leap with joy.

God in Community, Holy in One,
we lift our prayers to you,
using the words Jesus teaches,
(The Lord's Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
God created us for goodness, and we make foolish choices.  God, who walked this earth, knows our temptations.  God, whose hope is for wholeness, waits to forgive us.  Let us come to our God, as we confess our lives together, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   God of promises, you offer us guidance, yet we grasp the hand of the world on our journey.  You would nurture us with love and grace, and we feast on the empty calories of success and seduction.  You call us to be your faithful people, and we are eager to follow the politicians, the promoters, the petty.
   Forgive us, Covenant God.  You have not forgotten your promises, nor will you break them.  Rather, you come to us so we will know your love.  You walk with us, so we will find the way.  You redeem us, so we will trust your words which were fulfilled in  Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. 

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
In every time, in every place, in every life, God shows compassion and mercy.  Thus, we know God has heard our prayers and has filled us with grace and hope.
In this time, in this place, in our lives, our grace and hope are sustained by this abiding love.  Thanks be to God, we are forgiven.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
May we not hide our gifts, Loving God, but offer them to you with trust and hope, so all may join us on the journey to your kingdom of grace and hope, peace and healing.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of every moment be with you.
And also with you.
Let us lift our hearts to God.
We offer them to the One who comes to us.
Join in singing glad thanksgivings to our God.
We will rejoice in praising our God forever and ever.

Like a thief, creation snuck into
the silence of chaos, Loving God,
   light illuminating shadows,
   water pouring into rivers,
   winds drifting across plains.
These days, and all days,
were for those shaped in your image,
   but we thought you were up to no good,
   and rushed into the harms of sin.
Hastening fast too draw near,
prophets came to call us back to you,
   but we swept your dreams away,
   preferring the dusty yarns of death.
So you sent your wise Heart
to gather your children
into the light of your love.

With those who are always awake,
and with all who can't keep their eyes open,
we lift our glad songs to you:

Holy, holy, holy are you, Imagination unplugged.
From everlasting you are God.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the Word who came to us.
Hosanna in the highest!

You crept in on the night
we least expected, Mothering God,
placing your heart in poverty's arms
so we might receive the riches of your grace.
Jesus came, not to discourage us,
   but to inspire our lives.
Jesus came, not to confuse us,
   but to clarify your hopes for us.
Jesus came, not to frustrate us,
   but to spur us to service.
Jesus came, not to abandon us,
   but to enter the loneliness of death,
   bringing forth resurrection's hope
   as he broke free of the tomb.

As we would seek to remain awake,
as we long to live with Jesus,
we tell of that faith which is such a mystery:

Christ died, going on the journey to the grave.
Christ was raised, so we might journey in hope.
Christ will come, as our journey ends in life with you.

You come into the dark nights of our souls,
bringing the gifts of the bread and the cup,
pouring your Spirit on them
and on those gathered for the banquet.
Fed on the broken bread,
we will not hide its hope,
   but share it with all
   who live in the shadows
   of injustice and fear.
Drinking from the cup of salvation,
we will not bury its grace,
   but pour it into the emptiness
   of those who struggle around us.

And when your day of new life comes,
we will join our sisters and brothers
around the table of the Lamb,
forever singing our praises to you,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

Go with God into the world.
We will journey with our friends and neighbors,
with our families and strangers.
Go with Jesus to serve faithfully.
We will seek to confront injustice;
we will bring healing to those who are broken.
Go with the Spirit to share peace.
We will embrace those forgotten by the world;
we will share our gifts with everyone we meet.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman