Saturday, November 25, 2017

Liturgy w/communion for December 3, 2017 (Advent 1 - B)

Texts:  Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37

Call to Worship
Now, in this holy season of Advent, we wait.
For the faithful God is coming to us.
Now, in this season of waiting, we listen.
For the faithful Word speaks of good news to us.
Now, in the waiting and listening, we watch.
For the faithful Spirit is moving among us.

Prayer of the Day
You could feed us bitterness,
Approaching God,
but you choose to serve us
with the Bread of heaven;
you could hand us hot cup of your tears,

but you touch
the Cup of hope to our lips.

All the stars fall down
to shine the way for you,
Babe of Bethlehem,
as the powers of the world
tremble at your approach.
You tear open
our hardened hearts
so you can come in
and live with us forever.

Advent's Spirit:
you unclog our ears
so we can hear
the songs of the angels;
you wipe the grit
from our eyes
so we can see
the One who is coming to us.

God in Community, Holy in One,
help us to wait patiently, and hopefully,
as we lift the prayer taught to us by Jesus, saying,
(the Lord's Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation

Advent is the season
    of preparing,
        of waiting,
            of hoping

so let us confess to the One who comes, our impatient, toe-tapping, instant-gratification-filled lives, as we pray, saying

Responsive Prayer for Forgiveness

God who is drawing near to us:
we live in a world of violence,
which we do not condemn enough:
   Come to us, with your peace.

We are filled with the best of intentions,
but are unable to follow through with action:
   Come to us, with your will.

We are sinners, who are afraid
to gaze into your mirror of grace:
   Come to us, with your mercy.

Word of Flesh:
   have mercy;

Friend of the poor:
   have mercy;

Bridegroom of the faithful:
   have mercy.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon

In this season of waiting, the Good News is this: mercy, new life, hope, and joy are the gifts we receive from our God.
Thanks be to the God of Advent, who came in the Child, who is with us in the Spirit,  who will come again in glory!  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
God-who-gifts-us, you do so, not so we might have more, but we might care for those who have so little; not so we might splurge, but we might share.  In the waiting of Advent, may we see the wanting, and use our resources to fill their lives with hope, grace, and joy.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
Now, in this holy season of Advent, God comes to be with you.
God comes to be with you as well.
As we begin our journey to Bethlehem, let us open our hearts to God.
For God will fill them with strength and courage for the journey.
Let us join our voices in singing praise to God.
We will lift glad songs of joy to the One who is coming to us.

When you were tired of waiting,
you tore open chaos,
so creation might flow unimpeded:
   puppies quivering in falling snow,
   ice for skating forming on ponds,
   giraffes stretching their necks for snacks.
All these fresh and glorious wonders
were crafted for those in your image,
so we might live in your joy forever,
   but we chose to be doorkeepers

   for sin, waiting for death to appear.
Prophets came, so we might hear you
and see you at work in our midst,
   yet, we turned a deaf ear to them,
   refusing to notice you.
So you came down to us
in Jesus, your Child of life,
simply to save us.

With those who try never to turn away,
and those who call on your name,
we sing your praises this day:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God who comes to us.
All creation gives thanks to you, always.
Glory to you in the highest!

Blessed is the One who gathers us to you.
Glory to you in the highest!

In your holiness, you could have stood apart from us,
God of compassion and hope,
but in your love, you came to us
to be one of us in Jesus.
When we struggle in despair's poverty,
  he enriches us with your grace.
When we are weakened by fear,
   he strengthens us with your hope. 
When we think our lives are empty,
   he fills us with everything we need.
When death thought it
had lulled him to sleep,
   he kept alert, waiting
   for your resurrection love
   to gather him up
   and bring him to new life.

With those who are always alert,
and with those who are drowsy from waiting,
we proclaim that mystery which is our faith:

Christ died, giving his life as he called to you;
Christ was raised, resurrection love shining the way;
Christ will come, to gather us from every time and place.

Remembering that we are all your people,
you pour out your Spirit upon us
and the gifts prepared for this Feast.
You came to earth in Jesus
and now we find you in the broken bread
which gives us the strength
   to be your hope to those in sadness,
   to be your light to those in shadows,
   to be your justice to the oppressed.
Your life was poured out for us in Jesus,
and now we find your grace in the cup
which gives us the spirit
   to be your healing to the broken,
   to be your family to the lonely,
   to be your love to those who are ignored.

And when all time is ended,
gather us with our sisters and brothers
from every time and every place
around the table you have prepared for us,
as we sing our joyful praises to you,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

We do not know when Christ will return,
so we will wait, and in the waiting
we will share hope with everyone around us.
We do not know what the coming days will bring,

but we will be alert,
noticing all those who need the help we can provide.
We do not know the opportunities we will be given,

but we will keep our eyes open,
so we can welcome each person
as if they are the Christ.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman