Friday, May 25, 2018

Liturgy w/communion for June 3, 2018 (Pentecost 2/Trinity 1/Proper 4/Ordinary 9 - B)

Texts: 1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20); Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18: 2 Corinthians 4:5-12; Mark 2:23 – 3:6

Call to Worship
When we are relaxing after a long day,
when we are pacing midnight’s floor,
God knows, and is with us.
When we are climbing the ladder of success,
when we have tripped over despair,
God knows, and guides us along the way.
When we are tongue-tied and in love,
when we struggle to speak of hope,
God knows, and gives us the words we need.

Prayer of the Day
You thought for a moment,
and creation sprang forth
from your Wisdom;
    and now,
    you know our thoughts:
        anger that can
            crush another's spirit;
        contempt that can
            drown a dream;
        hatred which could
            cripple a lover.

You spoke a Word,
and healing walked
among death's dark shadows;
    and now,
    before we can say a word,
    you know
        the loneliness        
            stalking our nights;
        the sin
            corroding our hearts;
        the emptiness
            flooding our souls.

You know
and yet
    you reach out
    to take our hands,
    walking with us,
so that
    at last,
        we are finally with you.

We pray that you will continue
to know us better than we know ourselves,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we pray as we are taught,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
God knows – our thoughts, our hearts, our deeds, our inability to love, even our refusal to forgive others.  Yet the One who knows us best, is willing to gather us up in loving arms of grace and mercy.  Let us bring our confessions, as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
     You search us, Wonderful God, and what do you find?  People whose minds are so full of the world’s trash, that there is no room to think of others.  People who offer stale crusts to the hungry, not the food which gives them life.  People who are so busy patting ourselves on the back, that we cannot reach out to those who have fallen.
     Forgive us, All merciful God.  May we listen to your words of grace, and become more gracious.  May we hear your words of hope, and then live as people overflowing with it.  When you call us, may we respond, ‘here am I,’ as faithfully as Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
This is the good news, dear friends: the One who knows our worst fills us with the best – grace, wonder, and forgiveness.
Our ears tingle with this news, our hearts overflow with hope.  Thanks be to God, we are forgiven.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
Because you know us, O God, you are aware of our reluctance to share what we have.  You continue to call us, to challenge us, to use us in the work of your kingdom.  So take these gifts, and continue to call us to faithful lives and generous giving, so that others might be blessed as we are.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of the Feast be with you.
And also with you.
Offer your hearts to our God, dear ones.
We do so, that God’s light might shine in them.
Sing praises to God who loves us.
We rejoice in the One who invites us to this Table.
From the hollowness of chaos,
Imaginative God,
you fearfully and wonderfully made all things:
     lightning that flashes on mountaintops,
     thunder that echoes off valley floors,
     snakes that slither through mud,
     dogs that keep a watchful eye while we sleep.
We were intricately woven in your image,
as you longed for us to be with your forever,
     but sin seemed too wonderful to us,
     and we followed it towards death.
You sent trustworthy women and men
to offer your invitation to come home,
     but we let their words drop from
     our ears and shatter on the ground.
Grieving over the hardness of our hearts,
you sent your Child to us,
your treasure in human form.
With all those who have found you,
with those who continue to search,
we lift our voices in thanksgiving:
Holy, holy, holy are you, God of delight.
All your wonder-filled works offer you praise.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who comes searching for us.
Hosanna in the highest!
You are holy, yet know us
intimately, God of love,
which is why you shared Jesus with us.
Noticing where we went wrong,
     he came to put us back
     on the right path to you.
Seeing we were burdened with
our foolish choices,
     he came, to take that
     weight off of us.
Knowing that our lives would
be withered by death,
     he went to the cross,
     so your healing resurrection
     might be offered to all.
While we are afflicted, we are not crushed;
while we are knocked down, we cannot destroyed;
while it is a mystery, we still proclaim our faith:
Christ died, carrying our death with him;
Chris was raised, bringing new life for all;
Christ will come, revealing your glory.
Before we even gather,
your Spirit has been preparing
the bread and the cup – and us! –
for this marvelous feast.
You invite us to eat of the Bread of life,
not so we might be made whole,
     but so we might go forth
     to break the hold of injustice and oppression
     on our sisters and brothers.
You offer us the Cup of grace,
not because you love us more,
     but so we will welcome
             the outcast,
     we will embrace
             the unloved,
     we will call
             the unwanted our family.
And when we come to the end of time,
we will find ourselves with you,
seated at your Table with our
sisters and brothers of every time and place,
joining to praise you forever and ever,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

Knowing us better than we know ourselves,
God would have us go into the world.
We will go, so we might know others
as our sisters and brothers, not as strangers.
Trusting us better than we trust ourselves,
Jesus calls us to go and to serve others.
We will go, so that we might feed those who are hungry
and bring healing to those withered by hopelessness.
Gifting us better than we gift ourselves,
the Spirit fills us with all we need to be for those around us.
We will go, so that we might be those clay jars
broken and poured out as grace for others.

(c) Thom M. Shuman