Friday, May 04, 2018

Liturgy w/communion for May 13, 2018 (Easter 7 - B)

Texts: Acts 1:15-17, 21-26; Psalm 1; 1 John 5:9-13; John 17:6-19

Call to Worship
From comfortable pews,
from tricycle seats,
from easy chairs in front of TVs:
God gathers us in, giving us the
words with which to proclaim the gospel.
At kitchen sinks,
at laptops and blackboards,
at nursing stations:
Christ calls us to share
in serving all creation.

In communities gathered to pray,
in memories of those who served,
in families grilling in the backyard:
The Holy Spirit fills us with God's joy.

Prayer of the Day

We do not notice,
Holy God,
but you give us:
   so we can think
   about your Word;
   so it may fill
   our emptiness;
   so we may know
   the path to walk.

We do not notice,
Risen Christ,
how you have not given
   just a piece of yourself,
   or a portion of your grace,
but all of who you are:
for us  -
and yet,
you regard US
as God's amazing gift
to you!

We do not notice,
Nourishing Spirit,
how you remove our fears,
   simply by sitting with us
   and holding our hearts;
or how you swirl around us,
   pulling us deeper and deeper
   into love, grace and peace,
until we find ourselves
rooted forever in the One
who watches over us forever.

God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray as we have been taught,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
We gather as God's people, believing the promises fulfilled in Christ.  We do not need to confess out
of dread or fear, but in trust that God is faithful to forgive us and make us new.  Join me as we pray,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
How foolish we are, Calling God,
to think we could be happy
when we sit in seduction's comfortable seats,
    and scoff at your call to discipleship;
or run down the easy streets of sin,
    rather than following Jesus;
or idolize the celebrities and superstars,
    and not see you in those who wait on us
    in stores, restaurants, and sport arenas.

Forgive us, Author of Life.
Keep us from our silly selfishness
as we seek to become
    those branches children can climb on;
as we hope to provide shade
    for fellow pilgrims;
as we long to be continually nourished
    by the Living Water of Jesus Christ,
    our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
We are no longer blown about in the winds of the world, we are grounded, yesterday, today, tomorrow in God's forgiveness, hope and love.
Today, tomorrow, forever:  we can bear fresh fruit, sharing God's peace and joy with everyone we meet.  Thanks be to God, we are forgiven!  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication
As we offer our gifts, remind us that they will be used to heal the broken often lost in the systems we have created, to feed those who don’t have the forms filled out correctly, and to bring hope to those who wander the shadowed alleys of despair.  This we pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of joy be with you.
And with you as well.
We are called to share the gospel with all we meet.
God fills our hearts, as well as our hands,
to bring healing and hope to the world.
Join in singing God’s praise as we gather around the Table.
As streams of joy and wonder pour into us,
so our songs of thanksgiving flood through all creation.

You stood among chaos, Ever Watchful God,
and called forth creation in all its beauty:
   rooting oak trees in the rich loam of your Word,
   watering seeds with the Spirit’s showers,
   using goodness to pave the paths
through the garden of hope and grace designed
for those you shaped in your image.
You called to us to pay close attention,
   but we chose to follow sin’s directions,
   making death our ultimate destination.
Prophets were sent to take the witness stand,
placing their hands on our hearts
to offer testimony concerning your hopes,
   but we continued to listen
   to temptations broken promises.
So Jesus came to show us how
   to walk the right paths,
   to do the right things,
   to be people of righteousness and justice.
With those who listen to your heart,
with those who stumble along the way,
we lift our praise to you:
Holy, holy, holy are you, God who gives us eternal life.
All creation joins in praising your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who sanctifies us.
Hosanna in the highest!
In your holiness, Tender God, we find life,
and in that blessing names Jesus, we find our Friend.
Seeing us sitting in chairs warmed by foolishness,
   he came to pull us to our feet,
   to offer us a seat handcrafted by his grace.
Noticing how we tended to listen only to seductive whispers,
   he came singing songs composed
   in the depths of your compassionate heart.
Watching our tendencies to drift through life
like dandelion seed heads floating on temptation,
   he came to plant us deep within your forgiveness,
   watering us with the spring showers of resurrection
   he brought with him on that first Easter morning.  
As we seek to walk the paths of righteousness,
as we long to bear witness to Jesus in our time,
we speak of that mystery called faith:
Dying, Jesus destroyed the power of death;
being raised to life, Jesus destroyed death’s sting;
coming for us, Jesus will guide us from death to eternity with God.
It is here at this Table,
where the Spirit is poured out
upon the gifts of the bread and the cup,
that we know of your love and grace.
Made whole by the brokenness of the bread,
we would go to bring words of hope
to all who have been told they are worthless,
to strengthen all weakened by grief and loss.
Watered by the goodness of the cup,
we would offer compassion
to everyone who has been hurt,
we would carry hope to all
whose hearts are emptied by despair.
And when we are gathered with our sisters and brothers
around your Feast of the Lamb in glory,
we will bring our songs of joy to you,
planted forever and ever in the depths of your heart,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

From the comfort of this place,
to the discomfort of discipleship,
we will go to serve your people, Loving God.
Weeding community gardens which feed the hungry,
tutoring children after school,
we will go to wrap others in your grace, Jesus our Brother.
Listening to the stories of the ignored,
learning the language of our newest neighbors,
we will go to discover the truth you share in every moment, Spirit of Wisdom.

(c) Thom M. Shuman