Friday, May 11, 2018

Liturgy w/communion for May 20, 2018 (Pentecost - B)

Texts:  Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 104:24-35; Acts 2:1-21; John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

Call to Worship
Come, Holy, Spirit, come.
Come and move in and through us.
Whispers of hope around the corner of despair;
shouts of joy at a graduation:
You are around us in every place.
The sweet breath of a baby,
the remembrances of the elderly:
You speak to us through every person.
Soft breezes on a summer’s day;
bitter winds through frozen trees:
You are with us in every season.
The gentle lullabies of a parent;
the birds twittering us awake:
You sing glad songs to us.
The sudden rush of newness
throwing open our sheltered fears;
the gale of justice breaking down
the walls of oppression:
You sweep us up in your commitment
to transform all lives, all places.
In every breath, in every song,
in every moment, in every tongue:
Transform us!

Prayer of the Day
You come like a dove,
Anointing God,
in every time, in every place,
in every language and way of communicating,
announcing through your Spirit
that we are your Beloved.

You come like a whirlwind,
Spirit’s Brother,
justice doing cartwheels before you,
grace tumbling over grace,
hope gusting open windows
of our shuttered hearts.

You come first as a whisper
and then a mighty shout,
Wind of God,
a waterfall of peace and hope
cascading down into a pool
where we can swim forever.

You come, God in Community,
wind, flame, voice, joy, life
for all you call your children
and so we pray as we have been taught,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
We say we want change, but prefer the comfort of what we have; we long for new life, yet turn our backs on those around us.  We could open our arms to others, but close them tight around our fears.  Let us confess our lives to our God, as we hope for the Holy Spirit to come and dance among us, as we pray, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   Your Spirit moves over the waters, Gracious God, but we prefer to splash in the puddles of temptation.  You would breathe life into us in every moment, but we hold our breath until we turn blue, wanting to get our way.  You would give us the words to bring hope to the despairing, to offer healing to the broken, and to share hope in the places of anger and violence, but we turn them in accusations towards those around us.
   In your mercy, forgive us, God of gusty grace.  May your Spirit sing in our hearts, so we may invite others to dance in joy with us.  May your Spirit be the still, small voice which silences the shouts of fear and worry all around us.  May your Spirit sweep us off our feet and into the arms of Jesus Christ, our Brother, our Savior, our Companion.  Amen.

 Silence is kept

 Assurance of Pardon
In every breath we take, there is the Spirit;
in every word we speak, there is the Spirit;
in every heart we touch, there is the Spirit;
in every person we welcome, there is the Spirit.
In forgiveness, we are given the words to speak; the courage to reach out to others; the open heart to offer others, the breath of life to share with those around us.  Thanks be to God, we are forgiven!  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
These gifts are but the bare bones of who we are, and what we could offer.  So, move over them, filling them with muscles, and sinews, and breaths of our lives, so they might become living gifts of hope and grace to others.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of wind and flame be with you.
And also with you.
Throw open the shutters of your hearts, so God may enter.
We offer our hearts so God’s joy might dance over our lives.
Take deep breaths and sing your praises to our God.
We join all people and languages in praising the One who feeds us this day.

You whispered in the silence
and the Spirit tumbled forth,
   moving over water buoying whales,
   rattling treetops on tall mountains,
   cradling hawks gliding over meadows.
You shaped us from creation’s dusty floor,
and Spirit breathed life into us,
so we might follow you through life,
   but we sought sin’s narcissistic vision
   in death’s mirror and like it better.
Prophets, both old and young, women and men,
spoke of your dreams for us,
   but we preferred to shutter ourselves
   in the shadowed rooms of temptation.
So, with the Spirit breathing hope,
you sent your beloved Child to us
so we might once again have hope.

With those who dance with joy on this day,
with those who long for the fresh breath of grace,
we sing out songs of praise to you:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God of wind and flame.
All creation dances in the Spirit’s arms this day.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who is anointed by the Spirit.
Hosanna in the highest!

In the soft, warm breath
of a baby, you come
   to be one of us in every way.
In the gentle invitation
to followers, you whisper
   that all are welcome.
In the sobs
at the tomb of Lazarus, you echo
   our grief and loss.
In the anguished cry
on the cross, you join us
   on the last journey.
In the new life breathed
by the Spirit, you show us
   that death has no power,
   but love endures forever.

As we gather to celebrate this day,
as we remember the gifts Jesus shared,
we sing of that faith which is a mystery:

Christ died, his last breath stolen from him;
Christ was raised, the Spirit’s breath bringing new life;
Christ will come, breathing new grace and hope in our lives.

Here, where the bread and the cup wait,
breathe your Spirit upon these gifts.
Here, where the young long for visions,
and the old whisper their memories,
breathe your Spirit upon us, Holy God.
Let us not be content
simply to eat the bread,
but be strengthened by it
to blow through the fears among us,
   knocking them off their feet
   so they have to power.
Let us not just sip from grace’s cup,
but be enflamed by its passion for justice,
   to breathe new life into all
   who have lost that last bit of hope.

And when our journey has ended
and we are invited to with those
of every time and from every place,
breathe on us, very Breath of God,
so we may take in great gasps of grace,
to forever praise your name,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

God’s Breath of hope has torn open
the shutters of our hearts,
So that we may open them to all who long
for grace and life.
Justice is the strong wind poured into us
by the One who is Brother to the forgotten.
We will go into the streets of our neighborhoods
to serve our sisters and brothers.
A new community is being shaped by the Holy Spirit,
made up of those from every place, every tongue.
We will join hearts with those we meet,
we will learn songs of joy in new languages.

© 2018 Thom M. Shuman