Saturday, June 02, 2018

Alternate texts liturgy w/communion for June 10, 2018 (Pentecost 3/Trinity 2/Proper 5/Ordinary 10 - B)

Texts:  Genesis 3:8-15; Psalm 130; 2 Corinthians 4:13 – 5:1; Mark 3:20-35

Call to Worship
On an ordinary Sunday, we come to worship God.
We come, trusting God will speak to us;
we come, hoping God will surprise us.
On this day, like every other day,
we seek to follow Jesus:
We follow, believing Jesus will be with us;
we follow, hoping Jesus will work through us.
On this day, we lift our souls to God's Spirit:
We open our hearts, that the Spirit may fill us;
we open our hands, that we might be a gift to others.

Prayer of the Day
The little child struggling with fears;
the grandfather facing failing health;
the parent who lies awake till the early morning hours;
the teenager pressured by peers;
the lonely who are prey to con artists;
all of us with ordinary aches, pains, and worries -
each is cradled as your beloved child,
Tender God.

Those who work through the night;
those who sleep in littered parks;
those who are called exceptional;
those who are differently-gifted;
those who are filled with doubts;
those who spill over with laughter;
the youngest,
the oldest,
the ordinary  -
each is called sister or brother by you,
Lord Jesus.

Joyous praisers of your name;
seekers of hope;
those walled out by prejudice and hate;
babies who cry from hunger;
the poor who share their last coin
with those in greater need;
all the ordinary people around the world
are members of your family,
Spirit of Hope.

God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we lift our voices
praying as Jesus has taught us, saying,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
We live our lives, tiptoeing around the facts that we often say words we should never have uttered, we do those things we wish we could take back.  Yet, you would reach out to take us by the hand, so we walk together in the garden of grace.  Let us offer our hearts, and our brokenness, to our God, who offers us mercy in these moments.  Join me as we use the words found below, praying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness

   From the basements of our lives, we lift our prayers to you, Parent of our hearts.  We are convinced we know who our sisters and brothers are, and so ignored those you long for us to embrace.  Someone told us once that we had faults, and so we try to live up to their expectations.  We are so intent on watching for all the could go wrong, we miss your hope rising just over the horizon.
   If you kept a spreadsheet of our foolishness, Creator of your family, we would be in big trouble.  But you do not let our mistakes distract you from walking with us in every moment.  And so, we hear you calling us by name, and welcoming us into your family of faith, as we seek to follow Jesus Christ, our Brother, into reaching out to all around us.
Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Hope in God, dear friends.  For the One who listens to our prayers is the God who loves us.  The One who knows our foolish lives better than we do, is the God who forgives us.
This is indeed good news for us.  No longer do we need to wait, but can rush into God’s gracious embrace, knowing that God will walk with us even when we stumble, will continue to affirm us, when everyone else around us tears us down.  Thanks be to God, we are forgiven!  Amen.
Prayer of Dedication/Offering
May the gifts we offer be used, Loving God, not to feed strangers we do not know, but our sisters and brothers who hunger for companionship, as well as food; who look for a heart which will welcome them, as much as a place to sleep; who long for those who will accept them for who they are, not see them as those who have no worth.  This we pray in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God who walks with us be with you.
And also with you.
People of God, lift up your hearts to the One who waits.
We offer them to God, for whom we wait in every moment.
Children of God, rejoice in the goodness of God.
We give thanks to the One who feeds us with grace and hope.

Early on that first morning,
Creative God,
you crept down quietly down
to the kitchen to begin
crafting creation from simple ingredients.
   You poured water into rivers
      and populated fields with animals;
   you hung the stars in the crystal night
      and shaped the sun to warm kittens.
You baked bread whose aroma
drifted up to tickle our souls awake
so that we could bound down the stairs
to be wrapped in your hugs,
   but we preferred to stay in our rooms,
   sulking with sin and death.
Prophets came to remind us
that we were your children,
   but we continued to walk in the shadows,
   holding tight to temptations’ hands.
You could no longer wait for our souls
to change on their own,
so you sent your Child to call us home.
With those we recognize easily as family
and those we are not that certain about,
we sing our praises to you this day:
Holy, holy, holy are you, God of early mornings.
All creation joins in praising you.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who comes bringing your hope.
Hosanna in the highest!
Because you are holy, God of all creation,
you could hold yourself aloof from us,
but in Jesus Christ, you came to walk with us.
On his days of infancy and as a toddler,
   we see tiny ones as those
   we are to nurture and protect.
In his days as an adolescent,
   we learn to listen to questions
   we know we might have trouble answering.
In his friendship with the Marys and Martha,
   we see that all women are our sisters,
   whose strength and compassion can transform us.
In his challenging Peter, James, and John,
   we discover that men are more insecure
   than they would ever dare admit.
In his willingness to embrace the pain
of the cross for all those who knew
as well as those he never met,
   all of your children are gathered as a family,
   for death cannot separate us from each other,
   and resurrection love welcomes all equally.
As we remember his refusal to be exclusive in relationships,
as we celebrate the love which is poured out for all,
we speak of that faith which can be a mystery:
Christ died for his family, which includes everyone;
Christ was raised, so even the outsiders would be welcome;
Christ will come and bring us home to the One who embraces
   each and every one of us.

On this day, when we gather with folks we know all too well
and those we are meeting for the first time,
we pray that you pour out your Spirit
upon the gifts of the bread and the cup
which are offered to all your family.
Fed by the bread of hope and patience,
we will wait for the opportunities
   to feed those who are hungry,
   to welcome all who are excluded,
   to share all that we have, and
run to give of ourselves to others.
Nourished by the cup of grace and joy,
we will not give up in the face
of injustice, anger, and fear,
   but continue to walk with those who are weary,
   to carry those who have no strength,
   to skip with little kids filled with delight.
And when all time has ended, gather us
with our sisters and brothers of every time,
especially those we ignored or hurt,
so that we might celebrate as your family
at the table of healing and grace,
rejoicing together as we give you thanks,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.  
Now, let us go into the world as God’s children.
We will go to walk beside all who are in the shadows,
for there, we will find God journeying with them.
Now, let us go into our communities as the family of Jesus.
We will walk with our sisters who work multiple jobs;
we will walk with our brothers who raise children on their own.
Now, let us go into our neighborhoods as companions of the Spirit.
We will walk in peace with those who are so angry,
we will walk with those who have been damaged by hate.
© 2018 Thom M. Shuman