Friday, July 20, 2018

Liturgy with communion for July 29, 2018 (Pentecost 10/Trinity 9/Proper 12/Ordinary 17 - B)

Texts: 2 Samuel 11:1-15; Psalm 14; Ephesians 3:14-21; John 6:1-21

Call to Worship
The foolish say, "There is no God!
We are alone, on our own."
We gather to declare
the glory of God in our lives.
The foolish say, "It is your life;
you are accountable to no one."
We gather, strengthened by the Spirit,
trusting that Christ dwells in our hearts.
The foolish say, "Everything I have is mine;
I owe nothing to anyone."
We gather to praise the One
who calls us to serve others in love.

Prayer of the Day
Your glory flows
through all generations,
as you name every family
in heaven and on earth.
And so we come to you this day,
O God.

Your grace is
higher than the farthest star;
your peace is
deeper than our greatest emptiness;
your love spans
the abyss of death;
your hope stretches
into all eternity.
And so we come to you this day,
O Christ.

When our lives bottom out,
your grace is still our bedrock;
when our spirits run dry,
you fill us with your joy;
when we falter in our faith,
you strengthen us
to serve with hope and peace.
And so we come to you this day,
O Spirit.

God in Community, Holy in One,
we come to you this day,
praying as we have been taught,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
God looks at us, to see if we are wise enough to offer confession, to receive forgiveness, and to seek to know the healing love of Christ.  Let us prove our wisdom, and set aside our foolish pride, as we pray together,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   Wisdom's Heart: deep within, we know how we have failed to be your people.  Our hardened hearts are closed to the love of Christ; our lust for more and more blocks the fullness of your grace from transforming our lives; our trust in the powers of the world reveals our foolish nature.
   Have mercy, God of every generation.  Pour out the rich blessing of forgiveness on our parched souls.  Feed us with Heaven's Bread, so we might be nourished by your gentleness.  Shape us as your people, and restore us to faithful living, as we seek to follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in service to everyone we meet.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
The wideness of God's mercy, the range of God's forgiveness, the infinite love of God, the Heart of hope which is never empty:  all these gifts are ours, as God restores us to the fullness of life meant for us.
Grounded in love, rooted in discipleship, we offer ourselves in service to others, recognizing the limitless grace which is ours to share in Christ.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
In our hands, the gifts seem so paltry, but in yours, they can bring plentitude of grace to those who are so hungry for hope.  In our hearts, we wonder how effective our ministries might be, but joined with yours, we can indeed bring healing, community, peace, and joy to our struggling communities.  Bless us and our gifts, multiply our hopes and our efforts, that your wonders might come into the world around us.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May God feed you at this Table of grace!
And also feed you!
God desires to dwell in us,
and so we open our hearts to welcome God.
Let us rejoice in the God who loves us,
as we sing songs of thanksgiving to God.

Chaos foolishly thought there was no God,
until you spoke and sent it astray,
as creation burst forth from your imagination,
   grace racing the breadth and length
      planting wonders and joys beyond count,
   laughter filling the height and depth
      of every corner of the universes.
You prayed that we would have the power
to understand that all these gifts were shaped
for the life of those crafted in your image.
   But early one evening we gazed sin bathing,
   and felt it so beautiful that we inquired
   of death how to gain it.
You sent the prophets to us,
their words continuing to challenge us
to see if we had grown any wiser,
   but we continued to confound your plans,
   seeking refuge in the alluring embrace of temptation.
Finally, you sent Jesus to us,
who continually called to us,
‘do not be afraid; I am here.’

So with those who have come through the storms of life,
with those foolish enough to rely more on themselves than on you,
we lift our voices in glad song to you:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God of who feeds all people.
All creation is filled with the fullness of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who came be the bread to feed our emptiness.
Hosanna in the highest!

You alone are holy, God of every moment,
and in your Child, Jesus, we find that love we cannot understand.
He could have stayed on the safe shores of glory,
   but came to bring us hope in every storm we face.
He could have kept your abundance for himself,
   but took your gifts and poured them out for us,
   so much that there were leftovers to share with those around us.
He could have left us to our foolish lives,
   but confounded the plans of sin
   by defeating death at its own game,
and restored us in that refuge called the resurrection.

As we try to understand his willingness to restore
   our fragmented lives through his brokenness,
as we ponder that miracle which is beyond death,
we proclaim that mystery we call faith:

We know God’s love, by the death of Christ;
we received the grace of God, by the resurrection of Christ;
we will be fed in glory, by the return of Christ.

We gather at this Table which is blessed
by your Spirit of transformation,
the common gifts being set aside for your holy use.
The broken pieces of the bread
are just enough to strengthen us
so we can go out to serve our fragmented world.
The cup of grace overflows with hope,
so we can see those around us,
   the families without hope,
   the children without food,
   the elderly without friends,
   the world without peace.

And when that time comes, when you show
how truly foolish you are by gathering
those of every time and place around your Table,
we will join our hearts and voices
in singing our praises to you forever and ever,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

Let us go now, foolish enough to believe in God.
We will see God in everyone we meet.
Let us go now, foolish enough to follow Jesus.
We will share grace with those who need it the most.
Let us go now, foolish enough to be filled with the Holy Spirit,
We will serve with the Spirit in calming the fears of the world.

© 2015 Thom M. Shuman