Friday, August 17, 2018

Liturgy with communion for August 26, 2018 (Pentecost 14/Trinity 13/Proper 16/Ordinary 21 - B)

Texts: 1 Kings 8: (1, 6, 10-11, 22-30), 41-43; Psalm 84; Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6:56-69

 Call to Worship
Jesus said: 'I am the Bread of Life . . .
whoever eats this Bread will always live.'
This is a tough teaching, too tough to swallow.
Jesus said: 'Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God
like a child shall not enter it.'
This is a tough teaching, too tough to hear.
Jesus said to all he met: 'Follow me.'
We have accepted Jesus, and seek to be faithful,
no matter how tough it is to follow him.

Prayer of the Day
Holy God,
Home of all who seek you:
may you find in our hearts paths to walk,
wandering with us through dark valleys,
dipping us in pools of living water,
lifting our faces to the grace
falling softly upon us.

Loving Lord,
Speaker of tough words:
we would wish for an easy life
as we follow you to our Home.
Help us to see that when we mop floors,
we find our meaning;
when we hammer nails,
we discover our hope;
when we embrace the sick,
we touch our healing.

Spirit of Strength,
Bearer of our prayers,
we would ask for:
the strength
to say 'yes'
when 'no' is on our lips;
the wisdom
to welcome all
into our hearts;
the longing
to be with you

God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray together,
as Jesus has taught us, saying,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
If it was easy to follow Jesus, we would not need to ask for forgiveness. But it is tough - tough to say 'yes,' tough to be graceful, tough to be loving. Yet whatever we do, God loves us enough to forgive us and to feed us with the Bread of Life. Let us pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
     God, our sun and shield: we may long to be in your house, but our deeds show how tough it is for us to live there. Called to follow, we search for paths to take us back to our old ways; given the words of eternal life, we weakly proclaim the gospel to others; offered the path of salvation to walk upon, we stumble down the rocky roads of our world.
     Forgive us, Guardian of our lives. Strengthen us with your Spirit, so we may serve your people with all that brings them life. Let your Word, Jesus Christ, the One we have come to believe and know is our Lord and Savior, be confirmed in us in every word, every deed, every thought, every moment in the days to come.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Today, receive the Bread of Life;
today, hear the words of eternal hope;
today, trust in the One who hears your prayers,
and showers grace and forgiveness upon you.
Today, we are set free to serve God's people, and to sing God's praises. Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
Take our gifts, Gracious God, and use them to put shoes on blistered feet, to put garments of grace around the hopeless, to touch hurting bodies with healing hands, and to share the gospel with everyone we meet.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the Lord, our Host, be with you!
And also with you!
Blessed are those whose hearts know the way to the kingdom.
Our hearts are filled with life itself
as we seek to follow Jesus.
Blessed are those who sing praises to God.
Trusting in the One who calls us here,
we sing our joy and love to God.

Early morning rains created pools
filled with the sweet waters of life
on that day of wonder and goodness
we call creation, God of our joy.
You shaped a garden
here we might always find you,
you offered hope to all who trusted you.
But we found your words too hard,
and the promises of sin too easy,
your road to peace was too long,
and death's path was so short.
Through the ambassadors of your word
you spoke, that we might know your name
and return to your heart.
But we were offended by their speech,
and went from sin to sin.
So, you sent Jesus to us,
the bread come down from heaven
to lead us back to you.

So, with those who have always known your name,
and those who have heard it for the first time,
we join our voices in praise and song:

Holy, holy, holy are you, our God and our Creator.
Heaven and highest heaven cannot contain you.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who comes with words of eternal life.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, God of steadfast love,
and blessed is Jesus, the Holy One of God.
Trusting your heart,
he poured out his love for us
in every miracle, in every conversation.
Trusting your words,
he told us of lost children welcomed
with open arms,
of outsiders who live out your grace.
Trusting you, Keeper of the covenant,
he would not live in the tents of evil,
but lived in your hope and peace.
Trusting your grace,
he journeyed to the cross
to defeat the power of death,
to be raised to new life,
so you might look upon the faces
of your beloved children.

As we gather to remember his life and death,
as we celebrate the wonder of the resurrection,
we make known the mystery of the gospel:

Christ died, so we might have peace;
Christ is risen, so we might live forever;
Christ will come again, so we may live
     in God's house for all eternity.

How lovely is your Table of grace, God of mercy,
the simple gifts of the bread and cup
transformed by your love,
your Spirit of joy and hope filling
your people who come to your feast.
The bread of heaven feeds us with life,
so we might go from person to person,
bringing relief where there is pain,
bringing hope where there is despair.
The cup of grace is filled
with deep pools of your hope,
so we might go to all the places
of worry, anger, and discord,
to share your peace for all people.

And when that day with you
which will never end finally begins,
when we are gathered with our sisters
and brothers from every time and place,
we will sing for joy to you,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

Let us go now, to share God's strength.
We will do so by embracing the weakness of others.
Let us go now, to be as alert as Jesus.
We will do so by noticing the brokenness all around us.
Let us go now, to share the life of the Spirit.
We will do so by receiving the bread of life from the poor.

(c) Thom M. Shuman