Saturday, February 02, 2019

Liturgy with communion for February 10, 2019 (Epiphany 5 - C)

Texts:  Isaiah 6:1-13; Psalm 138; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11

Call to Worship
L:    It is by grace that we are who we are:
P:    people who are called by Jesus, yet fearful to follow.
L:    It is by God's grace that we can become followers:
P:    people who are fearful, yet gifted with courage beyond wonder.
L:    It is with God's grace that we become who we might be:
P:    people who step out in faith, sharing the good news generously.

Prayer of the Day
Holy God, by your grace:
you touch our fears
with the fire of your compassion;
you touch our brokenness
with the fire of your forgiveness;
you touch our hearts
with the fire of your love.

Jesus Christ, by your grace:
you step into our lives
and an unpredictable journey begins;
you challenge us to new thinking,
with overflowing results;
you so confront our doubts
that we can cast away our fears.

Holy Spirit, by your grace:
you give us eyes
to see the emptiness of the world;
you give us ears
to hear the cries of the hungry;
you give us gifts
to bring hope and healing to all.

God in Community, Holy in One,
by your grace we are who we are,
your children, your people, your church,
praying together as Jesus has taught us, saying,
(The Lord's Prayer).

Call to Reconciliation
It is so simple to say, yet so difficult to live out - 'do not be afraid!'  Yet, whatever fear burdens us, God will lift from our souls.  Whatever foolishness we have uttered, God whispers mercy to us.  Whatever wrong we have done, God's forgiveness is poured out upon us.  I invite you to join with me as we pray to the One whose love is constant in every moment, in every place, of our lives.

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   God of wonder and joy, we look in the mirror and do not see holiness reflected back.  We long to be sisters and brothers with others, but don't want to be an intrusion in our friends' lives.  We yearn to be more compassionate, yet it is often spite and malice we offer to someone else.  We are so busy listening to those internal i-pods, that we have trouble hearing the cries of loneliness coming from those around us.
   Forgive us, God who longs to be enthroned in our hearts.  You call us to different lives, so we might make a difference for all who hurt.  You invite us into your kingdom, so we might show the others the way.  You challenge us to take a risk by following Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, so we might become your children once again.

Silence is observed

Assurance of Pardon
L:  The One who alone is Holy became wholly human so we might see the face of grace.  The One who is seated in the heavens endured the cross so we might see the face of salvation.  This is our good news:  we are forgiven!
P:    By God's grace, with God's grace, we are who we are meant to be: forgiven, restored, called people.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
God who alone is holy, we offer our gifts, our lives, our compassion, our service to others, and to your creation.  Bless all that we offer, so that we might be blessings of hope, peace, and grace.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L:    May God be with you.
P:    And also with you.
L:    Beloved of God, lift up your hearts.
P:    We lift them to the One who knows us and loves us.
L:    Beloved of God, give thanks to the Lord our God.
P:    Our praise is continually offered to our Hope, our Trust, our God.

In that time when there was only You,
you walked in the midst of chaos,
shaping all that is good and beautiful.
In that place where there was only your Love, you stretched out your hands scooping up the dirt off earth's floors, shaping us in your image, breathing Spirit into our lungs.
In that silence where there was only your Hope, you called us to be your people, God of glory and wonder.
But the world sang its seductions,
sin called us to follow its despair,
death blinded us to the life you offered.
And so, pouting and stamping our feet
because you would not give us our way,
we turned away going down another path.
You would not pay attention
to our foolish tantrums,
nor would you leave us
in the grasp of death and sin,
trusting that if we encountered
the grace wrapped in your holiness,
we would turn to you in joy.

And so, believing that you have reached out and called us to service with you, and touched our lips with songs of hope, we join our voices with those who, in every time and in every place sing of your ways forever:

P:    I bind unto myself today
        your power, O God, to hold and lead,
        your eye to watch, your might to stay,
        your ear to hearken to my need,
        your wisdom, O my God, to teach,
        your hand to guide, your shield to ward,
        your living Word to give me speech,
        your heavenly host to be my guard.
            (The Breastplate of St. Patrick)

Holy are you, Sanctuary of our hearts,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, Word of joyous grace.
In that time when we had lost our way,
he called to us,
so we could follow him into your joy.
In that time when all hope had died,
he touched our lips
with the bright fire of your love.
In that time when death's cold grip
wrapped tightly around our hearts,
he came,
to surround us with your live.

While we cannot understand the mysteries of your wonder and grace,               when we are called to Christ's side                                                                        we can only cry, 'here we are; we will follow'
even as we hope for that faith which was his.

P:    We adore you, Lord Jesus Christ,
        in all the churches of the whole world,
        and we bless you, for by means of your holy cross
        you have redeemed the world.
            (Francis of Assisi)

In this time of silence, Spirit of God,
may this bread which is broken
become our wholeness.
In this time of grace,
may this cup which is poured
touch our lips with healing.
In this time when we feel the brush
of your fingertips caressing us,
may we believe that your justice and peace are to be shared with all people; that our hearts can bear the burdens of others; that we may bring joy to the lonely and suffering.

Then, when our journey is ended,
and we have followed you into eternity,
we will gather around your Table
in that silence, which is only your grace;                                                           
in that place, which is only your heart;
in that time, which is only your love,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

L: Filled with God's grace, we will go,
P: to share hope with those in despair,
    to befriend the lonely and afraid.
L: Filled with God's grace, we will follow Jesus,
P: to offer justice to those forgotten by the world,
    to embrace those filled with grief and loss.
L: Filled with God's grace, we are empowered by the Spirit,
P: to bring peace into all the brokenness around us,
    to walk in faith beside our sisters and brother.

(c) 2019 Thom M. Shuman