Saturday, May 11, 2019

Liturgy with communion for May 19, 2019 (Easter 5 - C)

Texts: Acts 11:1-18; Palm 148; Revelation 21:1-6; John 13:31-35

Call to Worship
Praise God, all people!
Praise the Lord, all creation!

Whales doing backflips in the air,
squid and octopi dancing on the ocean floor;
giant redwoods stretching to the sky,
tomato vines cuddling around a stake.

Mountains blocking the sunrise,
moles tunneling through our front lawns;
5-year-olds sitting in a story-time circle,
grandparents singing 'their song.'

Redbuds decorating our backyard,
grass growing faster than our children;
seals getting a suntan on the rocks,
teenagers knotted together at church.

Praise the Lord, all creation!
Praise God, all people!

Prayer of the Day

Vision-Giving God,
when you put bandages
     on skinned knees;
when you hold the hand
     of a teenager
          grieving unrequited love;
when you wipe away the tears
     of parents at graduation day:
you show us
your new creation.

Brother to little children,
when you hang out
     with the world's outcasts;
when you stay a little longer
     with those we rush past;
when you will not take sides
     in our petty little games:
you show us
the new earth.

Holy Spirit,
when you turn on the
     'no vacancy' sign
          as death comes our way;
when mourning becomes
     a distant memory;
when pain is found
     only in dusty history books:
you show us
the new heaven.

God in Community, Holy in One,
make us new,
as we pray as Jesus teaches, saying,
(Our Father . . .)

Call to Reconciliation
We show others who we are by the lives we lead, the words we speak, the actions we undertake.  Let us confess how we have not been God's little children, when we fail to love as we have been loved.

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
Who are we to get in your way, Holy God?  We put people into neat, little boxes, but you rip them open, so folks can dance in your joy. We imprison others with our unmet expectations, and you set them free with a Word. We build walls around those we don't know, and you tear them down, so they can run wild in the kingdom.
     Who are we to get in your way, Saving Power, especially in the way of your forgiveness offered to all! Give us your vision that sees everyone as equal - forgiven, graced, loved - even as we seek to follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
We know who God is by the love shown to us in Christ Jesus.
We will show others who we are - and Whose we are - by the loved poured out by our lives.  Thanks be to God, we are forgiven! Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
You bless us in so many ways and with so many gifts, Loving God.  As we praise you, may we offer our gifts so those who have so little may be fed, clothed, healed, restored, and graced.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May God be with you.

And also with you.
Little children, lift your hearts to God.
We lift them to the One who loves us forever.
Let us glorify the One who has raised Jesus to new life.
We sing praises to God, who makes all things new.

You commanded, Holy God,
and chaos yielded to your Word,
so all that is beautiful and good
     might be created by your grace.
The sun and moon were shaped
so we would have days and nights
     in which to praise you,
but we spent our time
denying your dreams for us,
     living each moment for ourselves.
You fixed the boundaries for your Garden,
where we could have life and joy with you,
     but we chose to play
          on the garbage dumps of sin.
You told the prophets to 'Go!'
to bring your vision
of healing and restoration,
     but we thought them to be fools,
     standing on the edges of our lives.
When we had decided
to have nothing to do with you,
you chose to become one of us,
living, calling, creating once again
through Jesus the Christ.

Therefore, with those around the Throne,
and with those in every time and place,
we sing our praises to you:

Holy, holy, holy, God who makes all things new.
The height, the depth, the breadth, the width

     of creation praises you.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who comes, the Alpha and Omega.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, Creator of the Universe,
and blessed is Jesus, your Son, our Lord.
When he could have left us

to deal with sin and death on our own,
     he came to live with us;
when he could have chosen
the path to power and fame,
     he walked the deadly road to Calvary;

when he could have called down
the angels to save him,
     he cried out for forgiveness
          for all your children.
When you could have left him
alone and forsaken in the grave,
     you graced him with new life.

So as we sing our Easter Alleluias,
we echo that mystery we call faith:

Christ died, that death would be defeated.
Christ was raised, that God would be glorified.
Christ will come again, that we would be led to life.

Pour out your Spirit
upon this Bread and this Cup, O God,
that they might become
your grace and peace for us,
     so we might become your servants
     of hope and joy to our world.
As we come to your Table,
remind us of your promises
that when the sea is no more,
     you will flood us with your grace;
that when the earth is a hollow husk,
     you will walk with us
     through the streets
          of the New Jerusalem;
that when the sun, moon, and stars
have burned out in space,
     the Light of your love
          will shine for us forever.

And when we sit down
at the Feast of the Lamb,
receiving grace from those we loved,
and passing it on to those we feared
until all people are served,
we will sing with one heart and voice:
"Glory to the One who makes all things new -
     even us;
Glory to the One who comes in the name of the Lord -
     for us;

Glory to the One who makes no distinction -
     among us!'
Glory to God in Three Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Let us go now to praise God with our hearts.
To see the imagination of God in every moment of creation,
in every person we meet in the days to come.
Let us go now to praise Jesus with our lives.
To bring justice to those who are oppressed,
to bring hope to those who live in despair and worry.
Let us go now to praise the Spirit with our lips.
To speak peace into all the broken places of our communities,
to whisper grace to all those forgotten by the world.

(c) Thom M. Shuman