Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Alternate texts liturgy with communion for June 30, 2019 (Pentecost 3/Trinity 2/Proper 8/Ordinary 13 - C)

Texts: 1 Kings 19:15-16; 19-21; Psalm 16; Galatians 1, 13-25; Luke 9:51-62

Call to Worship
With these people, in this space,
we come to learn from God.
To discover how to share love and grace
with the same abandon as God.
In this space, in these moments,
we come to follow Jesus.
We would welcome others with joy and hope
even as he received everyone who came to him.
In these moments, with these people,
we come to bear the Spirit's bounty.
To be patient with those who aggravate us,
even as the Spirit is kind in looking past our lives.

Prayer of the Day
We have chosen to love you,
God of wonder,
not just the smallest part
when we think of you once
in a while or call out your name,
but all of you:
the grace which wraps us like a shawl,
the safe space you offer when we are scared,
the joy which teaches us new songs.

We have chosen to follow you,
Jesus our Guide, our Brother,
not just the baby steps 
of faith when we are just
starting the journey with you,
but all of you:
the steep hill of discipline
   which leads to self-denial,
the bumpy road potholed with fears
   which leads to trust,
the dusty way of death
   which leads to life.

We have chosen to learn from you,
Wisdom of the universes,
not just the letters of grace,
and the numerals of wonder,
but all of you:
the passion of your heart for others,
    which teaches us justice;
the skills of reconciliation,
    so we can build bridges, not walls;
the songs resounding in your soul,
     so we can bear fruit for those around us.

We have chosen you, all of you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
so hear us as we pray, saying,
(The Lord's Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
We always come up with excuses - why we said what we did; why we couldn't do what we should have for another; why we are too busy to follow Jesus.  Fortunately, God is always willing to show us another path to life, if we but listen, if we might be willing to go this other way.  Let us confess our lives to God, as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   We could be people of love and peace, God of grace, but we choose the mentors of cruelty and indifference.  We could whisper hope to those who are lonely, but we prefer to look past them.  We could follow Jesus to serve others, to work for justice, to care for the most vulnerable, but we always seem to have an excuse for not doing so.
   Forgive us, God who encompasses us with love.  You continue to show us another path to walk - the path of grace.  You show us another word to offer - the words of love and acceptance.  You whisper to us of what to do - to trust, to follow, to serve our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Silence is observed

Assurance of Pardon
Instead of going along the same path, God shows us another way - the way those who are filled with mercy and hope can follow, the way of living by the Spirit.
We are a forgiven people, given grace freely by our God, who breathes life into us, in this and every moment.  Thanks be to God!  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
May these gifts offer a feast to those who hunger, kindness to those treated cruelly by the world, hope to those who have lost their way, and life to all who long for healing and peace.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of spiritual fruits be with you.
And also with you.
Let us offer our hearts and lives to God.
God will fill us with peace, hope, love, joy,
patience, kindness, and generosity.
Join your voices in singing praises to our God.
We sing glad songs of joy to the One who welcomes us at this feast.

When you could have been
wrapped in chaos' embrace,
God of Wonder,
you went by another way,
your Word calling forth all
that is good and beautiful,
your Spirit breathing life 
into all of creation.
Everything was shaped 
for those crafted in your image,
   but we wanted to quarrel with life,
   we joined the clique of temptation.
Prophets, those with words of hope,
came to call us back to you over and over,
   but we always had excuses
   why we could not follow you.
Then you sent Jesus to us,
as he set his face towards earth,
to become one of us.

With those who show kindness,
with those who struggle to be patient,
we sing our songs of praise to you:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God who is our safe room.
All creation dances with joy before you.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who does not look back, but follows.
Hosanna in the highest!

When he could have chosen your holiness,
God of glory and grace,
Jesus chose another way,
   that of humility and service;
when he could have chosen power,
   he took the way of weakness;
when he could have chosen wealth,
   he walked the earth with the poor;
when he could have chosen victory,
   he walked to that garbage dump
   piled high with broken promises
   and the leftovers from temptation;
when he could have remained in death's grip,
   you went all the way into the grave,
   to raise him to resurrection glory.

As we remember his words, his way, his choices,
as we prepare to come to this Table,
we proclaim that mystery we know as faith:

Jesus died, setting aside all excuses to live;
Jesus was raised, as you threw the mantle
   of resurrection over him;
Jesus will come, to show us the only way to you.

Here at this Table of grace and hope,
where your Spirit is poured out 
on the gifts of the bread and the cup
and on your children gathered here.
With the broken bread giving us strength,
may we be guided by the Spirit
   to be mentors of goodness,
   to be bearers of peace,
   to be those who comfort the mourners.
With the cup of life poured out to us,
may we follow another way,
   the way of justice and hope,
   the way of love and mercy,
   the way of welcoming all the forgotten.

And when time and space comes to an end,
gather us around the Table of love,
with our sisters and brothers 
from every moment and place,
as we sing your praises forever,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

There is so much loneliness and brokenness in the world.
We will go to share God's love and kindness to all.
There is so much injustice and exclusion around us.
We will join Jesus in welcoming those who have been forgotten.
There is so much cruelty and violence in so many places.
We will share the peace of the Spirit with everyone we meet.

(c) 2019 Thom M. Shuman