Saturday, June 01, 2019

Liturgy with communion for June 9, 2019 (Day of Pentecost - C)

Texts:  Genesis 11:1-9; Psalm 104:24-34, 35b; Acts 2:1-21; John 14:8-17, 25-27

Call to Worship
Come, Holy Spirit,
with your language of wonder:
so we may mingle our words together
to scatter the gospel of grace to all around us.
Come, Holy Spirit,
with the music of your heart:
so we may sing songs filled with memories,
and listen to the new carols sung by children.
Come, Holy Spirit,
to rattle the windows of our souls:
to burst through the closed doors of our hearts,
and dance with us in the fire of renewal.
Come, Holy Spirit, we pray!
Come, Holy Spirit, to us this day!

Prayer of the Day  
What you do, Amazing God,
what you do all around us!
You plant the seeds which
blossom into tomatoes and corn;
you stir the breezes to cool us
on warm, summer days;
you float the snowflakes through the air,
so children can build snow people;
you feed the humpback whales in the oceans
and the hummingbirds at feeders.

What you do, Friend of the fearful,
what you do for all of your family!
You whisper in our ears 
of God's love for us, and
challenge us to be as daring
in caring for those around us;
you share the Spirit with us,
knowing there will be those moments
when we need a Comforter, and
those days when we look for an Advocate
to be on our side against evil.

What you do, Spirit of Pentecost,
what you do in these moments!
You send flames of hope to dance
upon those whose hearts are frozen
with fear and doubts;
you breathe new life into all
who have come to believe
there is no future for them;
you break into our closed-off souls
to fill us with joy beyond imagination
and peace which transforms us.

What you do, for us, in us, through us,
God in Community, Holy in One!
And you will continue to do all this
and more, and so we pray, saying
(The Lord's Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation   
We still don't get it - this gift called grace, this mercy called forgiveness.  So, we want more signs, more proof, more evidence that God loves us.  Yet, all we have to do is what Jesus did - trust in God: completely, foolishly, daringly.  Let us pray, telling God how hard such trust is for us, hoping that God's gracious Spirit will dance in our hearts.  

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness  
   We look for tongues of fire to dance upon us, God of Pentecost, but hold only the ashes of our broken promises.  We long to speak simply and clearly so that everyone, everywhere, might understand your love for them, but we scatter our words to the wind with our inability to care for others.  We want you to show us the secrets of the kingdom, never noticing they are revealed in the songs of children, the memories of older folks, the dreams of the young all around us.
   Have mercy on us, and pour out your Spirit, God of amazing days.  When we pull the shutters of our souls shut, fling them open with the breath of wonder.  When we turn out all the lights and huddle in the shadows of fear, illumine our hearts with the dancing flames of the Spirit's joy.  When we find it impossible to come up with the language of love, pour your Word, Jesus Christ, into our emptiness so we may fill others.


Assurance of Pardon 
Hear the good news for us.  God pours the Spirit upon us in these moments - the Spirit which comforts us, which encourages us, which transforms us through God's grace.
Thanks be to God!  The Spirit brings us peace, comforts our hearts, and fills us with hope.  We are forgiven and made new.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering   
As you would transform our doubts and set us free from our fears, so we pray these gifts we offer might bring hope to those who despair, might feed those who hunger for hope as well as food, and might gather them into your community of wonder and joy.  We pray this in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
On this day of Pentecost,
may the Spirit dance with you!
May the Spirit dance with you as well!
May God's grace be poured into your hearts.
Come, Holy Spirit, 
to fill our hearts with love.
May God's Word become your language of praise.
Come, Holy Spirit, to teach us
new songs of thanksgiving.

With a Word, you scattered chaos,
God of wonder and joy,
creating everything imaginable, 
and those things only you could envision.
Pouring out your Breath of life,
   dolphins frolicked in seas,
   dogs chased their tails in circles,
   songbirds twittered to welcome the sunrise,
and we were shaped in your image,
so we might enjoy life with you in goodness.
But we tried to build a tower
   to reach those temptations just out of our reach,
   convinced they would make us happier than your joy.
Old men and women, young girls and boys,
those we call prophets and those we call meddlers,
came speaking your words of invitation
so we might return to you,
   but we thought they were drunk,
   or foolish, or didn't have a clue 
   as to what is really important in life.
So you chose to send us your Child,
who spoke of your whispers to his heart,
calling us to trust in your once again.

With those who dare to imagine your wonder,
with those who wonder what is going on,
we sing of the thanksgivings filling our hearts:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God who would gather us.
All creation joins in praising you this day.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who sends the Advocate to us.
Hosanna in the highest!

God of every moment, you alone are holy,
and your Heart, Jesus, comes to bring us
new life, new hopes, new spirit.
As the Spirit rested upon him at baptism,
   so he calls us Beloved;
as the Spirit accompanied him in the wilderness,
   so he is with us in moments of struggles;
as the Spirit anointed him to serve,
   so he gives us the words to challenge injustice,
   the courage to resist easy choices,
   the determination to be faithful in welcoming all people.
And as the Spirit strengthened him
to confront the fear of death and abandonment,
   so the Spirit opens our closed hearts
   to the gracious news that death is no more,
   defeated once and for all by your resurrection love.

As we come to this Table, we remember
the Spirit which was poured out at our baptism,
the Spirit which fills us with new hope and life,
the Spirit which transforms us into faithful people,
and so we share that mystery we call faith:

Jesus gave his life, entering the silence of death;
Jesus was raised, as resurrection's new song was sung;
Jesus will come, and so we sing as long as we can,
   with the breath of the Spirit filling us.

Once again, as you did so long ago,
pour out your Spirit upon those
gathered in this place, as called by you,
and upon the gifts gracing this Table.
With the bread, you feed us,
as you feed all creation, 
so we can go forth, each day,
   to offer hope to those who are forgotten,
   to share joy with those who grieve,
   to be the words of love for those who hear
      only judgment and hate.
With the cup, you nourish us,
as you fill all of creation,
so we can be poured out, each day,
   for the children bullied in schools,
   for the seniors mistreated by society,
   for the most vulnerable who bear the brunt
      of budget and tax cuts.

And when your Spirit comes at the end
of all time and space, gather us
with our sisters and brothers
around the Table of grace and wonder
where we will be filled with the Spirit's breath
so we can sing your praises for all eternity,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

We have heard the voice of God,
who scatters us to gather the world
into the community of grace and hope.
We will go to fill the emptiness of others,
to bring fresh air into all the stagnant places
of our neighborhoods and world.
We have heard the words of Jesus,
who calls us to share the whispers
of healing, of reconciliation, of renewal.
We will go to comfort those hiding in shadows,
to be the breath of kindness to the ridiculed,
to share in the silence of the broken and grieving.
We have heard the rush of the Spirit's wind,
who would shatter our complacency,
and give us voices for justice and righteousness.
We will go to sing songs of strength to the weak,
to whisper words of love to those who know only hate,
to shout for the renewal of all people everywhere.

(c) 2019 Thom M. Shuman