Saturday, July 06, 2019

Alternate texts liturgy for July 7, 2019 (Pentecost 4/Trinity 3/Proper 9/Ordinary 14 - C)

Texts:  Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalm 66:1-9; Galatians 6: (1-6), 7-16; Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Call to Worship
We come to make a joyful noise to you, O God!
We join with those in urban centers,
in rural communities, in suburbs, in praising your name!
We come to follow you, Jesus our Brother!
We have no expectations, no reservations,
nothing to hold us back, our lives open to your call!
We come to listen to your voice, Holy Spirit!
We will pay attention to your words of peace;
we will plant the seeds of grace you offer to us

Prayer of the Day
Like a father who comforts
the kids during thunderstorms,
you cradle us in your arms,
Tender God.
Like a mother who whispers
encouragement to the child
who knows they are different,
you remind us that we are,
and always will be your beloved.

Like a sister who shows
a younger brother how to balance
when the training wheels are off,
you stay by our side
for as long as we need you,
Friend of our hearts.
Like a brother who reveals
the mysteries of how
to bake a perfect pie,
you open our hearts
to the grace we cannot see.

Like a teacher who works with us
patiently until we find our way
through the maze of numbers,
you show us how close we are
to your community, Spirit of oneness.
Like the mentor who does not grow
weary in modeling how to care
for the forgotten around us,
you help us to learn to whisper
‘peace be on you’ to everyone we meet.

Like a mother, like an uncle, like a family,
you are always with us, in every moment,
God in Community, Holy in One,
and so we lift our prayer to you, saying,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
Here is what we are called to do:
help up those who have fallen,
show the lost the way home,
turn our backs on temptation,
be gentle with everyone we meet.
But we have trouble doing these things,
so let us bring our broken lives and promises
to the One who is quick to show us mercy.
Let us pray together saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   We could offer peace to all we meet, God who creates land out of waters, but we hand then rejection instead.  We could invite folks into your community of hope but would rather shut and latch the doors.  We could give them the large print edition of grace but point them to the fine print of the conditions we would impose.
   Forgive us, God who creates mercy out of our mendacity.  May we stop trying to fool ourselves with our arrogance and live with humility.  May we not point to our efforts but tell others of your grace and hope.  May we go forth to remind others of how near your love is to them, as near as the One who comes speaking peace, Jesus the bearer of the good news for all.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Come and hear what God does!  Our God sings peace to us.
Come and see what God does!  Our God forgive us.
Come and do what God does!  Our God sends us forth to serve others.
We will not grow weary in doing what is right, in working for justice.
We will not grow weary in doing what is good, in caring for others.
We will not grow weary in doing what God does, in sharing mercy with all.
Thanks be to God, we are forgiven!  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
Take these gifts, Loving God, and use them as you create hope out of despair, as you build communities of justice out of crumbling neighborhoods, as you shape peace out of the anger of our times.  This we pray in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of comfort be with you.
May God comfort you as well.
Like a mother filling the pool for her kids,
our God fills our hearts with grace at this Table.
Like a teacher who helps us learn our letters,
our God teaches us songs of praise,
which we sing in these moments.

Come and see what our God does,
bringing forth creation out of chaos!
With the Word,
   clouds float in the sky,
   bees pollinate flowers,
   gazelles graze in the wild.
With the Spirit,
   waters ripple across ponds,
   mists linger over lawns,
   lullabies are crooned to babies,
and life is given to those shaped
in the image of Love, Grace, and Peace.
We were invited to play
in the fields of wonder, but
   we thought we could trick God,
   who would never notice our slipping away
   to learn silly games from temptation.
With nothing but hope in their hearts
and words on their lips,
men and women came to call us back
so we could dangle our toes
in the living waters of grace,
   but we continued to sip from
   the chipped cups of death and sin.
Then, God’s beloved Heart came to us,
so that we might receive what we least expected,
forgiveness, healing, and restoration.

With those who are weary of searching,
with those who gain strength from goodness,
we sing our praises to our God:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God who is not silent.
All creation worships you and sings your praise.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who brings God’s community near.
Hosanna in the highest!

Come and see what God does!
Setting aside holiness,
God becomes fully human,
carrying nothing but love, grace, and peace.
When he could have walked by,
   Jesus picked up the fallen;
when he could have kept
the map stuffed in his pocket,
   Jesus showed the lost the way home;
when he could have offered us hurt,
   Jesus shared the spirit of gentleness;
when he could have been tempted
to say no to the cross,
   Jesus gathered it up, and died,
   so that love’s resurrection might
   be the gift for every child of God.

As we remember his life, his grace, his hope,
as we prepare to feast at this Table,
we proclaim that faith so much a mystery:

Jesus died, shaking off the dust of rejection;
Jesus was raised, shaking off death’s dust;
Jesus will return, rejoicing in doing God’s work.

Come and see what God does!
Here, at this Table, the Spirit is poured out
on the simple gifts of the bread and cup
and on all those gathered in these moments.
In the bread that is broken,
we are given the strength
   to comfort children forgotten at borders,
   to unite families torn apart by fears,
   to build bridges, and not walls.
In the cup, poured out and offered to us,
we are given the courage
   to focus on what God is doing, not politicians;
   to open the faucets of grace
      to flood the streets of anger;
   to share everything given to us
      with those who have lost all they had.

And when we discover God’s community
at the end of all time and history,
we will join our sisters and brothers
in lifting a joyful noise to you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
as we are seated around the Table of hope,
served by your Love, Grace, and Peace.  Amen. 

Now, let us go in God’s love,
to comfort others with God’s
life and wonder.
Now, let us go in the grace of Jesus,
to carry all who have been tripped up by life,
to share the burdens of those around us.
Now, let us go as the community of the Spirit,
to plant the seeds of peace,
to water them with the water of life.

© 2019 Thom M. Shuman