Thursday, August 08, 2019

Alternate texts liturgy with communion for August 11, 2019 (Pentecost 9/Trinity 8/Proper 14/Ordinary 19 - C)

Texts: Genesis 15:1-6; Psalm 33:12-22; Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16; Luke 12:32-40

Call to Worship
We trust in God,
and so we hope in God.
We hope in our God,
and so we offer our hearts,
so our God may fill them with grace.
Every time, we trust, we hope, we come to God,
God is waiting for us . . . every time.

Prayer of the Day
It was faith which made them
listen to your words,
trust in your promises,
dare to imagine a different country,
risk undertaking new adventures,
setting aside their fears and doubts.
Give us such faith,
God of our ancestors,
give us such faith.

It was faith which helped you
as you walked through the world,
telling stories of reversals,
listening to the ignored,
touching those we did not love,
pointing to that Community
being built all around us.
Give us such faith,
Jesus or Brother,
that we might follow.

It is faith which you give to us:
so we can trust the hope
which the world cannot see;
so we can journey into
places we have never been;
so we can welcome strangers
as sisters and brothers.
Continue to give us such faith,
Spirit who walks with us
in faith, every moment, every day.

With the faith you give us,
with the faith you have in us,
God in Community, Holy in One,
we lift that prayer taught to us by faith:
(The Lord's Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
We are blessed when we trust in God, but too often we offer our loyalty to idols.  We are blessed when we see each others as family, but we prefer to see them as strangers, even enemies.  So, let us come with our prayers to the One who loves without reservation and offers compassion without conditions.  Join me as we pray, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   We must admit, Loving God, that if faith is a trust which cannot be confirmed, it is easier not to trust.  Of if faith is the gut feeling that hope is just around the corner, we prefer to keep our eyes closed.  And surely, if faith is to be lived out in difficult moments, we often leave it behind at home.
   Call us into your backyard, God of wonder, to point up to the stars and remind us that we cannot begin to imagine, or count, how many times you will forgive us.  Give us the trust to have faith in you, the faith to hope in you, and the assurance you will surround us with the grace, hope, and wonder shared with us through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Like our grandparents in the faith, we can dare to trust in the promises of God, even without any actual proof staring us in the face.  This is the good news of God's love.
We will trust in those things that last, in the grace, which counts, in the mercy no one can take away from us.  Thanks be to God, we are forgiven!  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
All it takes is one person, then another, than more, who hear God's hopes, trust God's promises, and have the faith to merge our gifts together, so they can be used to bring hope, healing, grace, and peace to our communities, to our sisters and brother.  This we pray.  Amen.

The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of faith be with you!
May God be with you as well!
Let us open our hearts in trust.
God fills them with grace in every moment.
Join together in singing songs of thanksgiving.
We lift our voices in glad adoration to our God.

When there was only the emptiness
of chaos, God of our hearts,
you dared to imagine that from
things unseen might come wonders
to behold:
   stars too many to count in the night,
   flowers varied in colors and shapes,
   creatures that roamed, flew, swam.
You spoke the Word which brought
all this into being for those who are
created in your image of hope and love,
   but we chose to trust temptation's lies
   and to hope in the emptiness of death.
In dreams, with words, with love,
women and men continued to call us
back to you, who would fill us with grace,
   but we always turned away, trusting
   power, hate, fear, injustice instead.
Then, you chose to become one of us,
so we might see hope walking among us,
so we might taste grace in fish and bread,
so we might know love that never ends.

With those who have faith which astounds us,
with those who long to see your beloved Community,
we join our voices in praise and wonder:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God who watches over us.
All creation trusts in your grace and hope.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who comes to serve us.
Hosanna in the highest!

By grace,
you set aside glory to become
one of us, Christ of creation,
   so we might be filled with compassion
   we can share with others.
By faith,
you told stories of servants,
of prodigals, of children,
   so we could see ourselves
   as who God longs us to be.
By trust,
you dared to let death wrap
its cold arms around you,
   so we might be released
   into the comforting embrace
   of resurrection's hope.

By grace, we come to this Table.
By hope, we tell the story of Jesus.
By faith, we share the mystery of salvation:

Jesus died, to bring light into death's gloom.
Jesus was raised, to bring life to all God's people.
Jesus will come, so all are welcomed by God.

Now you come, Holy God,
pouring out your Spirit
on the gifts of the bread and cup
and on your people gathered here.
May the bread which is broken
give us the strength to go and
   choose love, not hate;
   to share hope, not fear;
   to gather people together, not divide them.
May the cup of grace
nourish us to be the ones
   who offer compassion without conditions,
   who offer justice and grace to all,
   who will love without reservation.

And when all time has come to an end,
we will sit at the table in your backyard,
feasting with our sisters and brothers
under the stars we never stopped counting,
rejoicing with them in your grace,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

As God's people, let us be ready:
to bring light into the shadows,
to confront the bullies around us.
As followers of Jesus, let us be ready:
to invite strangers into our hearts,
to set the table for everyone.
As those gifted by the Spirit, let us be ready:
to choose love, not hate;
to feed those who wander 
through both food and fear deserts.

(c) 2019 Thom M. Shuman