Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Liturgy w/communion for August 16, 2020 (Pentecist 11/Trinity 10; Proper 15/ Ordinary 20 - A)

Texts: Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15:(10-20), 21-28

Call to Worship
Here we can come together,
people searching for healing and hope:
here we are met by the One
who would bless us with abundant life.
Here we are called to gather
as the family of God:
we may find those who are strangers,
yet are sisters and brothers of ours.
Here we discover the truth that God
makes no distinctions among us:
here we are welcomed and embraced
by the One whose arms are open to all.

Prayer of the Day
When we are alone,
you make us known
     to our sisters and brothers.
When we are lonely,
you whisper, 'come closer,'
     inviting us into your heart.
Great is your love for us,
Welcoming God.

When we wander lost and afraid,
you take us by the hand,
     so we may settle in your kingdom.
When we hunger
for the crumbs of hope
which the world offers to us,
you feed us with
     the fullness of your joy.
Great is your grace for us,
Accepting Christ.

When those around us
make clear they want nothing
to do with us, ever,
     you persist in being our friend.
When we stand on
despair's welfare line,
     you invite us to come
     to a sumptuous feast.
Great is your hope for us,
Embracing Spirit.

God in Community, Holy in One,
you weep openly as you welcome us
into your heart and your hopes,
even as we pray as Jesus teaches us,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Our words, our deeds, our lives build barriers between us and others, between us and God. But God would shatter every distinction, God would reshape us as new people. Let us come to the One who loves
us, and longs to forgive us. Join me as we confess our sins together, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
     We admit, Providing God, that we have difficulties living as your children. We could live in unity, but our words fracture relationships
with family and friends. We have been shown the way to your kingdom, but turn into blind guides when asked for the directions by others. When we could offer others the precious oil of peace, we hand them the vinegar of despair and rejection.
     Have mercy on us, Healing Heart, have mercy on us. When you call to us, may we listen with open ears, understand with embracing hearts, and share your grace with others, even as we have been graced by Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Hear the good news for you: God has provided hope for you, filling you with joy, with mercy, with peace.
As mercy leads to mercy, we will take these gifts to share with the world. Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
May we not offer you the leftovers of our resources and our lives, Blessing God, but let these gifts be but part of what we give back to you, as we seek to serve your people and your creation.  Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
The welcoming God be with you!
And also with you!
It is not crumbs, but the fullness of grace given to you at this table.
We open our hearts to receive God's goodness.
Like precious oil to anoint us, God pours hope and love into our lives.
How good it is to lift our praises to our God!

When chaos threatened to control,
you spoke out of your own mouth,
crying, 'let there be light!'
and creation burst forth,
     rivers flowing like precious oil
          through the valleys of love,
     peace singing to all creatures,
          whispering of the gift of unity.
Shaping us in the divine image,
you whispered to us, 'come closer,'
inviting us to live with you
in Eden's joy-dewed garden.
     Sin and death, however,
     dazzled us with their lies,
          so we followed these blind guides
          into a world scarce on hope.
You did not reject us,
but continued to call us
through the mouths of prophets;
you continued to gift us
with your faithful presence.
Your dreams would
not be dismayed,
as you sent Jesus,
your mercy to beget mercy
for all your children.

With those overlooked by the world,
with those who have sought you in every time,
we lift our songs of joy and praise:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God of this day of wonder.
All creation would live in unity with you.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who is sent to all people.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, Joy of Creation,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
When he could have turned
a blind eye toward us,
     he came that we might
     be able to see our hope;
when he could have sent
us away from his side,
     he drew us closer
     to your mercy and love;
when he could have been
dismayed by our foolishness,
     he went into death's embrace,
     providing salvation for us.

As we remember his words of teaching,
as we remember his hopes for us,
we speak of that mystery we call faith:

Christ died, sent before us to preserve our life;
Christ rose, rejecting death's claim on him;
Christ will come, ordaining life forevermore for all.

Here in this moment and place,
we pray you would pour out
your Spirit of peace and joy
upon the gifts of the bread and the cup
and upon your children
who have gathered around the Table.
You do not give us crumbs,
but nourish us with compassion,
     so we might go to serve
     a world hungering for healing.
You do not touch our lips
with only a few drops,
but offer us great gulps of grace,
     so we might offer peace
     to a fractured and frightened world.

And when the famine of our despair is ended
and you gather all your children around you,
to be fed at the feast of the Lamb,
we will sing our thanksgiving songs to you,
as the precious tears of joy run down our cheeks,
praising you through all eternity,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

Now go, to serve as God's people.
We will work to remove all that divides us from others.
Now go, to share the grace of Jesus.
We will love others just as we are loved.
Now go, to be the Spirit's community.

We will invite everyone to join us in this life of faith and service.

(c) Thom M. Shuman