Saturday, January 09, 2021

Liturgy w/communion for January 17, 2021 (Second Sunday after Epiphany - B)

 Texts:  1 Samuel 3:1-20; Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; John 1:43-51


Call to Worship
In the silence of a lonely night,
in the songs children sing in the morning,
God calls to us.
We are here, God who is always with us,
listening for your words of life and love.
When we would decide to go it alone,
when we think no good can be found anywhere,
Jesus calls to us.
We are here, Friend who knows our longings,
ready to come and see where you would lead us.
When we think we have license to do whatever we want,
when we are convinced we need no map,
the Spirit calls to us.
We are here, Peace we are longing for,
so that we might help others find the way to life.

Prayer of the Day
When the good news
is hard to find, Knowing God,
you swaddle us 
in your comforting hope,
   so that we may decide 
   to go wherever
   you call us to serve.
 
When the good news
is seen as fake,
Brother of our journey,
you call us to speak 
of the truth that God
   offers grace to
   a world which has decided
   to believe in lies.
 
When the good news
seems out of fashion,
Spirit of wisdom,
you weave kindness
into a shawl for the lonely,
   you knit comfort 
   for all who grieve.
 
When your good news seems so rare,
may we decide to share it more and more,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we pray as we are taught,
(The Lord’s Prayer)   
 
Call to Reconciliation
We are foolish enough to think you do not know our hearts, hear our words, see the mistakes we make, and the pain we cause.  But because you are not only holy and know, you are gracious and forgive.  Hear us now, as we offer our lives and hearts to you, praying together,
 
Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   Because we are so focused on ourselves, God of every life, it is hard to see the lives which others endure.  When we are so worried about how the economy will affect us, we do not notice those in need around us.  As we grumble about our aches and pains, and about how difficult it is to get out of the bed each day, we easily ignore the broken.
   Forgive us, God of goodness and grace.  Speak to us of healing, so we might bring help to others.  Speak to us of grace, so hearing, we may share it with everyone we meet.  Speak to us of love and life, so we may offer it as freely as Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, brought it to us.

Silence is kept
 
Assurance of Pardon
Come and see!  God grace is poured out on everyone, God’s hope is freely shared in every moment, forgiveness is the gift which mends our foolish lives.
Thanks be to God.  We are surrounded by God’s love and mercy, now and to the very end!  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
We are hesitant to offer our gifts in this moment, Loving God, because in the back of our minds we wonder if any good will come of helping the poor, feeding the hungry, reaching out to the stranger.  But by your grace, not only goodness, but hope and healing will pour out of what we give in these moments.  Bless our gifts, we pray in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of our moments be with you.
And also with you.
People of God, let us offer our hearts to the One
   who is with us in this place and time.
We lift them to the One who fills us with grace.
Children of hope, join in singing praises to God.
With hearts and voices, we lift glad thanksgivings.

When chaos refused to listen,
you called creation out of emptiness,
God from beginning to end,
   rabbits burrowed under snowy meadows,
   porpoises gliding through warm oceans,
   eagles soaring in empty skies.
These, and all your gifts, were offered
to those created in your image
so that we could be with you in every moment,
   but we decided to do what pleased
   sin and death more than you.
Prophets came, calling to us, hoping
to help us see you searching,
   but we thought no good 
   could come from their words.
Then, you sent your heart to us,
so that your good news would 
not remain hidden from us.
 
With little children filled with questions,
with those worn by years of wonder and service,
we offer our thanksgivings to you:
 
Holy, holy, holy, are you, God of our every moment.
We join all creation in praising you.
Hosanna in the highest!
 
Blessed is the One who heard you calling
Hosanna in the highest!

We cannot begin to comprehend
your holiness, God who searches,
so you revealed it in the One
who chose to become flesh and blood.
Deciding to go to us
when we were avoiding you,
   Jesus found us to put us
   back on the path to you.
Deciding to go into the silence
which surrounded our stubborn pride,
   Jesus calls us to follow him
   with his voice of welcome. 
Deciding to challenge the power of sin
by dying on a barren hill,
   Jesus helps us to see 
   your resurrection love
   as he was brought out 
   of the grave’s cold grip.
 
As we wonder if any good can come from following him,
as we listen for your word in these moments,
we speak of that mystery we call faith:
 
Trusting you were with him at the end,
   Jesus died;
loving him from the beginning,
   you raised Jesus to new life;
knowing our hopes and fears,
   Jesus will come with resurrection hope.
 
Before we gather, you are at the Table,
pouring out your Spirit on the gifts
prepared for your people.
In the breaking of the bread,
may we hear the
      cries of hungry children,
      the groans of weary workers,
      the whispers of lonely strangers,
   so that we can say, ‘here we are,’
   as we reach out to serve.
Through the grace of the cup,
may we listen to your heart which seeks
      justice for the overlooked,
      peace in violent settings,
      hope in despair’s shadows,
   so that we may not only hear
   but act as your hands and feet,
   your voice and your love.
 
And when all time comes to the end,
we will find you waiting beyond,
seating us with our sisters and brothers
around the wedding feast of the Lamb,
where we will rejoice in you,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.
 
Sending
God sends us out, 
so that grace will not be rare in our time.
Here we are, ready to go and share
love and mercy with those around us.
Jesus calls us to go out,
so that justice will not be rare in our time.
Here we are, ready to speak truth to power,
walking with those on oppression’s mean streets.
The Spirit fills us with compassion,
so that peace will not be rare in our time.
Here we are, offering hope to those living in fear,
working for reconciliation in brokenness.
 
© Thom M. Shuman