Monday, June 14, 2021

Alternate texts liturgy w/communion for June 20, 2021 (Pentecost 4/Trinity 3/Proper 7/Ordinary 12 - B)

 Texts: Job 38:1-11; Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Mark 4:35-41

Call to Worship
Though others may forget us,
God remembers us in every moment.
Though we may seem worthless to some,
We are precious in God’s eyes.
Though we may feel hollow,
God pours grace into us.
Though we think our pockets are empty,
God gives us more than we ever imagined.
Prayer of the Day
You gather us from our neighborhoods
and from our playgrounds, Loving God,
so that we may discover,
in the torrents of fear,
   you would fill us with faith;
when we feel our lives about to sink,
   you would speak serenity and hope.
You gather us from our preoccupations
and from our prejudices, Challenging Jesus,
so that in the raging winds of society,
we may find the courage
   to challenge injustice;
we may speak the words
   which will offer healing to the broken.

You gather us from our apathy
as well as from our activities, Gentle Spirit,
so that as we journey with others,
we would put nothing in the way
   which would cause them to trip;
we would find every moment
   the acceptable time to call out the powerful.
In this place and in these moments,
as in every time and situation we find ourselves,
you gather us to learn from you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
and so we pray as we are taught, saying
(The Lord’s Prayer)
Call to Reconciliation
Our lives, our words, our foolishness show how hard it is for us to be confident to rest in God’s ways and hopes for us, and not become so scared when the winds begin to blow.  Let us confess our lack of faith to the One who knows this is the right time to receive forgiveness and hope.  Join me, as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
     We are at our wits’ end, O God, as we try to live each day.  We could confront the angry voices around us with peace and grace, but our courage melts away.  We could see you at work in those who care for the vulnerable, but we let our fears of those who we don’t understand wash our faith away.  We see your grace drawing close to us and cry out, ‘no further!’
      Because of such lives, it is tempting to blame you, Holy One, and think you are asleep at your post.  But you are the God who tells the storms of temptation to ‘shush!’  You are the God whose love is not just now and then, but offered to us in every moment.  You are the God who, in Jesus Christ, comes to us in order to comfort us, to encourage us, and to cradle us in your peace.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
While we may believe God does not always have the time for us, there is not a moment that God is not listening, not forgiving, and not restoring us to grace-filled lives.
This is indeed the acceptable time, to recognize, to accept, and to live out the reality that we are redeemed by our God.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
From cracked and flattened wallets, as well as purses stuffed with notes, Kleenex, and lozenges; from piggy banks and tips earned in eateries; from fixed incomes and great portfolios, we gather up our gifts and offer them to you, Steadfast Love, that you might use them to calm the fears of others, bringing them peace and hope.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of seas and lakes be with you.
And also with you.
Open wide your hearts to our God.
We open them so God might fill them with grace and hope.
Let us join the morning stars in praising our God.
We join all creation in shouts of joy to the One who created everything.
In that first moment of imagination,
Architect God,
you laid the cornerstone of creation
as rivers ran down to fill oceans,
as clouds became the shawls of blue skies,
as you swaddled forests in morning mists.
All this beauty and goodness was offered
to those shaped in your image,
but where were we?
   We were hiding in sin’s shadows,
   after death had shown us our nakedness.
Moment after moment, you sent
women and men to us,
to speak boldly to us,
   but their words were tossed aside,
   as each time was considered unacceptable.
Then you chose to send your Word,
the One who spoke everything into life
so we might be reunited with you.
With those who are afraid in every moment,
with those who know that faith is present,
we sing of your steadfast love:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God who offers grace.
Morning stars sing your praises,
   as all creation shouts for joy.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who speaks boldly.
Hosanna in the highest!
We admit we do not always understand
your holiness, God of all creation,
especially why you would become
one of us yet, in Jesus, you did.
In his trust in you,
   we discover we have no need
   to fear the storms of life;
in his faith in you,
   we learn you have not abandoned us
   but are with us on every journey;
in his life, death, and resurrection,
   we hear you saying to death,
   ‘you can come this far,   
    but no farther,’ as you
    dammed up sin’s waves
    with your redeeming love.

As we would learn not to be afraid
but to believe that you have not fallen asleep,
we seek to live out that mystery we call faith:
Christ died, knowing it was the acceptable time;
Christ was raised, as salvation came when we
   least expected it;
Christ will come, to gather us into your steadfast love.
Here in this place where you have gathered us
from our fears and foolishness,
pour out your Spirit upon the gifts of the Table
and those you have called as your children.
As we eat of this bread which,
in its brokenness, makes whole our lives,
may we hear you call ‘let us go’
   to the other side of oppression
      to bring justice;
   to the other side of cruelty,
      to swaddle others in compassion.
As we drink from this cup which,
with your touch, overflows with love,
may we hear you call ‘let us go’
   to the far shores of fear,
      to bring hope;
   to sail through the storms of anger,
      to sing songs of grace.
And when, with our sisters and brothers,
we are gathered from every time and place,
we will join the morning stars
in singing your praise in every moment,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.
Let us go to tell everyone of what we have heard.
Now is the acceptable time to share the love
which our God offers to each and every person.
Let us go to calm the fears of those we will meet this day.
Now is the acceptable time to work beside Jesus
in bringing justice and healing to our world.
Let us go to serve those who have been forgotten.
Now is the acceptable time to join the Spirit
in being the ‘Yes’ when people ask, ‘don’t you care?’
© 2018 Thom M. Shuman