Monday, September 06, 2021

Alternate texts liturgy w/communion for September 12, 2021 (Pentecost 16/Trinity 15/Proper 19/Ordinary 24 - B)

Texts:  Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 16:1-9; James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-38

Call to Worship
On this morning, as every morning,
we are surrounded by God’s grace.
In these moments, as every moment,
we are to costly discipleship by Jesus.
Throughout this day, as every day,
we are taught peace and hope by the Spirit. 

Prayer of the Day
Open our ears,
Teacher of souls,
so that we might hear 
the cries of the hungry
   and feed them,
the loneliness of the unloved
   and embrace them,
the songs of little children
   and learn them.

Give us the words we need,
Teacher of justice,
so that we might challenge
   the powerful and callous,
so that we work to bring together 
   families separated by fear,
so that we might speak out
   when everyone else is silent.

Strengthen our hearts,
Teacher of hope,
so that we might sustain
   the weary, not just with words,
   but with our friendship;
so that we might not hide
   but face down cruelty
   with kindness and mercy.

Morning by morning, day by day,
continue to teach us your ways,
God in Community, Holy in One,
as we pray as we are taught,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
What are folks saying about us?  Do they mention our kindness, or how hard we are on others; do they speak of our love, or about our selfishness?  God invites us to follow Jesus and reflect him in our lives.  Join me, as we confess how we have not done son, as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   All we need to do is open our mouths, Teacher of hearts, to show that we give our tongues free rein.  We claim we love others, but speak bitter words to them.  We think we are good and gracious people, but hurl epithets at those we do not like, or those we fear.  We are quicker to speak of judgment for others, rather than being voices for justice.
   But with your gracious mercy, Tender-hearted God, you can put out the wildfires of bitterness sparked by our words.  You can stop the words on the tips of our tongues and transform them into whispers of peace and love.  You can open our ears so that we can hear all that your Teacher of grace and hope, Jesus the Messiah, has to share with us, in these moments and all those to come.  Amen.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Can we handle it – the good news; the fact that God’s grace can transform us; that God can teach us new songs; that God can fill us with hope and joy?
It is hard to believe, which may be why it is hard to accept it.  But God loves us, God has mercy on us, God is with us.  Thanks be to God, we are forgiven!  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
Open our ears to the struggles around us;
open our voices to speak out for justice;
open our hearts to welcome the forgotten;
open our treasures so they may be used to care for all your children.
This we pray in the name of Jesus the Messiah.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May God of the mornings be with you;
and with you as well.
Children of God, lift up your hearts to God.
We lift them to the One who surrounds them with hope 
and fills them with wonder.
Let us lift our voices in song to our God.
We lift our voices teaches us glad praises of joy and hope

Morning by morning, you were at work,
God of wonders,
transforming chaos into creation:
   teaching birds to fly and fish to swim;
   carving channels for rivers through mountains;
   giving humps to camels and long necks to giraffes.
We were formed in your image, 
placed in that garden of wonders
hedged by hope, peace, grace, and love,
   but we snuck through them 
   so that we could play in death’s puddles
   with our playmates temptation and rebellion.
You refused to give up on us,
continually sending prophets to call us
back to your healing heart,
   yet we continued to listen to the whispers
   of other gods who promised wealth and success.
So, no matter what we said about you,
you chose to send your Child to us,
to teach us of your love and hopes.

With those who know who you are,
and with those who don’t know what to say,
we lift our songs of praise to you:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God who is our shelter.
All creation teaches us of your grace.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who sustains the weary.
Hosanna in the highest.

Jesus was born, God of holiness, 
so that day by day, we might learn
of your gracious love and compassion.
He could have been a mighty warrior,
   but had a heart filled with peace;
he could have been an eloquent prophet,
   but was given the tongue of a storyteller;
he could have been played it safe,
   but was willing to risk all for us;
he could have left his cross on the ground,
   but picked it up, carrying it to fear’s hilltop,
   where he defeated once and for all
   the powers of sin and death.

As we celebrate his life and ministry to all,
as we struggle with the crosses offered to us,
we proclaim that mystery we call faith:

Jesus died, losing his life so ours might be gained.
Jesus was raised, a spring of grace washing off death’s dust.
Jesus will come, so we might bless you.

Holy meal by holy meal, you bless us,
pouring the Spirit out on the gifts
of the bread and the cup
as well as on those who gather.
With the broken bread, you feed us
so that we can sustain the weary
   with hope and grace;
so that we can open our ears
   to the needs around us.
With the cup of salvation, you fill us
so that we can empty ourselves
   into those who hunger for peace;
so that we can be a blessing
   to all the world curses.

And when we are gathered
with our sisters and brothers
after all time has ended,
we will join in singing your praises
morning by morning,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

God sends us into the world with words of hope.
Morning by morning, we will speak these words
and live them out for others.
Jesus calls us into the world with words of justice.
Moment by moment, we will listen to the oppressed
and challenge the unjust powers around us.
The Spirit fills us with words of grace and peace.
Day by day, we will sing these words,
so all may hear of God’s presence in their lives.  

© 2018 Thom M. Shuman