Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Alternate texts liturgy w/communion for October 17, 2021 (Pentecost 21/Trinity 20/Proper 24/Ordinary 29 - B)

 Texts: Isaiah 53:4-12; Psalm 91:9-16; Hebrews 5:1-10; Mark 10:35-46

Call to Worship
Here is the place where we can bring our pain and hopes.
For our God carries them with us.
Here is the place where we can listen for our calling.
For Jesus invites us to serve with him in the world.
Here is the place where we are surrounded by grace.
For the Spirit hears our hearts and heals them.

Prayer of the Day
You reach out and lift us when we trip
   to set us back on our faith;
you shelter us in your grace
   when the storms of fear batter us;
you open your heart to welcome us,
   when all the world’s doors slam in our faces;
and we are rescued by your love,
God our Joy.

You touch us with your brokenness,
   so that we might be healed;
you serve out sin’s sentence on us,
   so that we might be set free;
you drink death’s bitter cup,
   so that we might have life;
and we are surrounded by your hope,
Jesus our Brother.

You remind us that we are not powerful,
   but weak enough to care for the vulnerable;
you whisper to us that we are not wealthy;
   but have more than enough to share with the poor;
you sing to us that we are not lost,
   but can show others the way to your heart;
and we listen and respond,
Spirit who calls us.

God in Community, Holy in One,
You offer the gift of life and grace
to all your children and so we pray as we are taught,
 (The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
We think we know what Jesus wants of us, and are walking his path.  But to often we get tripped up by our longings for more, and end up falling flat on our faces, because of our foolish words and deeds.  Let us come to the One who listens, and gives us new life.  Join me, as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   God of the Beloved, Jesus came for us.  He came to give those who could not see new sight, but we continue to long to live in the shadows.  He came to clear the ears of those who had no hearing, but we still listen to the lies offered to us. He came that we might serve those around us, but we want the attention, the seats of prestige. 
   We pray that as you forgive us, Loving God, we would discover that we are now your beloved.  Not because we are powerful, but we are willing to accept our weakness; not because we are wealthy, but we dare to share when others hoard; not because we want glory, but because we are willing to offer the cup of grace to those who thirst around us, even as it has been offered to us by Jesus, our Brother, our Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Our God deals gently with those who stumble, who lose their way, and who get dazzled by wanting power and glory. That is the good news for us. We are forgiven, and graced with new life.
Thanks be to God, who is the home of our hearts, who fills us with grace and mercy in every moment. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
We hope you will notice how generous we are in these moments, Gracious God, and pat us on the back. But instead, you challenge us to offer more, not just from our abundance, but our lives, our hearts, our hands in serving those around us. Bless these gifts, and all whose lives will be touched by them. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the listening God be with you.
May God be with you.
Let us offer our hearts to our God.
God will fill them with wonder and love.
We will join in glad songs of praise.
Our thanksgiving praises will echo throughout our lives.

When chaos offered a bitter cup to you,
God of amazing wonder,
you transformed it into the goodness
and beauty of your imagination, pouring
   life into every creature,
   hope into every heart,
   grace into every moment
as creation sprang forth into being.
All this was offered to us, your beloved children,
   but we wandered out of the safe places
   to walk the dangerous streets of sin and death.
Because you cared for us,
you sent helpers, women and men,
to bear witness to your grace and hope
for all that had been shaped by you,
   but we wanted a blank check
   so that we could spend it all on ourselves.
Because you loved us,
you sent your gracious Word
to bring us back to your heart.

With those who stumble along the way,
with those hoping to be faithful,
we sing our praises to you:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God who listens to us.
All creation praises your holy name.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who rescues those you love.
Hosanna in the highest!

In your holiness, you heard our cries, O God,
and sent Jesus for us, knowing
the bitter cup which he would be offered.
He could have been clothed in glory,
   but set it aside for human flesh;
he could have wielded power,
   but shared his weakness with us;
he deserved every honor,
   but was treated unjustly;
he should have died an old man
surrounded by family and friends,
   but he was executed on a cross,
   abandoned and alone;
he should have crumbled
   into death’s dust, but
   you raised him to new life.

As we gather to be served at his Table,
as we would seek to emulate his faithfulness,
we speak of the mystery we call faith;

Jesus carried our pain, that we might be healed;
Jesus died, that we might no longer be afraid;
Jesus was raised, that we might know life awaits us;
Jesus will come, that we might be surrounded by hope.

It is here at this Table we find
not a bitter cup, but overflowing grace;
not a last meal of the condemned
but the feast of the Lamb of Life.
Fed by the bread which restores us,
may we not seek glory,
   but serve in weakness;
may we not seek power,
   but live in humility.
Nourished by the grace which renews us,
May we not seek honor,
   but lift those knocked down by fear;
may we not seek wealth,
   but share from our abundance.

And when we are gathered at the end of time,
with all the generations that have been and will come,
we will sit at your Table of hope and life,
forever singing your praises,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.
With the love of our God in our hearts,
we will go to welcome the stranger among us
With the brokenness of Jesus having fed us,
we will go to bring healing to others.
With the vulnerability of the Spirit as our guide,
we will serve our neighbors with humility and hope.

© Thom M. Shuman