Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Liturgy w/communion for January 16, 2022 (Second Sunday after Epiphany - C)

Texts:  Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 36:5-10; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-11

Call to Worship
We come in these endless days, Precious God,
people in need of the constancy of your love:
may we drink deeply from your fountain of life;
may we continue to be guided by your Light.

We gather in these weary days, Water-changing God,
people looking for signs of hope and wonder:
may we drink deeply from your fountain of grace;
may our weariness be wrapped in your Hope.

We worship in these overwhelming days, Gifting God,
people who try to point others to Jesus:
may we drink deeply from your fountain of joy;
may our life be strengthened by your Life.

Prayer of the Day
With you, Enduring Joy,
we find our refuge,
in these worrisome times.
In the shelter of your compassion,
we are made whole
from the brokenness of these times ;
in the abundance of your grace,
we are fed ti strengthen us to persevere;
in the depths of your living waters,
we are transfigured into 
the fragrant wine of compassion.

With you, Revealer of Glory,
we are filled to the brim
with the deep flavor of justice.
Our lips cannot contain your praise
but will sing your hopes to all.
Our hearts overflow with your spirit
as we are poured out for others.

Activating Spirit,
we find our common life
in this community of faith
both in person and online.
Made one by our common confession,
we will take our uncommon gifts
so we can share them with all.

Same in love, same in grace,
God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray as Jesus taught us, saying,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
Ignorance is no excuse, we know how our lives do not reflect God's grace, God's hope, God's justice.  But God will not give up on us, but is waiting to forgive us and call us as God's children.  Please join me as we pray, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   Delight of the Ages, we cannot remain silent, but must speak of the ways we misuse your gifts.  In our desire to have more and more, we cause more damage to your good creation.  In our obsession with ourselves, we have desolated that lives of those around us.  When we hoard what you have given us, we cannot be a blessing to other people.
     Forgive us, Restless God, so we might be restored to life.  May your steadfast love save and strengthen us to share our gifts with others, even as you have shared the Gift of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
God delights in you.  So much, that God will not rest until you are at peace.  God will not remain silent, but will call you by name: 'My Delight.'
God's steadfast love extends to the heavens, and reaches down to touch our hearts.  Thanks be to God who forgives and saves us!  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
Sometimes, we believe the gifts we offer do not matter.  But when they are combined with all the other gifts – of healing, of hope, of compassion, of your heart – they can become rivers of grace and justice flowing through the lives of everyone around us.  We offer our gifts to you in this hope, as we pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of steadfast love be with you!
And also with you!
Here, we will find refuge in our God.
Here, our hearts may be offered for healing and hope.
Let us feast on the abundance of God’s grace.
We will sing glad songs as we come to this Table.

You could not rest, Steadfast Love,
until creation had emerged from chaos;
you would not keep silent
but spoke the Word which
   placed the sun like a burning torch,
   caused the moon to shine like the dawn,
   crowned the night sky with stars.
Shaped in your image, you delighted in us,
   but we forsook you for sin,
   moving into the neighborhood called Desolation.
Prophets came repeatedly, to remind us
of your never-ending delight in us,
   but we thought their words
   were of no concern to us.
So you sent your Child to us,
the One who would fill us
to the brim with your gracious hope.

So with our sisters and brothers around us,
in the midst of the richness of your gifts,
we celebrate your steadfast love for us:

Holy, holy, holy are you, Refuge of our hearts.
All creation sings of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who is the same Lord of all.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, Light in whom we see light,
and Jesus is your vindication for all to see.
He could have rested in glory,
   but came hurrying to gather
   us up in your grace.
He could have remained silent in disapproval,
   but spoke over and over
   of your steadfast love for us.
He could have joined the world
in calling us all sorts of names,
   but whispered that we are
   your beloved children.
He could have forsaken us,
   but went into death’s desolation,
   so you would rejoice over him
   on Resurrection’s morning.

As we remember the life he led and offered to all,
as we look for signs of his presence in our midst,
we would proclaim that mystery we call faith:

Christ died, faithful to the very end;
Christ was raised, your righteousness drawn
   out of the depths of death;
Christ will come, so we will no longer be alone.

The same Spirit which moved over the waters
is now poured out over the gifts
of the bread and the cup, created from
the rich variety of creation’s gifts.
This bread, though broken,
strengthens us to be your people,
   who will not remain silent,
      but will confront injustice;
   who will not rest until
      all the broken are healed.
The cup, dipped into grace’s river
and handed to us, sends us forth
to be a fountain of life,
   where empty longings might
      be filled with love;
   where desolation might be
      replaced with hope.

And when, at the end of all time,
we are gathered in Beulah land,
we will be seated with our sisters
and brothers at your Feast,
where we will discover you have save
the best until then, as we sing to you,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

God sends us out to the lonely, the forsaken,
all those forgotten in these weary times.
We will go to gather them up into the heart of love,
to welcome them as our siblings.
Jesus calls us yo throw a party for those 
who are hungry for hope, who thirst for justice.
We will go to br with those who sit at empty tables,
who long to taste the sweet bouquet of grace.
The Spirit sends us forth, 
transformed from the foolish to the faithful.
We will go to those who walk in the muck of life,
who yearn for new days, of joy and wonder. 

(c) 2022 Thom M. Shuman