Sunday, February 13, 2022

Liturgy w/communion for February 20, 2022 (Epiphany 7 - C)

 Texts: Genesis 45:3-11, 15; Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40; 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50; Luke 6:27-38

Call to Worship
We come, those who seek to trust in God.
We commit ourselves to do as Jesus would do for those around us.
We come, delighting in all the wonders God provides for us.
We would not worry, but open ourselves to God’s heart.
We come, waiting patiently for God to speak.
We will be still, listening for God’s words of hope, of peace.

Prayer of the Day
     You Are
our heart’s Desire,
who chooses grace over grudges,
who provides rather than withholding,
who creates community with us
     rather than standing isolated from us.

     You Are
our Brother and Servant,
who delights in those who resist you,
who cradles the fists of hatred
          in your scarred hands,
who does good to those who do evil.

     You Are
the Breath of wonder,
who blows death’s dust off our shoulders,
who fills our empty souls with resurrection life,
who whispers words of peace
          into hearts full of anger.

God in Community, Holy in One,
You Are for whom we wait patiently, even as we pray,
(The Lord's Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
Over and over we are told how simple life with God can be: trust, do good to others, take delight in the wonders God provides for us.  But we simply have trouble living such a life.  Let us confess the struggles we have, as we bring our prayers to God, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
     In this season of light, Revealing God, we find ourselves wandering the shadows of the world.  In this time when we focus on Jesus’ ministry of healing, we hold tight to all those emotions – hatred, fear, worry – which continue to damage us.  in these days when we are invited to listen to Jesus’ teachings, we confess it is easier to hear the seductive words of sin.
     Forgive us, Resurrecting God, for trusting in promises which are short-lived, rather than in your Word which endures forever.  You have sent Jesus before us so that, as we follow him, we might travel from that far country of fear and doubt to that better country of resurrection life.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Take delight in the good news, dear friends.  Salvation is from our God, who restores us to new life.
God chooses to be gracious; God longs to give us our heart’s desires; God provides healing and hope to all.  Thanks be to God, we are forgiven!  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
You pour out grace upon us, Loving God, not so we might be filled, but we might empty ourselves for others.  Take these gifts we offer in these moments and use them to bring new life and hope to all around us.  This we pray in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of Epiphany be with you!
And also with you!
Be still.  Wait patiently for the One who loves you.
Our hearts rest in that peace which God offers to us.
Trust in God, who delights in you.
We rejoice in the One whose Light shines in our lives.

At the first moment of creation,
you spoke, God of still silences,
and all that was good shone
in your glory and wonder.
You created us in your image,
giving us your heart’s desires,
     so we might live as your children.
But we dishonored your hopes,
     committing ourselves to sin’s ways.
You sent the prophets before us,
who reminded us that salvation is from you,
     but we continued to play
     in death’s dusty streets.
Choosing to be ever gracious,
you sent Jesus to us,
not withholding anything from us.

With all who hunger for your hope,
with all who thirst for your salvation,
we join our voices in singing your praise:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God our delight.
Creation sings your glory in every moment.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who comes to provide life for us.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, God of every moment,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Having shared in creation with you,
     he came to remind us that,
          by the gift of resurrection, we cannot destroy
          ourselves or anything which you called into being.
Loving us, even when we were enemies,
     he came to do good to those who hated him.
Giving his other cheek to sin and death,
     he did for us what we could not do ourselves,
          defeating their power over us.

As we seek to walk in the Light which he brought,
as we would remember his self-giving love and service,
we would proclaim that mystery called faith:

Christ died, praying for those who harmed him;
Christ rose, doing to death what we could not do;
Christ will return, not withholding resurrection from us.

From the grain of the fields,
you shape the Bread of life
          for us;
from the fruit of the vine,
you fill the Cup of grace
          for us,
pouring out your Spirit
          upon these gifts
and upon those who gather
          around your Table.
You provide that brokenness
which makes us whole enough
to go and serve a hungry world.
You do not withhold anything from us,
but pass us that Cup of simple grace
which cost everything that was dear to you,
so we could love those,
     who are not easy to love;
so we could pray for those
     who would speak hate to us;
so we could do to others
     as you have done for us.

And when our journeys have come to an end,
when we are gathered with our sisters and brothers
around that resurrection Table of wonder,
we will sing your praises forever,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

We leave, our hearts filled with God's love.
We will go to offer the wonders of laughter    
and hope to everyone we will meet.
We leave, following Jesus into the world.
We will serve alongside him in the brokenness                                     
of our neighbors and our communities.
We leave, having heard the whispers of the Spirit.
We will speak justice to those                                                            
who would hoard it only for themselves.

(c) 2019 Thom M. Shuman