Call to Worship
In the prayers and the praise,
in the words and the wonder:
we are given enough joy to live each day.
In the justice for the oppressed,
in the unexpected generosity for the lost:
we are given enough compassion
to use in service each day.
In the promises made to all,
in the mercy offered to each:
we are given enough grace to share each day.
Prayer of the Day
Fresh as each morning
you come to us,
Crafter of manna.
Your grace rests
gently upon us,
waiting to be gathered,
to become the bread of life
we share throughout the day.
Fresh as compassion's justice,
you come to us,
Servant of the poor.
Choosing to give
as you desire,
you show us the last,
so we can make them first
in our hearts and hopes.
Doing no wrong,
you make us right
with God for all time.
Fresh as the water
which turns a desert
into a meadowland of flowers,
Spirit of uninterrupted grace,
you come to us.
When we would grumble,
you give us the gospel to live out;
when we would protest,
you teach us songs of praise;
when we would utter laments,
you fill us with God's laughter.
God in Community, Holy in One,
refresh us with your presence
as we pray as Jesus taught, saying,
(The Lord's Prayer)
Call to Reconciliation
We continue to believe that we must earn our way into God's heart. But God's grace is given to each of us, for all of us, freely, unconditionally, always. Let us open our lives to this mercy as we pray saying,
Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
It seems we cannot decide, Cloud of Glory. We say we will live to serve others, but end up meeting only our needs. We claim to live in a way that honors Christ, but we do not take him to work, school, home. We believe that the gospel can transform lives, (at least, for those who need it – but surely, not us).
Forgive us, Presence of Peace.
Instead of grumblers,
may we be ambassadors of grace.
Instead of continual complaining,
may we carry compassion to the hurting.
Instead of whiners,
may we be workers with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, to reach out and bring the kingdom of God to everyone we meet.
Silence is kept
Assurance of Pardon
This is the good news: there is no ranking in God's kingdom. God graces everyone with the same gifts: mercy, restoration, new life.
God has kept the covenant. We have been forgiven, we have been made new people. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Offertory/Prayer of Dedication
With hope in our hearts, we offer our gifts to you, O God, trusting that you will use them in the work of your kingdom which welcomes all, loves all, needs all, and serves all. Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of all mornings be with you!
And also with you!
Children of God, welcome the One who shares
grace with childlike abandon.
We open our hearts so we might savor the
sweet taste of joy and wonder.
People of God, bring your emptiness to
this Table of hope and peace.
We sing praises to One who fills us with
Christ's presence for service to others.
On that first morning,
when chaos saw your glory,
you brought out creation,
with stars and planets
swimming in the skies,
gazelles and giraffes dancing
through the fields of goodness.
You shaped humankind in your mercy,
and fed us with grace, enough for each day.
Jealous that you were so gracious to all of creation,
we grumbled that it wasn't enough,
and went searching for sin and death.
Prophets came, telling the stories
of your wonder and presence,
but for us, these were foolish words.
Finally, you sent Jesus
to come looking for us,
to show us your kingdom.
So, we join our voices with
wilderness wanderers and urban dwellers,
those who, in every time and place,
sing of your glory:
Holy! Holy! Holy! Glory to God's holy name!
Our hearts will seek God,
rejoicing in God's gentleness and grace.
Blessed is the One who comes looking for us.
Hosanna in the highest!
You are holy, Cloud of Compassion,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Joy, our Hope.
Child of glory and grace,
he chose to come to us,
working in the fields of despair.
Hearing our complaints,
he came to speak
of your dreams for us.
Firstborn of all creation,
he came to defeat
that last enemy, death.
As we remember his life and death,
as we come to the Table he has prepared,
we sing of that mystery called faith:
This is the bread God gives us to eat.
This is the life Christ calls us to offer to others.
This is the journey the Spirit takes with us.
Pour out your Spirit
upon your children gathered,
and upon the bread and the cup
you have provided for us.
As you feed us with the bread,
so flood us with compassion,
that we may go to serve
all who are lost and broken.
As you open your heart
so that the cup of grace
might be filled with your hopes,
send us out to bring the last
home to your kingdom,
where they will be first in your joy.
And when all time has ended
and the whole family of God
is gathered around your Table,
we will join our voices together,
praising you forever:
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.
Now go to share the love of God.
We will share it with childish abandon.
Go now to share the grace of Jesus.
We will offer this gift, fresh every morning, to all we meet.
Go now to share the generosity of the Holy Spirit.
We will hold nothing back as we embrace each one this week.
(c) Thom M. Shuman