Worship resources for:
OT 23 – Pe + 14 (September 5, 2021)
Proverbs 22. 1-2, 8-9, 22-23 says we are all created equal by God. Blessed are the generous. Do not forsake the cause of caring for the poor.
Psalm 124: God’s grace alone has saved us when we were in danger.
James 2. 1-17 warns us not to favor the rich over the poor, and not to judge one another. We are accountable to the whole law: if you judge someone who has sinned, you also are equally guilty of sin. We are not merely learning information: we are learning a new way of living. Faith without is dead if it is not worked out in our living.
In Mark 7.24-37 Jesus rejects a woman’s request to heal her daughter because she is a foreigner. But in her faithful persistence he sees that she is a human being, and he heals the girl. Then he cures a deaf man with a speech impediment, touching the man’s ears and tongue and crying out, “be opened!”
Call to Worship
Leader: God of ancient truth, our ancestors lead us to this place.
All: We open our minds to your Word.
Gentle Christ, your loving community gathers us here to be changed by your grace.
We open our hearts to your love.
Holy Spirit, our thirst for you has brought us to worship.
We open our lives to your power,
and we open our arms to one another,
that we may open ourselves to the world, in the love of Christ. Amen.
Leader: Infinite God, Heart of Being, you draw us near.
All: Open our lips to sing your praise.
Loving Christ, beloved Friend, you lay your healing hands upon us.
Open our eyes and ears to see and hear your presence.
Holy Spirit, Word of new Creation. you burn within us.
Open our hearts and minds to live in new ways.
Your will be done. Alleluia!
Leader: Your Word creates the heavens and the earth, O God;
therefore we listen with open ears.
All: Your love gives us life; therefore we open our lips to praise you.
You give us your Christ who heals us, teaches us and calls us.
With gratitude we receive him with open arms.
You give us your Spirit, that guides us in the wisdom of your love.
We open our hearts to your presence and your grace.
Open our ears to hear you, God, and our hands to serve you.
Alleluia! Arise in us, Spirit of Life, and transform us by your grace. Alleluia!
God of love, open our eyes to your glory. Open our hearts to your grace.
Open our arms to your beloved children.
Open the door and enter our lives
as we worship you in gratitude and wonder. Alleluia!
Collect / Prayer of the Day
Spirit of Love, when we can’t hear your Word, or see your Way, we feel deaf and blind. When we can’t sing your praise we feel mute. Heal us. Open our hearts, and set us on a path of endless learning and growing in the Spirit of Christ. Amen.
Gentle God, we come to you seeking healing, wisdom and life. Bless us with your love, your Word, your touch. Only say the word and we shall be made whole. Have mercy, O Lord, and bless us. Amen.
God of truth and power, we observe many traditions, we meet many expectations, we follow many habits. But now in this moment we release all outward forms. There is no one to judge us or to compare; there is only you, hidden in your Word. Help us to listen for your presence, to hear what is True, to be changed by your Word. Our hearts are open vessels. Pour yourself in, and we will receive you. Amen.
Eternal God, you who have created the heavens and the earth, create us anew in the power of your Spirit. You opened up the space of the heavens, and set therein stars like eyes to shine on us. Open our own eyes, that we may behold your glory and worship you. In Jesus Christ you healed people’s bodies and hearts. Open our hearts to your grace, that we may made new in the image of Christ. Your Spirit opened the lips of the mute and gave them good news to tell. O Lord, open our lips, and our mouths shall declare your praise. Amen.
(suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to prayer)
God, I throw open the window of my heart.
Let the light of your grace flood my house.
Let the breeze of your Spirit freshen my air.
Let your love kindle the fire at my heart,
that I may live by your warmth and light all my days,
in the name and the company of Christ. Amen.
[Of course, rather including so much responsive sections, the pastor may read the whole thing…]
God is with you.
And also with you.Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Holy One.
Let us give thanks to the Holy One our God.
It is good to give God thanks and praise.
Blessed are you, O God, for you create all things in love.
You make us in your image and call us your Beloved,
and continually re-create us by your grace.
You know our struggles and bear our suffering.
You judge the forces of oppression and set us free.You guide us into a new world of mercy and justice;
you heal the splinterings of race and clan, creed and status.
You draw us into the Empire of Grace
in the company of Jesus your Christ.
[Sanctus, sung or spoken]
Blessed are all who come in your name,
and blessed is Jesus, your Christ.
He taught and healed, and loved all people,
calling us to repentance and offering new life.
He defied barriers and created a new community
of love, justice and inclusiveness.
He opened heaven to us, that we might commune with God.
For his resistance to injustice he was crucified,
but you raised him from the dead.
[… The Blessing and Covenant…] *
With gratitude we remember your mighty acts in Jesus Christ.
Therefore we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving
as a living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of our faith.
As the dogs that eat the crumbs that fall from the table,
we come not because we are worthy but because you invite us.
No one is turned away.
We thank you for these gifts
that unite us with all who hunger for your grace.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts of bread and cup,
that they may be for us the Body and Blood of the Beloved, Jesus Christ.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us,
that we may be for the world the Body of Christ.
Open us to your grace and to the new life you offer us;
make us vessels of your love.
Open us to one another; make us one in your Spirit.
Open us to the suffering of the world,
and to your healing flowing through us.
By your grace in this meal
prepare us to work for healing and justice
for the sake of your delight.All glory and honor is yours,
faithful and loving God, now and forever.
*I don’t print/project the words to the Blessing and Covenant (the “Words of Institution”) because especially at that point I want the congregation to be looking at the bread and cup, not printed or projected words. You may print it for the celebrant—but I encourage you to memorize it.
The Blessing and Covenant
On the night in which he gave himself for us,
he took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples,
saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup,
blessed it with thanks and gave it to them, saying,
“Drink of this, all of you. This is my blood,
shed for you and for many, in a new Covenant,
which is the forgiveness of sin.”
Prayer after Communion
Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us. You have opened our hearts to your grace. Now open our hands to do the work you give us, to work for justice and healing for the sake of the wholeness of all Creation, in the name and Spirit of Christ. Amen.
With Open Hands (Tune: The Water Is Wide)
O Lord, we come with open hands for grace we do not understand.
We simply take, and we are blessed that you receive us as your guest.
We open all our treasure stores in gratitude that freely pour
from open hearts that you have healed, so in our love yours is revealed.
You open wide great heaven’s doors; your love includes, heals and restores.
We share your feast, and we are called with open arms to all the world.