OT 11 – Pe +3

June 13, 2021 
3rd Sunday after Pentecost — Ordinary Time 11


1 Samuel 15.34 — 16.13  The prophet Samuel anoints David as king of Israel. Samuel passes over the brothers who are bigger and stronger in favor of the one God has chosen.

Psalm 20  is a prayer that God will help you, protect you and fulfill your desires.  Your well-being comes not from strength or power, but from God.

       -or-

Psalm 72  asks God’s blessing on the king:  that he defend the poor and weak, and work for justice, that he prevail among his rivals, and that his kingdom be blessed.

In 2 Corinthians 5. 16-17 Paul says if anyone lives in union with Christ, it changes the whole world: Creation starts all over again.

In Mark 4.26-34  Jesus tells two parables: the Realm of God is like seed growing without our knowing how; and it is like a tiny mustard seed that grows into a large blessing.

Call to Worship

1.
Leader:  Eternal Mystery, Sun of Life , you create all things.
 
All:    Your glory shines in every living being.
Living Christ, Divine Presence, you plant the seed of your love in us.
 Your beauty, your grace are hidden in our hearts.
Spirit of Love, you call forth our compassion.
 By your growth in us, we flower with the fruit of your grace.
 We thank you.  We worship you.  We give ourselves to you.  Alleluia!

2.

Leader:  Creator God, you scatter the seed of your grace in this world.
      All:    It produces blessing, though we know not how.
You scatter the seed of your love in us.
       It sprouts and grows, though we do not know how.
When the time is ripe you gather your harvest.
      We offer our love to you, for the harvest is yours.

3.
Leader: Creator God, Source of Life, we praise you!

     All:  You plant the seed of your grace in us,
     and Creation begins anew.

The mystery of your presence grows within us; we know not how.

     The tree of Christ flourishes among us, bearing fruit.

The vine of your Spirit connects us all, and we thank you.

      We are seeds of your promise, saplings of your Realm.

      Alleluia!   Spirit of Life, grow within us,

      and transform us by your grace. Alleluia!

Collect / Prayer of the Day

1.
God of grace, you plant the mustard seed of your love in us.  May it flourish and grow by your grace. May the sun of your Word shine upon us; the water of your grace nourish us; the warm earth of Christ hold us and bless us to bring forth life in your name.  Amen.

2.
Gracious God, as plants in a garden root themselves in rich soil, and open themselves to the rain and sun, so we root ourselves in your Presence.  We open ourselves to your Word.  And we await the working of your Spirit within us, so that what you have planted in us may bear fruit.  We pray in the name of Christ.  Amen.

Readings

1.   from Psalm 20, a paraphrase

May the Holy One be with you in all your struggles.
        May God treasure your gifts with delight.
May God grant your deepest desires
       and bring to fruition the seeds of grace in you.
We rejoice at one another’s giftedness;
       we celebrate what God is doing in you.
God will always be present with God’s Beloved.
       God responds with love and blessing.
Some trust in power and accomplishments,
       but our trust is in God,
       in God’s amazing glory unfolding in each of us.

Help us to trust this vision, O God.
       Be our hope and our trust.

Response / Creed / Affirmation

Listening Prayer  (suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to intercessions)

God of life, our hearts are the soil into which you scatter the seed of your Word.  May it take root in us, grow mightily, and bear good fruit.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication / Sending

Gracious God, we give you our gifts as symbols of our lives.  Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will.  May your grace grow and bear fruit in our lives by the power of your Spirit in us, for the sake of the healing of the world, in the name of Christ. Amen.

Prayer after Communion

Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us. As the seed sprouts and grows, we know not how, so in the mystery of this meal your grace grows in us without our understanding.  May it bear fruit in us, for the sake of the mending of the world, in the name of Christ. Amen.

Suggested Songs

Tree of LifeSee music store.

Advent 4 – December 19, 2021

Lectionary Texts

Micah 5.2-5 promises that after a time of suffering a ruler for Israel will come from Bethlehem and feed the people, and reign in peace.

Luke 1.46-55 is Mary’s song of praise, called the Magnificat (from the first word of the Latin version). She praises God for blessing her despite her low social position, and describes God’s justice and mercy: God overturns the social stratification of rich and poor, powerful and oppressed. Like Micah Mary anticipates that the poor will be fed and cared for.

Hebrews 10.5-10 quotes Psalm 40: God does not desire that we pay for our sins, but that we do God’s will. Psalm 40 reads, “you have prepared ears for me,” suggesting listening and obedience. But the author of Hebrews changes it to “you have prepared a body:” Christ embodies Gods love. As Mary prepares for the birth of Jesus, the Incarnation draws near.

In Luke 1.39-45 after Gabriel’s announcement to Mary she goes to see Elizabeth, who is six months pregnant. When Mary comes, the child in Elizabeth’s womb (who will become John the Baptist) leaps for joy. Elizabeth affirms Mary’s faith and her gifts.

Call to Worship / Lighting the Advent Candle

1.
READING (from Micah 5.2-5)
Now you, O Bethlehem, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. God’s chosen one shall stand and feed God’s flock in the strength of God, in the majesty of the name of the Holy One our God. And the people shall live secure, for their ruler shall be great to the ends of the earth, the one of peace.
RESPONSE
Leader: God of love, you promise our salvation, coming from among us.
      All: Grace stirs within us. Love lives among us.
Christ is near. We waken to the light of your presence.
      We rise in the dawning of the mystery of love made flesh.

2.
              READING [Luke 1.26-38 (The Annunciation)]
              RESPONSE
Leader: The Advent candle shines with light,
        All: the same light that shines in us, the light of your love.
On the darkest day of the year, the longest night, your light shines into the world.
        And it shines in our hearts. Bring to life your holy presence in us
        as we worship now and as we live each moment.
        Christ, be born in us, now and always. Amen.

3.
READING (John 1.1-5, 9)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through the Word, without whom not one thing came into being. What has come into being in the Word was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The true light, which enlightens everyone, is coming into the world.
RESPONSE
Leader: These candles we light shine with the light that comes into the world.
       All: Your presence and your love shine upon us.
Like a child to be born, your light awaits, the light of life.
      Your presence and your love shine within us.
May we await your coming in hope and joy,
and prepare for your life among us in love.
      Your presence and your love shine out from us.
May your love grow in us, shine upon the world,
and bring life to all people.
      Come, O Christ, and shine in us with your grace!

4.
READING (Luke 1.26-38, the Annunciation)
Leader: God of grace, as we light these candles, we remember your promise.
      All: Your light shines within us.
You have chosen us to bear your love into the world.
      Your presence grows within us.
We await the coming of Christ.
      Your Spirit moves within us.
We prepare for your coming in joy and simplicity.
     Come, Holy Spirit, and transform us by your grace. Alleluia!

5.
Leader: Now you, O Bethlehem of Ephratha, who are one of the little clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth from me one who is to rule in Israel,
whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.
      All: You have promised a ruler, O God,
     to feed your flock and guide us to live in peace.
      May your peace come to all the earth.
O God, you have scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
You have brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
You have filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty..
      As we light these Advent candles, O God,
      kindle in us your spirit of justice.
      As we prepare for your coming may your love grow in our hearts,
      that by our faithful living
      we may bring peace to all the world. Amen.


6.
We praise you, O God, for this victory wreath
that marks our days of preparation for Christ’s advent.
      As we light these candles on the wreath,
      awaken our hearts to your light growing about us
     and within us, as our Savior draws near.
Enlighten us with your grace,
and prepare our hearts to welcome you with joy.
      Kindle within us the gift of love through Christ the Beloved,
     whose coming is certain and whose day draws near. Amen
.

Collect / Prayer of the Day

1.
God of love, you promise your presence, and you pledge to us your mercy and grace. Open our eyes to see the dawning of your light within us and among us. Open our hearts to your Word, that we might trust in what you have spoken to us. Speak to us again, that we may live in the light of your coming. Amen.

2.
God of love, your presence grows within us. Open our hearts to receive, to honor and to nourish the holy child, that Christ may be born in us by your grace. Amen.

3.
Holy One, Promise of Life, Mystery of light, your grace comes to us; your Word grows within us. In the stillness of the morning we open our hearts to you, to receive your Word, to embrace your love, that your grace may be conceived in us and among us. May it be for us according to your Word. Amen.

4.
God of love, as your Word came to Mary long ago, it comes to us nows. You are present for us, and we have only to listen with our hearts to know your desire for us. We want to be open to your Word. We want to hear your promises. May it be for us according to your Word. Amen.

5.
Gracious God, your angel spoke to Mary long ago, calling her your Beloved, and showing her your blessing that grew within her. Speak to us now; call us as your Beloved, and help us see the blessing that grows within us. Grant us open hearts and minds, that as the scriptures are read and your good news proclaimed we may hear with joy what you are saying to us today. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

1.
God, we confess our sin, and what diminishes life in us.
And we confess the life within us yet to be born,
the holy presence yet to be affirmed,
the divine presence in us that leaps with joy.
Forgive our sin, heal our fear,
and bring to life the light within.
Give us the courage of Mary and Elizabeth
to believe you will fulfill what you have spoken.
Amen.

2.
God of love, you who are born in us, we thank you.
And we confess the times
we leave no room in the inn of our hearts
for you to be born in us.
Forgive our being closed off to your gift of Life;
grant us open minds and spacious hearts,
that your love may find new life in our lives.

Listening Prayer

(suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to prayer)

God of life,
something in us leaps for joy
when we sense you near.
Blessed are we, and blessed is the fruit of our hearts
when we listen.
In the silence, and in the Word, speak to us.
Come to us.
Be born in us.

Eucharistic Prayer

Beloved, God is with you.
     And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
     We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to the Faithful One, our God.
     It is good to give God thanks and praise.
How blessed we are that our life-giver and savior has come to us!
      Our hearts within us leap for joy at the sound of your voice.
We praise you, God, for you birth us in love.
     You promise yourself to us, and you are faithfully present.
You defeat the forces of oppression, set us free,
and call us to join you in building a world of mercy and justice.      
      You leave the rich wanting and feed the hungry with good things.
      Therefore with all Creation we sing your praise.
            
                   [Sanctus]

Blessed are all who come in your name,
and blessed is Jesus, your Christ:i
      in him you were incarnate among us and live with us always.
He taught and healed, he embodied forgiveness and reconciliation;
      he recognized the divine in each of us and called it to life.
                  […The Blessing and Covenant…]

Whenever we break this bread and share this cup we remember his incarnation,
his death and resurrection, until he comes again.
       Remembering your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
       we offer ourselves, with praise and thanksgiving,
       as a living and holy sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us,
       as we proclaim the mystery at the heart of our faith.
                    [Memorial Acclamation]

Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts,
that they may be for us the Body and Blood of the Holy One Jesus Christ.
       Pour out your Holy Spirit on us,
       that we may trust what you have spoken to us,
       and conceive in our souls
       and bring forth your love made flesh,
      that by the grace of your Spirit in us
      may we be for the world the Body of Christ.

                              [Amen]
_____________________

* The Blessing and Covenant
[I usually don’t print the words. I want people to be looking at the bread, not their bulletins.]

On the night in which he gave himself for us
Jesus 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,
poured out for you and for many, in a new Covenant,
which is the forgiveness of sin.”
As long as we break this bread and share this cup
we remember his death and resurrection, until he comes again.

Prayer after Communion

Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us. In your Spirit you live within us; your presence accompanies us; your love flows from us. May Christ be born in us in this holy season and all the days of our lives, by your grace, to your eternal glory. Amen

Suggested Songs

(Available on the Music page. Click on titles to view songs)

All Songs with “Advent” tag, especially:
Blessed Child of Bethlehem
Magnificat


Trinity Sunday

Lectionary texts

In Isaiah 6.1-8 the prophet sees a vision of God in the Temple. He feels inadequate because of his sin—and his people’s sin—but an angel sears his lips with a burning coal: he has been purified. Then God asks “Whom shall I send?” and the prophet replies, “Send me.”

Psalm 29 honors God’s glory and strength. God’s mighty voice (God’s power) shakes all Creation

Romans 8. 12-17 says rather than living according to our self-limited desires (“the flesh’), we live by God’s spirit in us, since we are God’s children. In this Spirit we are radically free

In John 3. 1-17 Jesus tells Nicodemus that we must be born “from the top,” that is, both from God and also anew, over and over. We receive our life from God. John then goes on to say that Jesus was sent for our salvation. The Son of man will be “lifted up” (meaning both “crucified” and also “honored”) like the bronze serpent Moses lifted up to cure people in the desert.

Call to Worship

1.
Leader: Eternal God, Holy Mystery, Infinite Love, we are in awe.
All: Wow.
Loving Christ, Body of God, you heal us and accompany us and show us the way.
Thank you.
Holy Spirit, breath of God in us, re-create us, birth us anew and fill us with your love.
Please.

2.
Leader: I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of God’s robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above God; they called to another and said:
All: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of God’s glory!
God so loved the world as to give us Christ, that whoever trusts may have eternal life.
Praise be to Christ, who is our life!
The Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you.
May we live by the Spirit, as children of God.
O Holy Mystery, Holy Trinity, Mother, Son and Holy Spirit,
we worship you; we praise you; we give our lives to you. Alleluia!

3.
Leader: Creator God, we praise you!
People: Risen Christ, we greet you!
Holy Spirit, we are one body by your grace.
Alleluia! Eternal God, Holy Trinity, you are Mystery,
you are grace, you are the power of love within us.
In awe, and gratitude and in obedience we worship you. Alleluia!

Collect / Prayer of the Day

1.
Loving God, Mother of our Birth and Creator of all things, your Spirit blows where it will. You bear us in your arms through all our lives. We turn to you now to hear your voice, to nurse from your love, and to give ourselves wholly to you. Through the Spirit and the Word give us new birth. Amen.

2.
O Holy One, you who are beyond us, and beside us, and within us, you who are our Source, our Companion, and our Life: we open our hearts to you. We don’t need to see your infinite splendor; but let us behold your glory just enough to fall in love, and give ourselves entirely to you, in the name and the Spirit of Christ. Amen.

3.
Eternal God, you who are Mystery to us, yet who reveal yourself to us, we open our hearts to you. We do not ask that you enable us to understand or explain you, but only that you fill our hearts with your love, that we may receive your blessings and serve you in love, in the name of Christ, in whose name we pray, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

4.

Holy One, you so love the world that you give us your Beloved, your Only Begotten, that we may be made whole. By your Spirit in us, may we be born again and again from you grace; may we be readily blown where the wind of your Spirit blows us, in the name and the company of Jesus. Amen.

Listening Prayer

(suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to intercessions)

Loving God, you make us your children and you call us to help you to love the world. Stir up your Spirit in us so that as we read your scriptures and proclaim your Word we might hear what you are saying to us, and be transformed and enabled to sing more freely and beautifully the song of your grace. Amen.

Reading

Romans 8.12-17, a paraphrase.

Dearly Beloved, siblings in Christ, we are not isolated bodies,
constrained by their needs and limitations.
When we live that way, as separate units, we die.
But when by the breath flowing from God
we leave behind mere survival, we live deeply.
All who are led by the Spirit are children of God.
The Spirit doesn’t leave you in slavery, leashed to fear:
the Spirit is your adoption as God’s own.
When we cry out to God it is God in us making it clear
that we are God’s children—who inherit from God what Christ does,
invited as Christ’s siblings to share in Christ’s sufferings,
and also in Christ’s glory.

Response / Creed / Affirmation

We believe in God, who is mostly mystery but all love, the Holy Trinity: the Lover, the Beloved and the Love that Flows Between.
We follow Jesus, whom God gave to us in love, not to condemn us but to save us from slavery to our self-centeredness. Though the world condemned him, he did not condemn, but loved. Though he was crucified, by the eternal Spirit that was complete in him, he rose from death and gave to us his spirit.
We live by that Spirit, by whom we are born again and again from God, with new life. By the grace of that Spirit we are not isolated individuals but one, the Body of Christ, infinite in life and love. On the wind of that Spirit we sail into this world as Love leads us, to do justice, to love kindness, to walk humbly with God. In love the Spirit breathes us into the world to be the good news of God’s grace. Alleluia.


Prayer of Dedication / Sending

(suitable for dedicating the offering of gifts or sending forth at the end of the service. You may substitute “our lives” for “these gifts.”)

1.
Gracious God, we give you our gifts as symbols of our lives. Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will. Holy God, Three In One, send us in the love of Christ and the power of your Spirit for the sake of the healing of the world. Amen.

2.
Gracious God, receive our lives nd all our gifts, which we give to you in thanks and joy. In giving this we honor you as our Creator, and we humble ourselves before you. We remember the gifts of your Son, Jesus, and offer thanks for his grace. And we open our hearts to your Spirit, that you may use us to show your love to all Creation, in the name of Christ. Amen.

Prayer after Communion

Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us. As you have fed us in this meal, give new birth to us in every breath: continually make us new in love for you, for each other, and for the world, in the name and Spirit of Christ. Amen.

OT 12 – Pe + 4

Worship resources for:
OT 12 – Pe +4 (June 20, 2021)


Lectionary Texts

1 Samuel 17. 1-49  tells the story of David and Goliath.  Little David defeats the giant warrior not by strength, but by relying on God.

Psalm 9. 11-20  praises God, who hears the poor and the afflicted.  The nations and those who abuse others are trapped by their own evil.   But God remembers the needy.

In 1 Corinthians 6. 1-13 Paul says God offers salvation today, not later.  So don’t sit and let it go by you!  Paul then describes the difficulties of his ministry and pleads that it not be in vain. “Open wide your hearts.” 

In Mark 4. 35-41 the disciples go through a storm at sea, while Jesus sleeps in the boat.  In their anxiety they rouse him and he calls for peace and calm.

Call to Worship

1.

Leader:  God of love, you hear the cry of those who suffer.

 All:  We cry out with all who are in anguish.

Gentle Christ, you walk with those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.

 We walk with you among those who suffer.

Holy Spirit, we often despair as we face the troubles of the world.

 We open ourselves to your presence, so we need not fear.

 Calm our hearts, and give us courage to serve with you.

2.

Leader:  God of Creation, we are in awe of your work.

 All:    Thanks, we cry, and adoration!

God of mystery, our fears swirl about us.

 Save us, we cry.  Have mercy!

God of grace, your healing sustains us.

 Bless you, we pray, and we worship you.

3.

Leader: Creator God, the sea is so wide and my boat is so small!

   All:  Be good to us.

Loving Christ, the storms are great and our hearts are weak.

   Be with us.

Holy Spirit, you are the wind and you are the waves.

  Give us courage.

God of life, bring us through the storm.

   Give us faith.

   Come, Spirit of Life, and transform us by your grace. Alleluia!

Collect / Prayer of the Day

1.

God of love, the storms of life frighten us.  But you are in the boat of our lives with us. Speak to us and give us peace.  Call to us, and give us courage.  Awaken us with your Word, so we may serve you without fear. Amen.

2.

God of mercy, your Word alone has power to create, power to save, power to heal.  Amidst the howling storm of society’s anxieties and the cries of our inner fears your voice comes to us, soft and steady.  Help us to listen and be still, to trust with all our hearts.  Speak to us, God of life.  Amen.

3.

God of all Creation, sometimes the storms frighten us and we cry to you.  Sometimes our challenges are great and we tremble.  Sometimes the storms are around us, and sometimes they are within. Speak your word of peace to us, so that we may endure our storms and face our difficulties with peace and faith.  We open our hearts to your grace.  Amen.

Readings

(For two readers.)

Reader 1: Jesus says: Let us go over to the other side.

     Reader 2: The other side… of what?  The tracks?…   The argument?

  The unseen?  The shadow side of myself?  

[….silence…]

Follow me.

   The rowing is hard. I am tired.

Come, to me, you who are weary, and I will give you rest. [….silence…]

   The wind is against me, and I am afraid.

The wind blows where it will. So it is with those who are born of the Spirit.   [….silence…]

   The waves are high.  How can you be asleep?

Peace, be still.   [….silence…]

   Do you not care that we are perishing?

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains a single grain.

But if it dies it bears much fruit.

   We have gone down into the deep baptismal waters

   and now we are born again.

   Even the wind and the seas obey the Beloved.  We too shall follow.

Response / Creed / Affirmation

1.

   We trust in you, God of Mystery, Creator of all that is and all that is to come.

    We follow you, O Christ, voice of God, Word made flesh, love embodied.  Your love and healing cast out demons and called forth justice.   You died in and rose in the peace of God.  Your mercy calms the storms in our hearts and calls us into a new community of hope.

    We live by your grace, Holy Spirit, your life in us that is not afraid, but at peace with all that is. Trusting in the gift of forgiveness, the power of resurrection, the mystery of eternal life and the gift of our unity with all living beings as the Body of Christ, we live in peace and nonviolence; we work for justice; we fearlessly share your love with all.  In your Peace, Holy One, we live as disciples of Christ for the healing of the world.  Amen.

2.

      Creator God, you are the sea and the wind; you are our boat, you are the mysterious depths and the far shore. We give ourselves to you.

         Loving Christ, you are the peaceful presence, you are the calming voice, you are the One who is in the boat with us always.  We trust you, and we turn to you.

      Holy Spirit, you are the wind that carries us onward, even when we are afraid.  You are the power that raised Jesus from the grave, and that rouses us from death.  You make us one Body; you give us trust in your grace; you give us courage in all things.  Grant us the faith to continue in our journey with Christ, to love and serve the world, trusting in the power of forgiveness and resurrection and the present reality of eternal life. Amen.

3.

             We give our hearts to God, Creator of all, whose Spirit is in the wind and in the calm, in our little boats and in the seas about us.

     We follow Christ, who is with us in the storms of life; who holds the power of all Creation in his hands; and who gives us peace by his resurrected presence. He bids us to trust, to love and to wonder in his name.

     We live by the power of the Spirit, who gives us peace in all our difficulties and courage in all our endeavors.  Since even the wind and the seas obey, we too obey God, the Holy One. We devote ourselves to accept the grace of God, to minister with Christ, to live resurrection, and to serve in love, for the sake of the healing of all Creation, in the name of Christ.  Amen.

Listening Prayer  

(suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to intercessions)

God of Peace, your Word calms storms. 

You are at peace, even in chaotic times.

Though we are afraid, Jesus is at rest

in the little boat of our hearts.

Speak your Word now. We will be still.

Prayer of Dedication / Sending

1.

Gracious God, we give you our lives, symbolized in these gifts.  Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will.  Trusting your saving presence and the peace of your grace, we go into the world to heal, to do justice and to proclaim your good news, for the sake of the wholeness of the world, in the name of Christ. Amen.

2.

Gracious God, we give you these gifts as symbols of our lives.  Receive them with love, bless them with grace, and use them according to your will.  Send us into the world with trust in your presence and courage in our hearts and hands, to go where you lead us, to love as you enable us, to serve as you command us. In the name of Christ, our Safety and our Peace, bless us.  Amen.

3.

Eternal God we give you these gifts as symbols of our lives.  Take them and do your will with them.  Through our giving and our service, reach out to those who struggle through the storms of life and offer rest and safety to them.  Help us to be a source of peace, present to them so that they may know your love.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Suggested Songs

In the Boatsee music store.

Blue Christmas

For some, Christmas is a mixed blessing, evoking grief over the death of loved ones, or other sorrows. A Blue Christmas service is a serve of hope and healing that is more quiet and reflective than exuberant. It may speak not only to those who bear personal sorrows but also those who lament injustice and broken relationships in their communities or the world. If you offer a Blue Christmas service it’s helpful to have present not only those who are “blue” themselves, but those who would support them. You may want to have people on hand who are trained in listening (like Stephen Ministers), or prepared for healing, praying or other ministries.


Some Suggested Scriptures

(Italicized scriptures are included in various year’s lectionary readings.)
Isaiah 12.2-6 (Year C, week 3) —You will draw water from the wells of salvation
Isaiah 35.1-10 (A: 3) —The desert shall blossom. Renewal, return of exiles.
Isaiah 40.1-11 (B:2) — Comfort my people; the people fade like grass
      but God’s Word is forever; God will carry the sheep in their arms
Isaiah 61.1-11 (B 2)— The Spirit of God is upon me to bind up the brokenhearted
Zephaniah 3.14-20 ( C:3) — God will rejoice over you
Psalm 13 —A lament: I bear pain in my soul
Psalm 122 (A:1) — Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
Psalm 126 — May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy
Romans 5.1-5 —Suffering leads to hope…
Philippians 4.4-7 (C:3)— Rejoice always… be gentle… peace will guard your hearts
Hebrews 4.14-16 — Christ sympathizes with us:
      he’s been through what we’ve been through
Revelation 21.1-4 (The new heaven and new earth)
Luke 1.39-45 ( B:4) Mary visits Elizabeth
Luke 1.47-55 (A:3, C:4) The Magnificat. You have remembered me
      in my low estate)
Luke 1.68-79, especially 76-79 (C:2) Part of Zechariah’s song:
      light for those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.)

Opening Prayer

Gracious God, Creator of all, you who make the snow of winter and the darkness of night, the day is yours, and also the night; summer and winter are yours.
      The darkness is yours, and in it we seek your blessing.
Christ, Companion of all who sit in darkness, you came to us on that night long ago, and warmed our night with your presence.
      In the darkness of this night we wait for your coming again.
Holy Spirit, we open our hearts to your light, and our lives to your presence.
      O Come, O come! God, be with us, dwell in our hearts,
      and let your dawn break upon us, and on all who dwell in darkness. Amen.

Listening Prayer

1.
Gentle God, from the beginning you promised to be our God, and to be with us always. In Christ you come to share our darkness, to bless our days and our nights, our joy and our sorrow, our living and our dying. Come, O gentle Savior, be with us, show us the way, and embrace us with your Spirit. Amen.

2.
Creator God, from the beginning of time, when only chaos and darkness existed, you have been with us. In the fullness of time, you sent your light into the world as Christ, to bless our days and our nights, our joys and our sorrows, our living and our dying. Come now, enter into our hearts, anoint us with your Spirit, and comfort us with your healing love. Amen.

Bidding Prayer

Loving God, we thank you for the many blessings you have given us. We remember with grateful hearts our loved ones, and all who have blessed us through our years.
     God of grace, we give you thanks.
We hold in your light what is no longer ours: loves and dreams that have passed, friends and hopes that have died. We hold in your light our struggles, our darkness, our emptiness.
     God of grace, be with us in the night.
O come to us, God, and walk with us. Grant us your consolation, strength and renewal. Enter into the rough stable of our lives so that here, by your presence, there is healing, and hope, and joy.
    God of grace, grant us light.
Gentle God, for all who suffer we ask your blessing. For all who are lonely we ask your presence. For all who struggle we ask your Spirit. Come to us, receive our wounds, dwell with us, and strengthen us by your spirit.
     God of grace, grant us your peace.
God of mercy, we mourn the world’s injustice, and pray in hope. Bless those who suffer oppression. Bless those who work for justice. Bless us, that with hope and courage we may shine with your light even in the darkest night.
     God of grace, grant us your hope.
Spirit of healing, fill us with your grace that we may shine with your light in the darkness, that we may bear your healing to others, that we may be living signs of your coming.
    God of grace, grant us your peace. Amen.

A Litany of Remembrance

Leader: As we near the longest night of the year, we light this advent candle of hope. We pray for all those who suffer—mentally, physically, emotionally, and ask your blessing upon them. Open our eyes to those who are lonely, afraid, and forgotten, that we might be to them a comforting and hopeful presence.
All: As the candle shines through darkness,
may we be your light to those in need of hope.
       Response— O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, verse 1

As we light this advent candle of love, we remember with grateful hearts all those who have blessed our lives with love. We pray for our loved ones who are no longer here with us. We remember their names, their voices, their lives. God, may your eternal light surround them.
As the candle shines through darkness,
may we be your light to those in need of love.
       Response— O Come, Come, Emmanuel, verse 2

As we remember that dawn defeats darkness, God, we light this advent candle of joy. As we experience times of loss—the loss of our health, our jobs, our relationships, our hopes and dreams, God promises to be with us and to lead us into a deeper joy.
As the candle shines through darkness,
may we be your light to those in need of joy.
       Response— O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, verse 3

Though we live in times of conflict and division, we light this advent candle of peace. In a world of unspeakable violence, you came to us as a baby—vulnerable, precious, and pure, offering to us the gift of your love. May your peace, which surpasses all human understanding, fill our hearts, and heal our world.
As the candle shines through darkness,
may we be your light to a world in need of peace.
       Response— O Come, O Come, Emmanuel ,verse 4
Silence

Psalm Meditation

(Psalm 85, paraphrased)

Leader: God of life, the land has blossomed with your favor.
You have restored your people;
you have forgiven us,
all of our brokenness a thing of the past.
In our suffering there was your grace,
your fierce protection.
     All: We listen for your voice, O God,
     for your compassion draws near. …

Restore us again, O God of our salvation.
Heal our fear of you.
How long will we go on distrusting of you,
keeping our distance for generations?
Awaken us from our bad dreams
and renew our joy.
Show us your steadfast love,
and grant us whole and vibrant life.
     We listen for your voice, O God,
     for your compassion draws near. …

We listen for your voice,
for you speak peace.
We turn to you in our hearts.
Even in the darkness, unseen, you are near.
     We listen for your voice, O God,
     for your compassion draws near. …

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
justice and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up like green plants;
solidarity with one another
will spread over us like the sky.
God will give what is good,
and the earth bloom with joy.
Compassion will walk through the world
and make a way for God to enter.
     We listen for your voice, O God,
     for your compassion draws near. …

Suggested songs

(Available on the music page. Click on titles to view songs, or hear audio samples.)

Come Again, Poor Jesus
(Tune: In the Bleak Midwinter)

When our souls are wintry, when our hearts are cold,
come to us, dear Jesus, as you did of old.
When our hearts, unsheltered, feel the winds above,
come to us and warm us with your gentle love.

In the dark we wander, searching for our way,
waiting, lost, and longing for the light of day.
Dawn upon your children; fold us in your grace.
Child, be born among us. Show to us your face.

Shepherds on the hillside, poor, without a friend,
kept their watch in silence, vigil without end.
But then in the darkness, angels brought the word:
“God has not forgotten, and your prayers are heard.”

To the simple, poor ones, Jesus came that night.
Come again, poor Jesus. Bless us with your light.
Lamb of God, be with us in our joy and pain,
and companion us, Love, to new life again.


Come, Gentle Jesus
(Tune: Fairest Lord Jesus)

Come, gentle Jesus. Come, to be here with us.
Come, be the light in our darkest night.
Show where we’ve gone astray; come, be our blessed Day.
Come, change us with your healing light.

Come, mighty Jesus. Come, and work your will in us.
Bring forth our gold with refining fire.
Make our hearts pure and clear; come, set us free from fear,
to sing your praise with heaven’s choir.

Come, blessed Jesus. Come and live your life in us.
Let us be your manger here.
Come, be born in us, flowing with love through us.
Oh, savior of the world, draw near!


Drawn by your light

(Tune: Away in a Manger)

In darkness we gather, God, drawn by your light,
your glorious presence that blesses the night,
the light and the deep peace that Jesus imparts,
the Spirit’s bright radiance that burns in our hearts.

The light of Creation that made the first dawn,
the pillar of fire that led Israel on,
the star that led magi to where Jesus was
now draws us to worship with alleluias.

Your light shines so even the darkness is blessed
this night as we wait for the coming of Christ.
God, shine your light warmly in us by your grace,
that we may bear healing and justice and peace.

Savior, In this Holy Darkness
(Tune: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence)

Savior, in our longing darkness,
waiting in our deepest night,
come and grace our hunger and yearnings;
for we live by hope, not sight.
Christ, we long for you. Come bless us.
Help us all to walk in the light.

Savior, in our lonely darkness
come to us who inwardly mourn.
Raise the love that lies a captive;
mend the cloth that has been torn.
Come to us, O God, with holy love:
wake us with the light of morn.

Savior, in our wounded darkness,
shadowed by our evil ways,
fear and anger and injustice,
violence that shutters our praise,
come, O Christ, and heal our broken lives
with love’s gentle, dawning rays.

Savior, in this deepening darkness,
how we long to see your face!
Yet you move, unseen among us
with your mercy and your grace.
Give us eyes of faith to see you,
hidden in each time and place.

Savior, in this holy darkness,
no one sees the flight of the dove.
No one hears the song of the angels.
Yet there shines a lone star above.
Grant this joy, to know your presence here.
Come and fill our hearts with your love.
____________


OT 10 | PE 2

Lectionary texts

Today we begin the long tale of king David in the Old Testament readings, which will continue into August. In 1 Samuel 8.4-20 and 11.14-15 Israel is a confederation of tribes under local “judges.” The people complain to the prophet Samuel that they ought to have a king like other “real” nations. Samuel thinks it’s a bad idea: kings often abuse their power. But God says, “Go ahead and give them what they ask for. See how they like it.” So Samuel consents and anoints Saul as king.

Psalm 138 exalts God, who is great yet who attends to the lowly. We put the meaning of our lives in the context of God’s desire, praying, “Lord, fulfill your purpose for me.”

In 2 Corinthians 4.13- 5.1 Paul has confidence that God, who raised Jesus, raises us also, so through us grace will continue to spread to more people. Paul looks not to mere visible appearances but to the invisible, eternal truth of things. Our outer nature is dying but our inner nature is being renewed. We have eternal belonging in God, in a “house not made with hands.”

In Mark 3.20-35, Mark tells a story within a story, as he loves to do. People accuse Jesus of having demons but he says the only way he can cast out demons is if he has already “tied up the strong man,” that is, robbed the demonic of its power. This is set in the frame of another story: Jesus’ family thinks he’s gone mad and want him to come home. But—scandalously—he re-defines “family” not as blood relationship but as unity in “doing the will of God.” The two stories express Jesus’ opposition to power structures of family, religion and political systems and the cosmos itself.

Call to Worship

1.
People of God: Christ, our sibling, calls us as a family.
We gather as one, made family not by genetics, but in your Spirit.
Our bonds exceed our bounds.
We are one with followers around the world.
God of Love, Jesus calls us to hear and do your will.
Open our hearts to hear, and to follow.
We worship with open ears and a willing spirit.

2.
Proclaim the good news!
Though we are beset by the forces of evil and injustice,
Jesus has invaded the halls of power and bound up the strong man.
Love reigns supreme!
Though our own loyalties are divided, Jesus calls us his own.
Love claims us, and draws us in.
We renounce the works of oppression,
in the street, in the boardrooms, and in our own hearts.
Love, we worship: in humility, in gratitude, in unity,
that we may hear you will and do it,
that we may love our neighbors and do justice in the name of Christ.

Collect / Prayer of the Day

1.

God of love, we proclaim that Jesus has overcome the powers of evil. All our divisions of family and race, class and religion are erased in your love. Bless us that we may surrender our small loyalties and join the family of your love and justice, in the name and spirit of Jesus our savior and our brother. Amen.

2.
Holy One, we come to listen for your voice, to hear your Word in our hearts and to live it out with grace. Bless us that we may hear and be changed, and that we may live by your Spirit in us as siblings in Christ. Amen.

Response / Creed / Affirmation

1.

We delight in you, God, Eternal Source of all. You create us as one family in your love.
We follow you, Jesus, Messiah, head of our family of love and justice. You have broken into the house of human powers of domination and you have bound the strong man; you have plundered the powers of evil and oppression. Though the powers had you crucified, you have overcome, and have bound up death itself.

We live by your love, O Holy Spirit. You are the breath of God in us, granting us forgiveness, raising us to new life, uniting us as one family, and empowering us to resist evil and injustice. By your grace, O God, we give you our thanks, and we give you ourselves, that we may do your will. Amen.

Listening Prayer

(suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to intercessions)

1.
We look not at what can be seen, but what cannot be seen.
We listen in the silence for your Word that cannot be heard,
yet may be known.
Spirit, you who raised Jesus, raise us now in your love.

2.
(Adapted from Ps. 138)
Leader: I give you thanks, O Love, with my whole heart.
All: When my heart cries out, you answer.
Though I walk through trouble you preserve my life.
In the face of what I fear, your love sustains me.
O Lord, fulfill your purpose for me.
May your steadfast love endure forever. Amen.

Prayer after Communion

Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us. At your table you make of us one family, one Body. Send us into the world in the unity of your love to bear your blessings to all our sisters and brothers in the Spirit of Christ. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication / Sending

Jesus, you who have broken the powers of evil, bind up our own evil and set us free. Holy Spirit, you who make us one family, send us forth to do your will, in the name and the company of Jesus. Amen.

Suggested Song

Do Justice

OT 13 — Pe + 5

6.27.21
5th Sunday after Pentecost — Ordinary Time 13


Lectionary Texts

In 2 Samuel  1.17-27 Saul, the king, and his son Jonathan  have died in battle.  David sings a song to honor them—especially Jonathan, whom he loved.

Psalm 130  is a cry to God from the deep, dark places of our lives, trusting in God’s goodness.  God does not judge us according to our shortcomings, but forgives us.

In 2 Corinthians 8. 7-15 Paul encourages a church that excels in many things to excel in generosity.  He does not intend that “there should be relief for others and pressure on you,” but that there is “a balance between your abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need.”  We all have gifts to offer and we need others’ gifts.

In Mark 5.21-43  Jesus is on the way to heal a girl near death when a woman with a flow of blood touches the fringe of his prayer shawl, and is healed.  Jesus stops to talk with her.  He is told that it is now too late: the girl has died.  But he goes to her house anyway, and revives her.

Call to Worship

1.
Leader:  God of life and wholeness, we come to you broken, in a broken world.
      All:  We reach out for the hem of your garment.
We come to you longing for healing.
      We open ourselves to your mercy.
You come among us full of grace.
      We feel your spirit move in us, and we are healed.
      And so we bow before you, and in gratitude, humility and wonder
      we tell the story of your grace.

Collect / Prayer of the Day

1.
God of love, even as the world presses in on you with all its wants and demands, you walk among us in peace.  You radiate your mercy and grace. We open ourselves to your love.  We listen for your Word to enter us and change us.  We reach for the hem of your garment. Enter our longing, and heal us.  Amen.

2.
Gracious God, Jesus went among the people healing them.  We too have been touched by his grace.  We give you thanks and open our hearts to you.  Bless us in our worship that by your grace we may reach out and touch the hem of your garment and be made new by the power of your spirit.  We pray in the name of Christ.  Amen.

3.
Gentle God, we come before you with every kind of wound and brokenness, with illness and sadness, struggle, guilt and weakness.  We reach out  to touch the hem of Christ’s garment.  May the power of your Holy Spirit flow forth and heal us, bless us, make us whole, and draw us together as one body.  By your Spirit in us, may your will be done, and your grace be praised.  Amen.

Readings

1.  From Psalm 130, paraphrased

Out of the deepest places in our hearts we cry to you, O Lord.
        Hear the silent cries of our souls.
God, if you kept track our sin, who could survive?         But you forgive abundantly, and we are deeply grateful.
I wait for you, Holy One.  My soul waits. In your Word is my only hope.
         My soul aches for you,
         more than one in a long night awaiting morning,
         more than one awaiting morning.
O people, hope in God, for with God there is steadfast love,
         and with God there is power to redeem.
         God will redeem us from all our unfaithfulness.

Response / Creed / Affirmation

        We give our hearts to God, creator of all, the Holy Beloved, who makes everything whole, and whose only will for all creation is healing and redemption.

        We follow Jesus, who embodied God’s transforming power among us in his love, his teaching and his healing.  In his death and resurrection we witness God’s healing and redeeming power over all brokenness, even sin and death.  The Risen Christ lives among us still with power to heal and bless and raise all people to new life.

        We live by the power of the Holy Spirit, God’s creating power in us.  As the Church, the Body of Christ, we are called to be a healing presence in the world for individuals, groups and all humankind. We trust the power of forgiveness and the reality of resurrection; and we devote ourselves to lives of healing, justice and reconciliation in the name of Christ, for the sake of the redemption of the world and the coming of the Reign of God.

Listening Prayer  

(suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to intercessions)


We need not understand… only touch the hem of your garment.
Your power moves in ways we do not know.
Your wholeness flows into our hearts.
You touch us, and raise us to new life.
We await your touch.

Prayer of Confession

The grace of God be with you.

And also with you.

Trusting in God’s tender mercy, let us confess our sin to God with one another.

Gentle God, we confess that we are in need of your healing and your forgiveness.

For all that is broken in our minds and bodies, we ask your healing.

For all that is amiss in our choices and our relationships, we ask your forgiveness.

For all that works against life and blessing in our hearts, and in the world,

we open ourselves to your transforming grace.

Heal us, forgive us, and make us new.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication / Sending

As Jesus, hurrying to an important mission,  paused to attend to a woman in need, so fill us with your Spirit that we may pause and tend to those around us. May your power flow through us, not by our effort but by your grace. May we be attentive in the midst of chaos, confident in the face of death, and healing in the midst of anguish, by the working of your love, in the name of Christ.  Amen.

Prayer after Communion

Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us.  You have healed us.  You have raised us from the dead.  Send us into the world to offer your grace to all who hunger for it, especially those who are denied mercy in this world, in the name of Christ and the power of your Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Suggested Songs

See music store.

We Feast on Your Love

Jesus, My Healer

Christmas Eve – Lessons and Carols

Service of Lessons and Carols: Suggested Readings

[The readings of the traditional service developed at King’s College in the 1930’s relied heavily on atonement theology; the emphasis here is more on healing, reconciliation and justice.]

(Optional) Isaiah 64: 1-9 – We long for God to come to us in our brokenness

Isaiah 11: 1-3a, 4a, 6-9 – The reign of the prince of peace and justice

(Optional) Micah 5.2, 4-5a — From Bethlehem shall come a ruler, one of peace.

Luke 1: 26-38 – The Annunciation

Matthew 1: 18-23 – An Angel speaks to Joseph in a dream

Isaiah 9: 2-7 or 2, 6-7 – A child is born, who shall have authority

Luke 2: 1-7 – Luke tells of the birth of Jesus

Luke 2: 8-20 – The shepherds go to the manger

from John 1:1-14 (1-5, 9-14, 16, 18) John unfolds the great mystery of the Incarnation

John Reading:
In the beginning was the Word;
the Word was in God’s presence and the Word was God.
The Word was in the beginning with God.
Through the Word all things came into being,
and nothing that has come into being came into being apart from the Word.
What came into being in the Word was life,
and that life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.

The true Light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
The Word came into the world—
the Word through which the world came into being—
yet the world did not recognize the living Word.
The living Word came to its own people, but they did not accept the Word.
But all who received the Word, who gave their hearts to that grace,
were enabled to become children of God,
children born not of natural descent,
nor human desire or will or effort, but born of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen his glory,
the favor and delight parents give an only child, full of grace, full of truth.
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
No one has ever seen God.
It is the Only Begotten, who is close to God’s heart, who has revealed God.

The light shines in the darkness. And the darkness cannot overcome it.

Prayer

         Blessed God, we praise you on this holy night for the mystery of your Incarnation. We bless you for the birth of Jesus, and for the gift of your grace. We thank you that you dwell with us in love.
         In the name of the infant Jesus we pray for all children, and their families. We pray for peace. We pray for those for whom Christ came: those who suffer, those who are lost or lonely, and those who do not know you We pray for the sick, the powerless and the rejected, those who struggle in life, and all who are oppressed. Blessed are the poor, and those who mourn. Blessed are the peacemakers. Blessed are those who are persecuted: for among them is Emmanuel.
         Holy Spirit, make of our hearts an open manger, that Christ may be born in us anew and live in us always. By your grace help us to receive the gifts of this holy season, to share them with all the world, and to live always in the light of Jesus’ presence. Amen.


Closing Prayer

Gracious God, we thank you for that you have given yourself to us. You have come to dwell with us, within us and among us. By your presence with us, grant us your peace. Send us into the world to bring good news to the poor, to set the captives free, and to proclaim your grace. Send us in the power of your Spirit, in the blessing and the company of your Son, the Beloved, Jesus Christ, who is present among us, now and to eternal life. Amen.

OT 24 (PE+15)

September 12, 2021

Lectionary Texts


Proverbs 1.20-33 Sophia, the Wisdom of God, calls out to us to listen to her and avoid the tragic perplexity of those who ignore God.

Psalm 19: all Creation is an expression of God’s glory. It doesn’t use words, but it speaks of God’s truth, or “law.” Attending to God’s Word is more important than anything. It’s hard to see our own failings, so we rely on God’s wisdom.

James 3.1-12 speaks of the difficulty, and importance, of taming the tongue, speaking only what is true and loving.

In Mark 8. 27-38 Jesus asks the disciples “Who do you say I am?” To Peter’s answer that he is the Messiah, Jesus says not to tell anyone that. Contradicting the popular expectation of a messiah, he says he will be rejected and die, yet rise again. Peter objects, but Jesus reprimands him, and teaches the crowd that if you lose your life for the sake of love, you will gain it.

Call to Worship

1.
Leader: Jesus, we come to you in need.
All: We reach out in brokenness, and you heal us.
We stay with you in love.
You are the fountain of life, and you give us your spirit.
We follow you in service.
In gratitude we offer ourselves in openness and anticipation,
that you will shape us by your Word and send us in your love.
Alleluia! Come, Holy Spirit, come. Alleluia!

2.
Leader: God of life, we praise you!
All: God of all Creation, we are in wonder!
Mother of all people, Father of the poor, all humanity is your praise.
In the Spirit of Christ, who calls us, we honor you.
In the name of all who love you, we thank you.
In the company of all who all who long for life, we worship you.
Your Christ calls us to life, calls us to compassion, calls us to follow.
Alleluia! Rise in us, Spirit of Life, and transform us by your grace. Alleluia!

3.
Leader: The heavens are telling the glory of God!
All: The law of God is perfect, reviving the soul.
Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”
We come, O Christ, to lay down our lives,
to take up our cross, and to follow you.
Lead us, Lord, to abundant life.
May the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts
be delightful to you, O giver of Life. Alleluia!


4. [Psalm 19.1-6]
Leader: The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims God’s handiwork.
All: Day to day pours forth truth;
night to night reveals wisdom.

There is no speech, nor are there words;
no voice is heard.
Yet their truth goes out through all the earth,
and their message to the end of the world.

In the heavens God has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and nothing is hid from its heat.
We join all creation in praising God!
We join in harmony to worship our God!

Collect / Prayer of the Day

1.
Spirit of mercy, though you are infinite, you come to us, embodied, near, and intimate. We thank you for the presence of Jesus; he is a mystery to us, and yet we love him. Open our hearts so we may behold him among us: teaching, healing, loving, setting us free. We pray in the grace and power of your Spirit. Amen.

2.
God of all life, God of new life,
let your wakening Word come to us like morning
and call us up out of our little selves
to become your people, great with love.
Call us, revive us, and make us new,
in the grace of Christ. Amen.

3.
God, you have given us the world, but it will not profit us to gain the world but lose our life. There is nothing we can give in exchange for life. Therefore we come to you, to hear your Word, to be changed into the likeness of Christ, so that we make truly take up our cross and follow Jesus. We pray in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

4.
Gracious God, you reveal yourself to us in word and silence, in clarity and mystery, in the song of our souls and the work of our hearts. Source of all compassion, you call us to receive your love, and to become your love in this world. We open our hearts to your presence. We open our spirits to your will. We open our souls to your Word. In your presence for us, may we be present for you, for the sake of the world. Amen.

5.
Gracious God, we proclaim Jesus as the Messiah but we still want to know what that means. We need to hear his word to us, to see what it is to follow him. May your Spirit move us closer to him, that we may follow him more faithfully. Amen.


Reading

Adapted from Psalm 19

All Creation expresses God’s nature.
It silently speaks a deep wisdom.
There are no words; our reason cannot grasp it.
But God’s will is in it, infinite in wisdom.
What God has in mind is a Truth that gives life.
To understand this is wisdom;
to see this clearly is deep joy.
To know God’s will is life’s deepest treasure.
But how can we know?
How can I see myself accurately?
God forgive me for all the faults
I don’t see in myself.
Grant me your wisdom, and show me your ways.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart
be in harmony with your grace,
O God, our rock and out redeemer.

Prayer of Confession

1.
God of grace, we come to you in humble honesty.
Who can detect their errors?
Clear us from hidden faults.
Forgive the sins we know and those we don’t.
Transform our desires,
so that in all we do our thoughts and words and actions
may be pleasing to you.

2.
Gracious God, Jesus calls us to let go of our attachments and to follow him. We confess that we cling to the things of this world. Forgive us, and heal our hearts, so that we may faithfully let go and follow freely. Speak your Word to us; bless us now, that we may clearly see our hidden faults, that our hearts may be changed, and that we may trust your grace. Amen.

3.
[Psalm 19.11-14]
Pastor: Trusting in God’s tender mercy, let us confess our sin to God with one another.
God of mercy, your truth guides your servant;
in observing it there is great reward.
All: But who can detect their errors?
Clear me from hidden faults.
Save me from insolence;
do not let it have dominion over me.
Then we shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts
be acceptable to you, O God, our rock and our redeemer.
[Silent prayer… Words of grace]

4.
Gracious God,
you are One; you are the source and the unity of all things.
But in our fear we have broken away;
Each of us has gone our own way.
Separate from you,
we have hurt ourselves and one another.
Faithful God, we, your creatures, are broken.
Receive us as we are; take us in your gentle arms.
Heal our wounds, forgive our sin,
and root us again in your grace,
that we may live in unity with you and with others.Amen.


Response / Creed / Affirmation

1. [ Col. 1.15-20, 26]
Christ is the visible appearance of the invisible God,
the beloved older sibling of all creation.
All things in heaven and on earth were created in Christ,
everything visible and invisible,
rulers and powers and systems and empires—
everything was created through Christ and for Christ.
Christ came before anything,
and in Christ everything holds together.
Christ is the head and the church is the body.
Christ is the Source of life, and has turned even death into a birth:
so Christ is first in every way.
In Christ God lives completely.
Through Christ we are reconciled to God—
all of us, and everything on earth and in heaven:
in dying on the cross, Christ brought God and humanity together.
This is the mystery, hidden for ages but now revealed:
that Christ is alive in us. Alleluia!

2.
We give our hearts to you, O God,
Creator of all that is, and all that is to come.
We follow Jesus, your Word made flesh, who loved without limits.
For his love he was crucified; but in love you raised him from the dead.
He calls us to follow him, and so we pray that you enlarge our lives
and set us free from ourselves, that with his Spirit alive in us
we may love without limit, take up our cross, and join him.
We trust your Spirit in us to give us this life of love,
to lead us in forgiveness and healing,
to enter into the mystery of eternal life
in the name and the company of Christ. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication / Sending

1.
Gracious God, we give you our lives, symbolized in these gifts. Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will. We thank you that you come among us in the person of Jesus. Give us faith to receive him, to follow him, and to serve with him in healing the world, in the light of his name, and in the power of your Spirit. Amen.

2.
Gracious God, we give you our gifts as symbols of our lives. Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will. By your Spirit in us may we take up our cross and follow Jesus, willing to suffer for the sake of love. May we transcend our selves and become one with Christ, infinite in love, for the sake of the healing of the world. Amen.

3.
Gracious God, by your grace may we take up our cross and follow Jesus into the streets and homes, into the prisons and shelters, to the hurting and also the powerful, in the name and the Spirit of Christ, for the sake of the healing of the world. Amen.

4.
Eternal God, we give you our gifts as symbols of our lives. As we give, free us from our clinging and our fear. Pour out your Holy Spirit on us, that we might follow Jesus with all our hearts, and so find life that is eternal in you. Amen.

Suggested Songs

(Available in the Music Store)

Be Thou My Wisdom

I Take Up My Cross

OT 14 — Pe + 6

Worship resources for:
6th Sunday after Pentecost — Ordinary Time 14 (July 4, 2021)


Lectionary Texts

In 2 Samuel 5. 1-5, 9-10  David is anointed king of the united northern and southern kingdoms of Israel.

Psalm 48 describes the “City of God” on Mt. Zion as an image of God’s strength and glory.

In 2 Corinthians 12. 2-10  Paul speaks of “someone” (himself) who experienced intense visions (being “caught up into heaven” and revelations).  In order to keep him from being prideful, God inflicted on Paul a “thorn in the flesh”—some kind of difficulty or handicap (we don’t know what it was). He asked for God to remove it, but learned that his power was not in his own flawlessness, but in God’s grace.  “Power is made perfect in weakness.”

In Mark 6.1-13 Jesus tries to teach and heal in his home town but people believe he is nothing more than the builder’s son.  Because of their unreceptiveness, they experience no teachings or miracles. He then sends out his disciples to carry on his ministry of proclaiming, healing and blessing.

Call to Worship


1.
God, you are among us.
Open our eyes to see you.
You are doing miracles every day.
Open our hearts to receive you.
You empower us to do miracles, too.
Open our hands to serve you.
In gratitude and trust, we worship you.


2.

God of grace, you perform miracles , though we do not often see them
       Help us to look and to see, to trust and to receive.
Give us faith, that we may be open to your truth and your grace;
       make us worthy vessels of your love to all the world.
Our power is nothing, but your power is infinite;
our abilities come and go but your ability is eternal.
       Help us to trust in your power alone, O God.
       Come, Holy Spirit, and transform us by your grace. Alleluia!

Collect / Prayer of the Day

1.
Gracious God, you are here today. You are not far off.  You are here.  In this place.  This moment.  This breath.  We come to be present for you, you who are infinitely present for us.  Open our hearts to you. Grant us a listening faith, a trusting and seeking and receiving faith.  By your Spirit, open us to your grace.   Amen.

2.
Gracious God, Jesus sent out his disciples to preach and to heal. We are among those whom he sends in your name, and in the power of your Spirit.  But we cannot preach unless we know your good news. We cannot heal unless we know your power.  Speak to us, heal our hearts, and fill us with your grace, so that we can faithfully bear witness to your Word in the name of Christ.  Amen.

3.
Holy God, prophets may lack honor in their hometown, but we ask you to make your home in our hearts anyway.  Help us to honor your Word and not take it for granted.  Move us to hear the freshness of your Spirit within words that may be familiar.  Help us to honor you by paying attention to how you speak to us today.  Teach us to respond to your call, so that we may be ever more faithful disciples.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Readings

from Psalm 78, adapted  [Stanza breaks are appropriate places for sung responses.]


Listen, O people, to this teaching;
         pay attention to these words of truth!
We will tell a story that is rich with meaning,
         and utter sayings with truth hidden in them,
an ancient story that we have heard,
         because it is a story about us.
We will not hide these stories from our children,
         but tell them to the next generation:
the glorious deeds of God, and God’s power,
         and the wonders that God has wrought.
God made this promise to Israel,
and commanded them to pass it on from generation to generation
so that they would set their hope in God alone,
         and never forget God’s grace.                        

In the sight of their ancestors—
         in your own memory—God worked miracles in Egypt.
God divided the sea and led them through it,
         making the waters to stand like a heap.
God led them by a cloud in the daytime,
         and all the night with a fiery light.
God split the rocks in the wilderness,
         and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep,
made streams to come out of the rock,
         and caused waters to flow down like rivers.
           
Yet they tested God in their hearts,
         by demanding the food that they craved.
They spoke against God, saying:
“Yes, God, you struck the rock
         so that water gushed out and torrents overflowed.
But can you spread a table in the wilderness?
         Can you give bread, and provide meat for your people?”

Response / Creed / Affirmation

We give our hearts to God, Creator of all that is and all that is to come, who is  creating in each moment.  We open our hearts and minds to God’s grace and presence in all things.
        We follow Jesus, our teacher and healer.  We are open to God’s grace and power in him.  For he was open to God’s leading, and so he gave himself in love.  He was killed by fear but raised by love, and still is present with power and truth.
        We live by the Holy Spirit, God’s  presence in us and an all things: the power that unites us as the Church, the Body of Christ, and that enables us to trust resurrection and to live with mindfulness and forgiveness, and to serve God in love for the sake of the healing of the world. We trust that this power in us is made perfect in our weakness: not in our own strength or ability, but in our reliance upon God’s grace. For these blessings we give God thanks, and we devote our lives.

Listening Prayer  

(suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to intercessions)

Gracious God, we remember those who received no miracles because they were not willing. We surrender our superior knowledge, and the resistance of what we know. We open ourselves to the mystery of your Word and the miracle of your grace. Speak to us, touch us, and change us.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication / Sending

1.
Gracious God, we give you these gifts as symbols of our lives.  Receive them with love, bless them with grace, and use them according to your will.  Send us into the world to share your love and to do your will for the sake of the transformation of the world, in the name and the Spirit of Christ. Amen.

2.
Gracious God, we give you these gifts as symbols of our lives.  Receive them with love, bless them with grace, and use them according to your will.  Bless us that we might serve you faithfully, not because of our great powers or abilities, but by our openness to your grace. Use your power through us, so that by our ministry you might transform the world into your blessed Realm.  Amen

Prayer after Communion

1.
Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us.  You gather us into your Empire of Grace, uniting us with all people   Send us into the world to bear witness to our unity, to work for justice, to embody your grace, in the name and the Spirit of Christ, who with you reigns over all nations forever.  Amen.

2.
Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us.  As Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to his beloved, so take us, bless us, break us, and give us to the world; that by your grace in us you may bless all the world, in the name of Christ.  Amen.

Suggested Songs

See music store.

Before My Eyes 

Words: Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Tune: For the Beauty of the Earth)


Prophets plainly speak your Word, but are silenced and not heard.
Miracles will pass us by, hidden by the jaundiced eye.
                              Spirit, help me realize: you are here before my eyes.

Acts of courage, though unseen; in forgiveness hearts washed clean;
deeds of love, though they are small: most miraculous of all! 
                              Spirit, help me realize: you are here before my eyes.

How the outcast choose to live, how the poor in spirit give,
how the ones we ostracize give gifts we don’t recognize!   
                              Spirit, help me realize: you are here before my eyes.                

Letting expectations go, humbly knowing I don’t know,
blessing what the moment brings, finding grace in humble things:   
                              Spirit, help me realize: you are here before my eyes.  

Help me seek the truth today, set aside what others say,
speak your Word and trust your grace— miracles will then take place!