Jan 16, 2017

Prayer: Psalm 27

Here’s a prayer of thanksgiving and commitment inspired by Psalm 27. It comes from the Monthly Prayers page of the Christian Aid website.

(inspired by Psalm 27)

O God,
you promise to hide me in your shelter in the day of trouble,
and to conceal me in the corner of your tent.
When I am overwhelmed
by my own needs and the needs of the world,
I know that I can come and hide with you.
When changing the world seems too much
and the needs of others weigh upon me,
I know that you will give me space to think and rest.
When life just feels too much and the anxiety in me is great,
you offer me solace and a space to be.

And when you make me ready,
I will follow you.
When you gather my courage,
I will go where you lead me.
With your love inspiring me,
I will speak and act in your name.

~ written by Susan Durber, and posted on the Monthly Prayers page of the Christian Aid website. http://www.christianaid.org.uk/

Litany of the Called

Here’s a litany which focuses on the call of Jesus. It was written by Roddy Hamilton, and posted on Mucky Paws.

Hamilton writes: “For four people reading from a single microphone in the middle. As one finishes and moves away, another comes in to pick up the story. One story, made up of each other’s stories.

There are so many stories we could have used for this. This is but a pinhead’s selection of people called to follow, to come from the darkness and shadows of one life… and called to be fully alive in the world, for that is what Jesus calls of us: not to be church members, or signatories to some doctrine, but to he fully alive with the life God grants and set that free in the world.”

Litany of the Called

Voice 1 (Male):
“Come follow me,” he said as he walked towards us.
“Leave the nets behind. Become nets yourself.
We have an adventure to be part of.”
And so we left with him not knowing what lay in front of us.

Voice 2: (Female):
In front of me was a crowd of Pharisees: all of them hypocrites.
They knew what I had done and done it mainly with them,
yet they were ready to stone me for it.
Jesus called out,
“Let him who is without sin cast the first stone,”
and there was silence
and one by one they left me with him
who called me to go and find my humanity again,
and so I went more alive than ever before.

Voice 3 (Female):
She was more alive than every before, my daughter.
When her father left her to find Jesus
he knew he’d never see her again, my poor daughter,
not able to make it to womanhood.
But Jesus never gave up hope.
We left him with her
and after what seemed an eternity he called for food,
‘Your daughter is alive and hungry”
and so we threw our sadness into celebration
that she had been called back to life.

Voice 4 (Male):
I was called back to life.
I was once dead,
not the death of eternity, worse than that,
the death of the living.
I am a tax-collector.
My death was the silence and hatred of others
until I climbed a tree,
and was invited back into my own home by Jesus
for a meal through which I was reborn,
a new person now called a friend of God.
I was on my way.

Voice 1 (Male):
We were on our way, ten of us,
unclean with bandaged limbs,
dirty rags covering our hands and feet
that leprosy was eating away.
Everyone avoided us except Jesus who touched us,
befriended us and called us back into community,
clean once more and acceptable.
I ran back to Jesus to thank him,
it was all I could do.

Voice 2 (Female):
It was all I could do to say ‘Yes!’
Yes to God asking me to be his handmaid:
mother of a child who would be the salvation of the world,
who harboured hope enough
to bring down the oppressor and the tyrant
and lift up the poor and hungry.
I was called to be the mother of God
and I said ‘Yes!’

Voice 3 (Female):
I said ‘yes’
but it wasn’t in some biblical story.
It was now.
I said ‘yes!’ to God’s justice today,
God’s hope now,
God’s intent in me,
to call out the life in me,
and set it free in the world,
to be a follower of adventures,
a follower of dreams,
a follower of love.

Voice 4 (Male):
Be a follower of love,
and join the fishermen and the sinners,
the women and the children,
the sick and the poor,
the needy and the hopeful:
called to be fully alive in this world,
called to be the hands and feet of heaven,
called to be all we can be,
called to follow.

~ written by Roddy Hamilton, and posted on Mucky Paws. http://www.nkchurch.org.uk/index.php/mucky-paws

Confession: Walking in Darkness

Here’s a prayer of confession inspired by the suggested scripture readings for the third Sunday after Epiphany, Year A. It was written by Stephen Fearing and posted on Wild and Precious Life.

Prayer of Confession
(inspired by Isaiah 9:1-4, Matthew 4:12-23, 1 Corinthians 1:10-18)

God, our Light and Salvation,
forgive us for those moments when we have walked in darkness,
stumbling in the wilderness of quarrels, division, and bickering.
You have called us to follow you and to fish for people
but too often we think that our way is the only way to do your will.
Forgive us, Lord, for the brokenness that we bring upon ourselves.

(space for silent confessions and/or a sung kyrie)

God, the Stronghold of our Life,
hear our cry as we come to you for unity.
Send your Spirit to gather us as you desire us.
Remind us that unity does not mean uniformity.
Teach us that the “same mind” you call us to have
is not ours, but the mind of your Son, Jesus Christ,
in whose name we pray.  Amen.

~ written by Stephen Fearing, and posted on Wild and Precious Life. http://www.stephenmfearing.com/

Prayer of Confession: Epiphany 3A

Here’s a prayer of confession for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, Year A. It was written by Rev. Mindi and posted on Rev-o-lution.

Prayer of Brokenness/Confession

Holy Christ,
we come to You knowing that we have fallen away
from Your intentions for us.
We have followed the paths of greed and envy,
turned away from our brothers and sisters in need
in order to satisfy our own desires.
You gave Your life for us,
and yet we are willing to give so little at times.
Forgive us for not understanding that You laid down Your life for us.
Forgive us for not recognizing the sacrifice of love,
to live for others instead of ourselves.
Call us back, to repent, and return to the kingdom of God.
In Your precious Name we pray. Amen.

Blessing/Assurance of Pardon

Christ continues to lay down his life for us,
so that we might have life.
Christ continues to show us the way,
so that we might live into the truth and the life.
Christ continues to love us,
so that we might love God and love our neighbors as ourselves.
Know that you are forgiven, loved, and given new life. Amen.

~ written by Rev. Mindi, and posted on Rev-o-lution. http://rev-o-lution.org/

Jan 10, 2017

Call to Worship: Finding God

Here’s a call to worship from the Presbyterian Church USA website.

Call to Worship

We worship the God who inhabits our world
and indwells our lives.
We need not look up to find God,
we need only to look around:
   within ourselves,
   beyond ourselves,
   into the eyes of another.
We need not listen for a distant thunder to find God,
we need only listen to the music of life,
   the words of children,
   the questions of the curious,
   the rhythm of a heartbeat.
We worship the God who inhabits our world
and who indwells our lives.

~ posted on the Presbyterian Church USA website. https://www.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/peacemaking/pdf/mlk-resources.pdf