Monday, March 31, 2008

For April 6, 2008 -- Easter 3

God calls us to hope, saying: “Can these bones live?”
And we believe that they can
God calls us to look for the changed life of Resurrection
And we open our hearts and eyes to see.
God calls us to be people of faith
And we gather together to share our stories of faith.
Let us worship together, let us pray…
God of life, in this Easter season we come to celebrate new life and new hopes. In this time together may our hearts be opened to see the Resurrection around us.
May we, like the travellers on the Emmaus Road, become aware of how Christ is with us, even in new and unrecognizable forms.
As we sing and pray together, fill us with hope so that we too may be people full of the Easter promise.We pray this in the name of the Risen Christ, who taught us to pray together saying…
LORD’S PRAYER (spoken)

Gracious God, through Isaiah you tell us “Behold, I am doing a new thing”
And we admit that we often want it to look like the old.
In the Easter moment you bring resurrection and transformation to life.
But we admit that because it is different from how it was before, we don’t always recognize that which has been raised.
In our quest to be people of Life, help us to embrace the transforming power that is the Easter message.
In our search for hope amidst the powers of despair, help us be open to change and renewal.
…time of silent prayer…
The God of Easter invites all of us to new life and a transformed world. In the light of the empty tomb we are renewed and forgiven.
Thanks be to God! Amen

Monday, March 24, 2008

For March 30, 2008 -- 2nd Sunday of Easter

As the sun with longer journey warms the earth,
So God’s light warms our hearts.
As winter’s icy grasp is broken,
We see the signs of spring and life start to burst forth.
We come together to worship God, in whom is life.
We come together to hear about life that lies waiting in the cold places of our lives.
Let us worship together, let us pray…

God of life, we come seeking to be life-filled people.
As we gather in Your presence, we trust that you will plant seeds of hope and promise in our lives.
God of growth, we come to be fed and watered.
We gather in Your presence so that we can grow.
God of new possibilities, we come to be reminded that life follows death.
May this time together remind us that there is always life, always promise, always hope. May this time together empower us to go out to plant seeds and encourage growth.
These things we pray in the name of the Risen Christ, who taught us the words we now sing together…

We are gardeners, we work to foster growth.
Even if the ground is seemingly frozen and lifeless, we see the promise of new life waiting to bloom.
We are gardeners, we plant seeds and trust.
Now we go into a world hungry for hope, ready to plant and tend the seeds of God’s new life.
As we go out to the garden of life we go out held in the hands of Life itself. God is our tender and care-giver, God will always help us to grow in faith, in hope, and in joy.
Hallelujah! Amen.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

This Week In Jeruslem -- AN intro to Easter Worship Service

AS we all know, many people move from Palms to empty tomb. But can we really experience resurrection without noting the death? So (hopefully) this helps the worshipper who may not have attended Good Friday worship get into that place...

GOOOOOOOOD Morning Jerusalem!, and welcome to KJER in the morning. If it's happening in Jerusalem we'll tell you about it.

IT has been a busy and exciting week here in Jerusalem. OF course the Passover festival always brings large crowds and a great deal of excitement but this has been even more pronounced this week.

The week began 7 days ago with a strange parade into town. An itinerant preacher and miracle worker from Nazareth came riding into town on a donkey while his supporters threw clothing on the road and waved branches. Upon reaching the city this Jesus went to the temple where he overturned the tables of the money changers, drove animals out of the temple precinct and generally caused a great ruckus. Sources say that this was the last straw for Temple leaders, who were already worried about the excitement caused by this man.

The next story about him came 4 days ago. Jesus and his friends held a Passover meal together – as did we all – but unconfirmed reports claim that at this meal Jesus invited his friends into some sort of ritual cannibalism, claiming that the bread and wine was his body and blood. I repeat, this is an unconfirmed report, we are not accusing anyone of such a horrible thing.

Later that night Temple authorities, aided by one of Jesus' friends, were able to have him arrested. Following a quick trial they were able to convince Pilate to have him executed. Accordingly, he was taken to the execution place and crucified. Following his death his body was laid in a tomb which was then placed under guard because of fears the body would be stolen so his followers could claim he had risen from the dead.

Elsewhere in the city... oh wait, I am told we have a breaking story. This must be a joke. NO? A mistake then. Just read the story you say? Alright then.

Early this morning Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

On that note it is time for a break. KJER will be back with more on this amazing story later today...

Monday, March 17, 2008

For March 21, 2008 -- Good Friday

“It is Finished”, the dreadful deed has been done.
Jesus of Nazareth has breathed his last.
We have watched his body laid in the tomb
and we have seen the tomb sealed with a stone and a guard of soldiers.
Now we go into the time of mourning and waiting.
Now we embrace the darkness of the world.
But take heart, in the deepest darkness there is light.
Shining always through the shadows.
On the horizon we see signs of a new dawn
Until it breaks we will wait with hope.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

For March 23, 2008 -- Easter Sunday Year A

This Week In Jerusalem
Breaking News (Matthew 28:1-10)

CALL TO WORSHIP (based on refrain to MV #121)
Christ is risen, death is defeated!
Hey Now! Singing Hallelujah!
The morning has come!
Hey now! Singing Hallelujah!
The Tomb was empty at the rising sun.
Christ is Risen indeed. Sing Hallelujah and praise!

Gracious God, we join the women standing at the tomb.
Our eyes filled with tears and wonder.
Can it be true? Is it possible?
The one we saw buried is not here. He has been raised!
Our hearts and voices turn to songs of praise!
Hallelujah! God's day has come!
As we worship together we embrace Your life and Your promise!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! This is the day the God has made!
We will rejoice and be glad. Amen.

Offering Prayer
God of New Life, on this Easter Sunday we remember the glory of the resurrection. In response to the life you have given we offer our treasures and our selves, that the whole world would know life in abundance. Amen.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

For March 16, 2008 -- Palm Sunday Year A

What is that? Are people singing?
It sounds like a parade!
Someone is coming, riding a donkey.
People are scattering cloaks on the ground and waving branches as he comes.
Sing! Dance!
God’s Chosen one is coming, how can we help but sing and dance our joy?
Hosanna, Loud Hosanna, we sing as we join in the parade of ages…

God, today we join with thousands of others in a palm parade.
Today we join in the parade, not of the rich and mighty but of the ragged and weak. As we worship and pray and sing together may you fill our hearts with a vision of what could be. May this time together change us and how we see the parade of life. Amen.

Offering Prayer
God, as we join in life’s parade to justice we offer all we have and are in the hope that justice and peace will reign on earth. Use, we pray, our gifts in pursuit of the larger hope. Amen.

For the times we turn our backs on the parades of life, choosing instead the easy way of quiet we cry out…
Hosanna! Save us God!
For the times we have chosen to join the wrong parades, choosing the popular instead of the good we cry out…
Hosanna! Save us God!
For all the times we have been bandwagon jumpers, going with the flow of opinion, switching sides at random, we cry out…
Hosanna! Save us God!
…time of silent prayer…
God calls us to the parade of life. God offers us forgiveness where we fall short of God’s hope. And so it is with confidence we can cry out…
Hosanna! Save us God! Amen.

The parade of glory ended in Jerusalem
And people sang and danced.
The parade of life carries on.
And people sing, dance, weep, and grieve.
We go out to walk wherever the parade route takes us.
We go out to share in the reality of the world, bring hope and light to the dark and dreary places we meet.
And we go out secure in the guidance of the Divine Parade Marshal. God keeps the parade of life on track.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

Monday, March 3, 2008

For Mar 9/08 -- Lent 5, How are we the Church?

NOTE: THis year's Lenten liturgies will not be based on the lectionary readings for YEar A. Instead they will be following a series called The 5 W's of Church (the link shows what themes and readings are being used)

The world is a place of uncertainty, a place of questions.
We bring our questions here to the church,
In this place we lay out our wonderings before God and neighbour
In this place we trust that we can find clues that will help us find some answers
Some of the answers we find are those things that encourage us
We come to celebrate those things we do that make us a community of faith.
Let us pray together as a community, as a part of the worldwide church, singing together the words Jesus taught his friends…

We are called to be the church
But God sometimes it is challenging to know how best to do that.
To live with respect in creation
And we confess that as faithful communities we sometimes forget that we are but part of that creation.
To love and serve others
We try but we admit that there are times when we prefer to love and serve ourselves.
To seek justice and resist evil
In the face of competing definitions, help us to sort out what Your justice is.
We are called to be the church
In our successes and our struggles we live out that call to the best of our ability and with your help God.
God calls us to be the church and gives us the support and encouragement we need to respond. We are forgiven and empowered as a community of faithful people.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

We have been called together
Here we have gathered to worship, to pray, to be refreshed.
Now we are called to go out
To be the church in the world, to share the Word of hope, of life, of light with all we meet
As we gather, as we go out, as we live our lives, we do so held in the hand of God, who shall never forsake or forget us. Go with God’s blessing and in God’s care.