Monday, January 30, 2012

For February 5, 2012 -- Epiphany 5B

OPENING PRAYER
God, another Sunday has come, and once again we gather together.
To sing and to pray, to read and to listen.
In this time of worship,
re-fill and refresh us, open our hearts and minds to your possibilities.
And as it comes to a close,
prepare us to go out to live and serve in the world around us.
We pray in Jesus' name, and we join the chorus of ages, praying together the words he taught his friends...

PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God, you have called us to be who we are, to grow into who we are meant to be.
And we try. But sometimes we forget who and whose we are. And sometimes we lose our way.
You have called us to be humble, to be accepting of others, to find common ground.
And we try. But sometimes we boast about who we are. Sometimes we act like others need to think and act just like us. We think the only common ground is ours.
You call us to be willing to change so that we can meet others where they are at.
But change is hard. Change is scary. And we honestly find it easier of others change to meet us.
For all those times we have lost our way, for all the ways we miss the mark, for the times when we forget what grace means;
Forgive us and reveal to us the glories of your grace.
...time of silent prayer...
God is gracious and merciful. God is slow to anger and swift to forgive. When we stray from The Way God is there to draw us back. We are beloved and forgiven.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

COMMISSIONING:
We have been the recipients of a great gift.
We have been given Good News, which shall be for all people.
We are the recipients of a great challenge.
We have been challenged to share the Good News we have been given with the world in which we live.
As our worship ends we go out to take on the challenge.
Translating the old story into images and language of the present so that we too can be “all things for all people”.
And as we go to share the Good News we take strength in knowing that we are not alone.
For God is with us always and all ways. Amen.

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