Wednesday, February 12, 2014

For February 23, 2014, Using Reading from Proper 12A

Although this Sunday is the 7th After Epiphany the service is actually using Matthew13:31-34, 44-46, which is closest to the RCL passage for Proper 12A.

Come, now is the time to worship.
We come together to sing and pray, to offer words of praise, to ask for support
Come, now is the time to worship.
We come together to celebrate God's presence among us.
Come, now is the time to worship, and as we gather in peace, we exchange the Peace of Christ with our neighbours...

God, this hour together is such a small part of our week.
1 out of 168, less than 1% of our time.
And yet this pittance of time makes a difference in our lives.
God, as we worship together, as we sing and pray and listen,
open our hearts and lives to be filled with your leaven,
open our lives that we might share that leaven with others,
and lead us back out into the world,
so that we would contaminate it with your love, your hope, your life.
We pray in the name of Jesus. The one who taught us about The Way, who called us to follow and share, who taught us to pray together saying...

Ask when we are supposed to wash our hands...
Ask why it is important to wash our hands....
Ask if there are times when it is more important to wash our hands...
Why is it REALLY important to wash our hands a lot when we are sick?
Germs spread really easily and really quickly. What are some other things that spread easily and quickly? (stories, rumours, teasing...)
I have a story about a potato. Well really about a box of potatoes. One of them started to go bad. And then each of the potatoes that touched it started to go bad. Pretty soon the whole box was starting to rot and smell.
Jesus told us that God's Kingdom was sort of the same. It started small but spread quickly and changed the people it touched. Sort of like a cold when we forget to wash our hands. But some things we want to spread around.
Let's have an echo prayer:
Hi God,
help us to remember
how easily things spread.
Help us to remember
to spread the right things:
your Love,
your Promises,
your Hope.

God, Jesus tells us that the Kingdom is like something small hidden in something big.
And yet we long for the Church to be big and visible, because that is what it feels thriving should be like.
Jesus reminds us that the small transforms the surroundings.
But we wonder how that transformation happens, why we don't see it.
Jesus reminds us that the Kingdom is like a contaminant growing in the world.
And if we are honest, we know that our lives could use more contamination as the leaven grows in us.
In our longing, in our wondering, in our growing,
open us to feel our lives and our world being transformed by your grace.
...time of silent prayer...
Like a small pearl giving great value to a large field, like a small seed becoming a mighty shrub, like leaven turning flour and water into bread, so God is at work in us and in the world. God's grace is present, transforming us bit by bit, as we grow into who we are called to be.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

Our time of worship draws to a close.
And we go out to live the other 167 hours of our week.
Go now as leaven for the world, changing it by your very presence.
We go, carrying the love of God, the teachings of Christ, the sustaining power of the Spirit in our hearts, in our lives, in our actions.
The mission field lies wherever we turn.
A world in need of Hope, of Love, of Light, of Life
Go with God.

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