Monday, April 13, 2015

For April 19, 2015 -- Peter's Dream, Opening the Circle of Faith Wider

People of God! Gather together for worship!
We come in this Easter Season to celebrate the promise of new life.
People of God, gather together for worship!
We celebrate the diverse family of God, with whom we gather to celebrate God's presence.
And so we turn to our friends and neighbours, our brothers and sisters in faith, to share the Peace of Christ.

God of life in all it's wondrous diversity,
we come from many different places, many different tasks, many different realities.
Here in this place you call us together.
Here we worship together, naming what makes us united, celebrating our diversity.
During this time of prayer and song and word,
challenge our ideas of who is welcome in the community, open us to draw the circle wider.
This things we pray in the name of the Risen Christ, who taught his friends to pray saying...

God you call us to embrace each other as part of one circle,
but we insist are drawing lines that keep some in and some out.
You tell us that what you have called clean, we should not call profane,
but we find ourselves unwilling to live that out.
You tell us that in you the old dividing lines don't count anymore :no more male or female, Jew or Gentile,
but we find comfort in knowing who fits and who doesn't.
God of grace,
move in our hearts, opening us to be channels of your abundant grace and love.
...time of silent prayer...
There is a wideness in God's mercy. God draws the circle wider than we can imagine – keeping all of us inside the line. This is Good News!
Thanks be to God!

We have gathered to celebrate the God who welcomes us all into the circle.
Now we go out into the many other circles of our lives.
Into those circles we carry a precious precious gift:
the love of God, the word of acceptance, the promise of welcome.
Go now with the knowledge that God: Parent, Child, and Spirit, Three-in-One goes with you
Wherever we go. We are not alone. Thanks be to God

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Prayers at the Foot of the Cross (2015)

(sung response Voices United #411 “O God We Call")

Gracious God, on this day of earth-shaking death we gather with the women at the foot of the cross.
We see again the tragedy unfolding and we sing....

God of life, you created a world bursting with possibility.
Within that world you call us to live as people of the Way,
keepers of the covenant,
living lives of love and justice and mercy.
You challenge us to see your light shining in each person we meet,
remembering that we are made in your image.
You invite us to live in your arms, feeling your presence at all times.
But too often we do not take up that invitation.
We turn away, intentionally or accidentally,
we do not open ourselves to your presence and wisdom.
And so we sing....

God of hope, in Christ Jesus you tried a new thing.
You came to live among us, as one of us, sharing our world.
But the world could not see what was happening.
And Jesus of Nazareth ended up on a cross.
We remember the story.
We remember the anguish shown as Jesus expressed feeling your absence.
A feeling we know too well at times.
And so we sing...

God of justice and mercy, today we remember.
We remember a story from long ago.
We remember too that injustice is not bound by any time period.
And so we pray with those who have been broken by the world today:
the ones living under threat of bomb blast or gunfire...
the ones huddled in alcoves and doorways, with no place to sleep for the night...
the ones who go hungry so that their children would eat...
the ones who are lonely, forgotten, unvisited...
the ones who know the pain of waiting for a loved one who is missing from the family circle...
In our own brokenness we pray for the broken of the world as we sing...

God of bright light and deep darkness,
Spirit of Life and Love moving within and among us,
the one in whom we live and move and have our being,
with the story we tell today we enter the time of darkness and uncertainty and waiting.
We wait with hope for the light to climb over the horizon of tragedy.
And we trust that we do not wait alone.
And in the depths of the shadows we sing...