Thursday, April 28, 2016

For May 8, 2016 -- Easter 7, Paul teaches on Resurrection

OPENING PRAYER (uses lines from VU446 O God of Life)
O God of life, who wills new life to be through love created,
we gather as a people of life, of resurrection, of life that conquers death.
O God of love, who gives baptism to be the outward symbol of your love,
we gather as a baptized and baptizing community, welcoming all into the family of faith.
O God of power, whose Spirit you have sent to be received here,
in our worship together move among, within, and through us: preparing us to go out and proclaim the promise of resurrection life to the world around us.
We pray in the name of the Risen Christ, who has conquered death, who brings us life, and who invites us to pray together saying...

Where death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?
God we admit that death scares us.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death
With the voices of the ages we celebrate the promise and reality of Resurrection.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
we know that You are with us.
God of life, when we meet the fear of death,
remind us of the great mystery and victory of faith: LIFE WINS.
And as people of life, of life beyond death, when the trumpet blast sounds
lead us in the dance of joy and hope and life.
We pray in the name of the Risen Christ, who has conquered death
To Life! Christ is Risen! Hallelujah!

As people of hope,
we return to the world to share our hope.
As people of life,
we go out into the world to spread the promise of life.
As people of Easter,
we share the Good News of resurrection, the victory of life over death.
As you go to live and serve, go knowing that the Risen Christ is with you always, to the end of the age.
And in confidence we go out to share the promise of God: To LIFE!

Friday, April 22, 2016

For May 1, 2016 -- 6th Sunday of Easter, Paul's Hymn to Love.

OPENING PRAYER (uses lines from VU #603 In Loving Partnership)
In loving partnership we come, seeking O God, your will to do.
As we gather for worship we open our hearts and souls and minds. Loving community we seek; your hope and strength within us move.
As we gather at the table of faith, we pray that you will fill and strengthen us.
God of love, as we pray and listen and sing and ponder,
remind us of the power of love, help us keep love at the center of our faith, of our work, of our life
In loving partnership, O God, help us your future to proclaim.
When our worship ends, lead us out to share your love with friend and neighbour, stranger and enemy. We pray in the name of Jesus, who taught us about the power of love. Amen.

(with thanks to the Beatles, and the Gospel of John, and Huey Lewis and the News, and Jacques Brel)
All you need is love! ...Love is all you need.
God grant us the ability to love deeply, to love with our whole being.
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you...
We strive to follow the words and example of Jesus, loving neighbours and enemies.
Tougher than diamonds and stronger than steel...that's the power of love
May love be our strength, keeping us solid and soft all at once.
If we only have love..then death has no shadow
Held in the arms of your love, gracious God, we face life and death and life beyond death with hope and confidence.
If we only have love...Then with nothing at all but the little we are We'll have conquered all time All space, the sun, and the stars.
The greatest gift the Holy Spirit gives us is indeed love. God help us to remember to keep this love at the core of our life, of our actions, of our very being. For in love we meet you and know you, and are known.

As people of love
we have sung, we have broken bread, we have prayed, we have listened, we have worshipped.
As people of love,
we go from this place back out into the world where love is so sorely needed.
As people of love,
we pledge to share the love we meet in God with the world around us.
As people of love,
we know and trust that the God who is made known in love walks with us and shines through us each minute of each day. Amen.