2019 Epiphany Liturgy: Witnessing the Goodness of God

GATHERING

ENTRANCE

REFLECTION

We should be astonished at the goodness of God, stunned that [God] should bother to call us by name, our mouths wide open at [God’s] love, bewildered that at this very moment we are standing on holy ground.

Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out, p. 102

CANDLE LIGHTING

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:            Every day, God calls each of us by name.

People:            We come, listening for the Word of God
in the songs and stories that touch our hearts.

Leader:            Every day, God fills the world with good things.

People:            We come, looking for signs of God’s presence
in the faces of loved ones, friends, and strangers.

Leader:            The goodness of God is all around us.

All:                    Here we are, standing on holy ground!

OPENING PRAYER

HYMN

WORD FOR THE CHILDREN

SONG AS THE CHILDREN LEAVE FOR CLASS

Jesus loves us as we grow,
meets us on the paths we go,
keeps us safe and keeps us free,
helps us learn who we should be.

Yes Jesus loves us,
Yes Jesus helps us,
Yes Jesus shows us,
the best way we can go.

SILENCE

PRAYERS

CONFESSION

Leader:            We should be amazed that you,
Holy and Unnamable One,
came to live among us, as one of us.

People:            We choose to bury ourselves
in our troubles, hard work, and pain.

Leader:            We are created in your image
and carry your goodness.

People:            When we doubt our worth,
we deny the treasure we hold in earthen vessels.

Leader:            Holy One, your goodness is everywhere
and always with us.

All:                    Forgive us for our willful blindness.
Open the eyes of our hearts
to see and feel your astonishing love.

INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION

ASSURANCE

Leader:     The Holy One, who calls each of us by name,
forgives us and welcomes us
into amazing goodness and love.

All:   Amen.

THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE

INTERCESSION AND PETITION

COMMITMENT
All:    O Holy One, we come today
to claim our relationship with you.

We pray for the commitment to grow together,
sharing the gifts you give us with others
here and in the wider world.

Forgive us for the hurt we have inflicted,
and help us forgive those who have hurt us.

Give us strength and discipline
to nurture our relationship with you;
to care for every part of your creation;
to foster justice and be in solidarity with those in need;
to work to end all war, and violence, and discord;
and to respond joyfully when you call,
freely giving our selves as you have shown the way.

We open our hearts to you and your creation
in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ.  Amen.

HYMN

THE WORD

SCRIPTURE

SERMON

SILENT REFLECTION

OFFERING

COMMUNION

PREPARATION
Leader 1:   This is the table of the Heavenly Feast,
the joyful celebration of the people of God.

Leader 2:   We gather now as one body, joined around the table.
Here we celebrate God’s presence among us
united in Christ’s spirit, broken and whole all at once;

All:             Nourished and hungry, loved and loving,
sinner and forgiven; we make one circle of knowing,
believing, rejoicing, being,
as God lights and rests among us.

GREAT THANKSGIVING

Leader 1:         Holy Source of life and love, we give you thanks,
for you are our Creator
and have made us to be your people.

People:            We give you thanks for the good news of Jesus Christ,
who always and forever calls us by name.

Leader 2:         We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit,
who fills our hearts with goodness to share.

All:                   We give you thanks for your Church,
a witness to the holy ground
on which we stand in every moment.

BLESSING THE ELEMENTS
Leader 1:   Christ invites everyone to eat the bread of life,
to drink the cup of the new covenant.

Leader 2:   Jesus said, I am the bread of life.
You who come to me shall never hunger,
You who believe in me shall never thirst.

Leader 1:   On the night he gave himself up, Jesus took bread,
and after giving thanks to God, broke it and said,
This is my body,
broken for the healing of the world.
Whenever you eat it, do so remembering me.

Leader 2:   After supper, Jesus took the cup and said,
This is the cup of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for all.
Whenever you drink it, do so remembering me.

All:     O Holy One, send down your Spirit
that these gifts of bread and cup
may be for us the body and blood of Christ.
Unite us with Christ forever
and bring us with the whole creation
to your eternal realm.

SHARE THE ELEMENTS

If you do not wish to receive the elements today you are welcome to join the circle and allow them to pass, or remain in your seat. We serve grape juice in our cups. The crackers are gluten-free.

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
All:            God of abundance and mercy,
we give joyful thanks
for your eternal love and healing presence
in our celebration of bread and cup.
Bless this body of Christ
that we may attend faithfully
to our call to be your servants,
with each other and throughout the world. Amen.

SHARED REFLECTIONS

ANNOUNCEMENTS

HYMN

BENEDICTION

Leader:            Astonished by God’s goodness,
stunned by the God who calls us by name,
speechless at God’s love,
let us go out into the world
as witnesses to the holy ground all around us
and greet each other with signs of peace.

All: Amen.

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