When the fullness of time comes, a sacred voice at the heart of us cries out, shaking the old foundation. It draws us into a turbulence that forces us to confront our deepest issues. It’s as if some inner divine grace seeks out our growth and becoming and will plunge us, if need be, into a cauldron that seethes with questions and voices we would just as soon not hear.
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: God rescues us from the power of darkness,
freeing our troubled hearts from fear.
Voice 1: Christ walks the path before us,
giving us courage to heed voices we would rather not hear.
Voice 2: The Holy Spirit goes with us in every moment of our lives,
strengthening us to live differently.
All: Let us give praise and thanks to God,
our hope and our light.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: Holy God of surprises,
we hear you call us to a new way of being.
Voice 1: We know the Holy Spirit will be with us
as we grow and change,
but it is hard to let go of what has been.
Voice 2: We confess how often
we yearn for the good old days,
for a kind of comfort and safety that never really was.
Leader: We see the future as threat rather than hope.
All: O Holy One, forgive us for our fears and failings.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The God of all creation welcomes us with open arms,
offering love and hope and faith.
We are forgiven. Amen.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION
PRAYER OF DEDICATION AND 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.
Leader 1: Holy Mystery, we give you thanks
that you fill our lives with gifts and surprises,
even those that we would rather not receive.
People: We give you thanks
for freeing us from the shadow of fear,
and leading us into a future of hope,
in which goodness and mercy fill all of creation.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit,
who moves with us and around us and through us,
and prays for us when we do not know how to pray.
People: We give you thanks for Jesus, the Christ,
who walks before us,
and teaches us to listen
to voices we would rather not hear.
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 of his arrest, 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.
SHARE THE ELEMENTS
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.
Leader: Go into the seething cauldron of the world.
Listen for the questions and voices
that you would rather not hear.
Answer them with the energy of the Holy Spirit,
the power of the One who gives us life,
and the boundless love of Christ.