a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: after the parade

God of our salvation…
we grasp our coveted, once-a-year, palm branches…
we sing and shout, “Hosanna!”…
we proclaim in those moments
that we want you to save us…
but we’re not always sure
you understand what we mean. 

You have come to vanquish the status quo…
but we have been comfortable in that life.
You have come to turn the world upside down…
but we’re afraid you will shake things up
more than we intended.
You have come to draw us closer
to your vision for creation…
but, at times, we think you may be
just a little too impassioned. 

We like the palm branches.
We even like the hymns.
But we just want to go home after the parade. 

Forgive our lack of vision…
forgive our lukewarm passion…
and inspire us to step off the curb
and to start marching at your side… 

Submitted by Rev. Scott V. Cervas (Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church; Lexington, KY)

illumination: this colorful world

O God…we are thankful
that you have created this colorful world…
that you have invited us to see the world through your eyes…
and that you trust us enough to join you in the creative process.
Through the stories we hear today,
may your light shine brightly on our path
as we strive to fulfill your hope for all creation
through Jesus Christ, our Lord…
Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Scott V. Cervas (Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church; Lexington, KY)

Christmas Eve Invocation: We Display Anticipation

God of all creation
we display anticipation
as we pray this invocation
on this day of celebration.

Here we offer our ovation
as we sing with jubilation
and we wait with great elation
for your loving incarnation.

We will hear the narration
of your ancient declaration
as we long for liberation
for the world and for each nation.

So we lift up in summation
hearts and minds for your formation
as we long for your salvation
resting on your firm foundation.

submitted by Rev. Scott V. Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

illumination: teach us the lyrics

Holy God,
in the midst of our stillness, let your Spirit move;
through the sound of sheer silence, may we hear you whisper;
to the rhythm of creation, set the beating of our hearts;
and with the words of these stories we hear today,
teach us the lyrics to your song
Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Scott V. Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

Confession: Thoughts & Prayers

God of peace…we give thanks
that you are our firm foundation
when the waves of chaos thrash around us,
causing the world to feel out of control. 

We give thanks
that you have empowered us
to speak peace into chaos,
and to take action against injustice. 

But too often, we lack motivation,
we are too afraid to challenge injustice,
or it simply is not in our own interest to act. 

So we stand with the oppressor
instead of kneeling with the oppressed…
we carry torches of anger and hatred
instead of bearing the bright light of your love…
and we offer our “thoughts and prayers”
but render them empty and vain
by our silence and inaction.

Yet, we know you desire so much more from us. 

So draw us away from our apathy…
away from our complicity…
and closer to your hope for the world… 

Submitted by Rev. Scott V. Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

Confession: Shiphrah and Puah

Scripture offers us stories of
Heroes who have been
Immoveable in their efforts to inspire
People to stand against evil in the world.
Hatred and violence are too often a
Real problem…and we must wonder:
Are we…actively or inactively…silently or loudly…
Helping to preserve the problem?

Against our deep desire to trust your vision, we often
Neglect our responsibility for one another, failing to
Do justice, live kindness, and be humble.

Prepare us for your work…
Unite us in your purpose…
And
Heal us from our indifference… 

 

Submitted by Rev. Scott V. Cervas (Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY)

illumination: in perfect rhythm

Composer of life,
may the words of Scripture serenade us
like lyrics begging for a response…
may the catchy melody of creation
ring through these words, inviting us into the dance of new life…
and may the beat of your heart
keeps us in perfect rhythm with your vision for the world.
Amen.

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

Charge & Benediction: the spirit of God

The Spirit of God inspires…
listen!
The Spirit of God transforms…
grow!
The Spirit of God empowers…
go…and be…and do!

And may you…
those you encounter…
and those who are touched beyond that encounter…
discover and know the grace, love, and peace of God
each and every day.

Amen.

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

POP: on the wings of your Spirit

God of our awakening…

we have named our fears;
we have named those things
that hold us back
and keep us from moving beyond
where we are.

You have taken our fears…
our inhibitions…
and our complacencies…
and you have invited us
uninhibited…courageously…
passionately and COMpassionately
to fly on the wings of your Spirit.

We look to the sky…
we look on the streets…
we look in the alleyways…
we look in our homes…
we look to the mountains and the rivers…
the valleys and the seas…
we look into the eyes of one another…
those we know,
and those we are meeting for the first time…
we look at individuals,
we look into communities…
we look throughout your whole creation…
and we see potential.

Where there is despair…we see the potential for hope.
Where there is hunger…we see the potential for satisfaction.
Where there is war…we see the potential for peace.
Where there is prejudice…we see the potential for fellowship.
Where there is oppression…we see the potential for justice.

This list could go on…
but when we dare to look at the world through your eyes…
when we make enough room for your Spirit to enter in…
when we have the audacity
to trust your perfect vision for creation…
all there is to see is potential.

So inspire us…
in the midst of hatred and destruction,
abuse and neglect,
natural disasters and human-generated disasters…
inspire us with the stories of loving and building up,
respecting and caring,
helping and sharing and repairing…
so we may cling to your Spirit
as she leads us beyond where we are
into a way of life that reflects your goodness…

just as Jesus prayed…

OUR FATHER…

 

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

affirmation of faith: a litany for justice

Moses, Nehemiah, Jesus,
and many other leaders in the stories of scripture
brought hope with their courage to speak against injustice
by calling out those responsible, and saying:

“What you are doing isn’t good!”

Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela,
and may other leaders in the history of the world
brought hope with their courage to speak against injustice
by calling out those responsible, and saying:

“What you are doing isn’t good!”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously said,
“The church is only the church when it exists for others.”
He wrote those words while he was in a Nazi prison,
because he had to courage to speak against injustice
by calling out those responsible, and saying:

“What you are doing isn’t good!”

We don’t have to write books from prison,
but we ARE the church…
and we ARE a community whose purpose
is to exist for others…

So we MUST have the courage to speak against injustice
by calling out those responsible, and saying,
“What you are doing isn’t good!”

We don’t have to be nailed to a cross,
but we ARE the church…
and we ARE a community whose purpose
is to exist for others…

So we WILL have the courage to speak against injustice
by calling out those responsible, and saying,
“What you are doing isn’t good!”

…and may our words be followed by our actions,
so that God’s light might shine bright in the world.
Amen.

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)