a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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)

ctw: let’s celebrate chipmunks

The earth…
and everything on it, around it, in it, and beyond it…
belongs to God!
According to the creation hymn of Genesis, chapter 1,
we have the distinct pleasure of being responsible for the earth’s care.
So let’s celebrate creation…
let’s celebrate bees and trees and manatees…
let’s celebrate mangos, chipmunks, mountain peaks, and each other…
and let’s worship God together!

 

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

illumination: beyond your words

As we read the words of scripture,
we are pointed to your living Word who walked among us;
and we are surrounded by your Spirit,
who whispers words within our hearts and minds.
Inspire us in our hearing and reflecting,
that we may move beyond your words
into life-changing acts of grace, love, hope, and peace.
Amen.

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

confession: beyond our words

Holy God,
as of the year two thousand ten,
according to Google,
one hundred twenty-nine million,
eight hundred sixty-four thousand,
eight hundred and eighty books
have been published in modern history.

We like words.
We enjoy good speeches.
And, too often, because of that,
we spend more time saying things,
and less time doing things.

But you remind us,
and…to tell you the truth…we know,
that what really matters are our actions.

So inspire us with our words,
but also inspire us beyond our words,
so we may be a constant, visible reminder
of your love in the world…

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

call to confession / declaration of grace: mind-expanding faith

CALL TO CONFESSION

God doesn’t call us to a blind faith…
but to a faith that is eye-opening and mind-expanding.
But we often find it more beneficial for ourselves
if we pretend we cannot see or understand God’s vision for creation.

So please join me in the prayer of confession…

 

DECLARATION OF GRACE

(NOTE: The words of Jesus in italics, which are the words spoken to Thomas, could be spoken by another person besides the worship leader, perhaps someone sitting within the congregation with a microphone)

This is Good News:

God does not mock us when we fail to trust,
but invites us into a deeper, more intimate relationship.

Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand in my side. Trust me!

God does not shame us when our faith waivers,
but challenges us to be strengthened by God’s promises.

Happy are those who don’t see…and yet trust!

God’s purpose is not to tear us down…but to build us up…
forgiven…refreshed…and renewed!

So let’s sing…and let’s give thanks to God!

CTW: in this sacred space

Gather in this sacred space
and hear God inviting us to imagine and create!
Gather in this sacred space
and know that the peace of Christ surrounds us!
Gather in this sacred space
and let the Spirit of God inspire us once again!
Gather in this sacred space
and let’s worship God together!

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

illumination: that we may cling to your heart

Draw us from our tombs…
from the dark, self-imposed prisons of knowing-it-all…
into the light of your unflinching good news.
Use our encounters with the stories of scripture
to unbind us from our fascination with the status quo…
so that we may cling to your heart,
and see the world through your eyes.
Amen.

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