a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

CTW: God Refines the Soul

We gather together, full of bountiful hope and terrible fears.

A crucible is for silver, and a furnace is for gold, but the Lord refines our hearts.

Sin coats us like rust, eating away at our connections to each other, but God anoints us with oil to keep us safe.

A crucible is for silver, and a furnace is for gold, but the Lord refines our hearts.

In the fire of the Holy Spirit, we are forged anew – again and again – into the image of God.

A crucible is for silver, and a furnace is for gold, but the Lord refines our hearts.

Let us worship God, who refines our hearts and strengthens our souls for everlasting life.

Amen!

 

(Based on Proverbs 17:3)

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

CTW: return to the Lord

Leader: God’s call rings out through the world, God’s message to us.
People: God calls us to come back, to fast and weep, and ask for forgiveness.
Leader: We need to change our entire lives, what is inside of us, not just outside.
People: For our God is loving and compassionate.
Leader: We enter this season of Preparation by returning to the LORD.
All: Together, let us sound the trumpet and worship God!
submitted by Rev. Will Ryan, First Christian Church Burlington IA

Confession: God shines

The presence of God shines all around us, and yet our faces are buried in our phones, and our minds are on the tasks that are left undone, oblivious to the miracle of the Holy Spirit that surrounds. Let us together lift up our heads and open our eyes to see the work of God that abounds.

God of the snowfall and coming spring,
Spirit of the journey that leads us to the height of the mountain,
We open our hearts to you and to one another
the many ways we fall short to live into the fullness of life in you.
We create schedules that add to the burden,
And further shelter us from hearing your voice.
We add to the shadows finding the worst in the world around us,
Rather than living as instruments of your hope.
How quick we add to the discord with one another,
unable to see your face in our neighbor
in our disagreements we often miss the transference
of our own scars, disappointments, and should haves,
Help us again today to be renewed by your ever flowing grace
and unending love
Open all of who we are to your holy imagination of who we are yet to become restoring us in your glory. Praise be to God.

Submitted by Rev. Rob Smith, Spirit of Life Presbyterian, Apple Valley, MN

Transfiguration Invocation

God of the high and low, we come before you this day seeking your Holy presence. We come to sing praises, pray petitions, and listen to the Word at your holy mountain. We come to experience metamorphosis, to be changed into your people. Change us in this hour so we might speak your Spirit of hope and grace to the world. We pray this in the name of Christ, AMEN.

 

Submitted by Rev. Will Ryan, First Christian Church, Burlington, IA

POP: no other helper

Alleluia! We praise you, O Lord,
with every fiber of our being.
With all our heart, soul, mind, and strength we will sing praises to you.

We earnestly put our trust in you alone,
knowing that there is no other helper but you, the Almighty.

Therefore we call out to you on behalf of all who are hungry or oppressed,
asking you to keep your faithfulness to your beloved creation.

Liberator, set the prisoners free;
Light of the world, open the eyes of those who cannot see;
Strength of the broken, lift up those who long to be healed.
O Lord, hear our prayers for those we lift up before you.

Preserve the righteous by your justice;
care for the stranger in your compassion;
sustain the orphan and the widow in your community of faith;
and save all your world from the hand of the wicked.

You, O Lord, shall reign forever,
and so we join all generations in the prayer your Son taught us, saying:

The Lord’s prayer

 

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids, IA

CTW: glory rising

Beyond our busyness,
above the cold winter floor
there is a glory rising born of heaven
and reaching out to each one of us
a light that shines through the clouds
an invitation seeking all of who we are
that transfigures the world
that transforms darkness into hope
that brings life from a cross
where old life end and new life is born
In glory Jesus meets us here
raising us from depths of valley to the height of the mountain
carrying the weight of our humanity
to the heights of heavens glory.
Let us worship from the mountain and hear again
“This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”
Submitted by Rev. Rob Smith, Spirit of Life Presbyterian Church, Apple Valley, MN

Confession: new order

Prayer of Confession

God of grace and mercy,
You create a new order for our lives:
Service before success,
Faith before knowledge,
Partnership over independence,
The cross over the crown.
Forgive us when we fall into the patterns of this world,
Rejecting your call through our action or inaction.
Forgive us, God, and move us to see the world through lens of your great love.
Forgive us, God, and grant us peace.

Assurance of Pardon

God forgives us of our sins,
Not because we are righteous, but because God is good.
God calls us to try again,
Not because we are strong, but because God will help us.
God calls us as disciples,
Not because we are worthy, but because we are loved.
God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom,
and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
Through the love of God in Christ Jesus, we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Anna George Traynham, Associate Pastor, Central Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA

CTW: praise the Lord!

We the Church give thanks to the LORD with our whole heart.
Praise the LORD!
When we look at all the works of the LORD, we know they are great.
Praise the LORD!
The LORD is gracious and merciful, faithful and just.
Praise the LORD!

Submitted by Rev. Will Ryan, First Christian Church, Burlington, IA

CTW: Arise and Shine

Arise and awaken, children of God!

For our light has come, and the glory of the Holy One shines out!

Lift up your eyes! Look around you!

The people gather together – the people of all nations come together to worship God

You shall see and shall shine with God’s light

Let us rejoice and praise God, whose love shines forth into the world. Amen. 

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

Benediction: God’s future

We are God’s beloved,

and we go out into God’s future

to love, to serve, and to be made new.

As we go, may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,

the love of God,

and the unity of the Holy Spirit

keep us now and forever.

Alleluia! Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, IA