a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Prayers of the People: eternally victorious

We give you praise, O God,
because you are eternally victorious over death.
In faithfulness you have raised up Christ for us,
and your mercy knows no end.

God of life, we pray for those who are bowed down
under the weight of hunger, injustice, uncertainty, or despair.
You who provide every good thing,
uphold your people.
Open your hands wide
and satisfy the needs of every living thing.

God of hope, we trust in your righteousness
and depend on your love.
Be near to those on whose behalf we call upon you;
to those who face sorrow, illness, injury, or death.
Fulfill our longings for wholeness, healing, and new life;
hear and answer all who cry out to you.

Steadfast God, preserve us in your love,
that we might speak your praise
and bless you forever
in the name of the holy one, the Risen Christ,
who teaches us to pray as we say:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

Affirmation of Faith for Holy Humor Sunday

We believe in God who was before all things, maker of all things, source of all life. We were made in God’s image for vital work in this world – to do justice, to speak truth, to live in love. But we recognize that God’s image also blossoms in our lighter side when we are curious, playful, laughing. God has given us the gift of humor to laugh at ourselves, to unmask the weaknesses of sin, and to turn back to the arms of love. In Christ Jesus, God came and walked among us, teaching us to embrace the weightier matters with a light touch. Though we sinned and rejected him, he still chose to die for us. The forces of evil grasped to contain him, but he arose, laughing, breaking all the bounds of sin and death. As we follow him, we laugh with him, following the true light that cannot be conquered. We believe in the Holy Spirit who teaches us to smile, to bear with difficulty, and to endure from now until the joyful resolution of all creation. We look forward to the coming kingdom of heaven where laughter and love resound in every home and every heart. Amen.

 

Rev. Elana Keppel Levy, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bixby, OK

Benediction: sent to proclaim

Peace be with you all.
As Christ was sent into the world,
so we are now sent
to proclaim forgiveness
and bear witness to God’s love
in Jesus’ name
by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

Illumination: teach us to live

Risen Christ, fill us with your Spirit
and speak peace to us through these words of scripture.
As we hear you, let our love overflow
with knowledge and insight,
and teach us to live in you,
to the glory and praise of God. Amen.

 

Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church. West Des Moines, IA

Dedication—claiming resurrection

God of grace,
you are the source of all we have gained,
but your greatest gift is the new life we receive in Christ.
We offer these gifts as signs of our commitment
to claim Christ’s resurrection as your gift,
for you have claimed us in his life. Amen.

 

Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

Closing Liturgy for Evening Prayer

Based on Luke 2:29-32, The Benedictus

 

Source of all rest and peace, dismiss now into my evening’s quiet,

You have promised no less and so much more.

We are witnesses to your salvation,

Which You did for all people and continue to make inviting and effective.

The Living Word is open for all to perceive and trust,

It is the source of our faith and hope.

Those who trust in God’s revelation find an anchor for their souls.

Source of all rest and peace, dismiss us now into our evening’s harbor-

Adrift no more,

At home in You.

 

submitted by Pastor Julia Seymour, Lutheran Church of Hope, Anchorage, Alaska.

POP: you are our light

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (based on Psalm 27)

O Lord, you are our light and our salvation;
we are not afraid of anyone or anything.
When terrible things happen, we put our trust in you,
and we know you are always with us.
Help us to see you at work in our lives always.

We pray for people who are suffering or frightened today,
and for everybody who is sick or grieving;
wrap your arms around them,
give them healing,
and keep them safe.
We pray that everyone would be able to sing your praises
and tell that you have done wonderful things for them.

Show us how to follow you, O Lord,
and help us live as your disciples
as long as we live.
We pray in Jesus’ name,
who taught us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

Transfiguration Hymn: We Seek to Follow Christ

Note: please include copyright info when reproducing hymns. Permission is granted for church use.

Text: Rev. Elana Keppel Levy, 2018
Tune: TERRA BEATA (“This Is My Father’s World”, Glory to God #370)

1. The disciples followed Christ
Up a high mountain apart.
He preached the Word, but they had not heard
The wisdom from his heart.
We seek to follow Christ
And listen for his call.
Help us to hear, even though we fear
Our faith may prove too small.

2. And before their very eyes
They saw him shining bright.
His face, his clothes, his very soul
Were bathed in glorious light.
We seek to follow Christ
With vision pure and clear
To see his glow everywhere we go
And to his truth draw near.

3. The disciples wanted Christ
And prophets from the past
To stay in tents, but they could not sense
The moment would not last.
We seek to follow Christ
Through what we can control.
Give us the nerve to let go and serve
G-d’s glory to extol.

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

Should you prefer to have music and words interlined, the PDF is downloadable here:

Confession: we don’t want to understand

Holy God, we like to claim that your way is mysterious and we are uncertain how to follow. We confess that we don’t want to understand the fast that you choose. You call us to loose the bonds of injustice, to let prisoners free, to break every yoke, to bring the homeless into our house, to feed our neighbours and pray for our enemies. We make it sound like a difficult metaphor so we don’t have to act on your word, because we don’t like to be uncomfortable. Forgive our apathy, our wilful ignorance, our false modesty, and our unexamined privilege. Create in us a clean heart, and lead us into a Holy Lent…and beyond, to abundant life for all your creation. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

CTW: the Spirit is with us

One: As we walk into the wilderness, setting our face toward the cross,
All: The Holy Spirit is with us.
One: As we focus and prepare, fasting by letting go and by taking on,
All: The Holy Spirit is with us.
One: Facing temptations, finding help from unexpected quarters,
All: The Holy Spirit is with us.
One: Come, let us seek God’s way together.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson