a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: fading away

Holy and loving God, we hear your voice in the wilderness, and we come, seeking a glimpse of your glory in these days of lengthening darkness. We look for your star shining in the night sky, for the flickering candle holding back the shadows, and we strain our ears to listen for your word amidst the clamor of the festive season.
We confess that we don’t always want to hear what you are saying. We don’t want to turn and go another way, nor to stop and wait in the quiet when there is fun to be had. We are skeptical of comfort that is more than warm fuzzy feelings, or that asks something of us. We confess that we are prone to fading away like flowers and grass, unable to withstand challenges to our way of thinking or our way of life. And yet still you call, still you tell us to take comfort, still you come among us and live within us and believe in us.
Forgive us, O God, our fickle hearts, so often full of things other than you. Forgive our tendency to wander away, to prefer shallow comfort to your deep peace. Open us again to your love, that we may walk with you in every way. We pray in the name of Christ, the prince of peace. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Confession/Pardon: Real Salt, Spiritual Wounds

Holy and Beloved God, you are the great peacemaker, who brings together many different parts and makes the one united body of Christ. Yet, we often turn aside from the peace you offer, and assume that we alone have it right. Instead of listening to your call to comfort one another, we accidentally or purposefully rub salt in the spiritual wounds of our neighbors. Help us to stop making things worse, and instead offer cool, calm comfort to your warm and wonderful people, all in the name of your peacemaking. Amen.

My friends, this is the good news of Jesus Christ: God offers us grace for our mistakes and errors, and calls us to reconcile with one another. In Christ, we have hope for true and just peace.

Just as God forgives us, so we too shall forgive each other. Thanks be to God!

 

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

Advent 2 call to worship, confession, assurance

Second Sunday of Advent resources from Rev. Ross Reddick, Pastor First Presbyterian Church
Sylacauga, Alabama

Responsive Call to Worship: (based on Isaiah 40:1-11)

Leader: The voice of the Lord declares, “Comfort, O comfort my people”.
People: A voice cries out, “Prepare the way of the Lord!”
Leader: The earth will be transformed, God’s glory will be revealed.
People: We expect your arrival in fire and flame. Instead, we follow a star on a cold night.
Leader: You meet us in this place, as we remember your curious way.
People: As we wait, cleanse us. As we wait, mold us.
Leader: Our ears and eyes perceive no other god besides You, and so we worship this day.
People: We are all your people and we will wait for You.

Prayer of Confession: (based on Mark 1:1-8)

Forgive us, Lord, for the times we refuse to listen to those who announce your presence. Forgive us when we ignore the cries that come from the wilderness. Allow us to understand that, like John the Baptist, we too are unworthy before the Lord of All. Help us live into our baptisms. Remind us of the beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ, and empower us to be the continuation of that Good News. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon / Declaration of Forgiveness (based on 2 Peter 3:8-15)

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved. With the Lord, one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.

The rest of the service

Still working on your liturgy for Sunday?
Need ideas for you or your liturgist for those parts that are equally important, but aren’t in the bulletin?

Any prayer ideas for this Sunday? Do you do something special for communion during Advent?

To get things rolling, here is a Call to Confession based on the Mark text from Matthew Thompson, First Presbyterian Church, Lamesa, TX:

John the Baptist tells us to, “Prepare the way of the Lord.” So we clean our homes and put out the decorations.

He says, “make his paths straight.” So we buy put up a Christmas tree and hang stockings.

He proclaims, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me.” So we buy gifts and attend parties.

But these things don’t prepare us for the coming Christ, the Son of God. Let us prepare our hearts for the coming of the one who changes everything. Let us pray . . .

Share your thoughts and ideas with us here!

Sunday’s Coming: working toward December 4

How is it already time to think about the second Sunday of Advent? It seems like it was summer just a few minutes ago.

Maybe this week you’re preparing the way with John the Baptizer, who’s been in the wilderness what seems like a short time before he starts looking to the next big thing. Maybe you’re proclaiming tidings of comfort and joy. Or maybe you’re pondering just how we can affirm that the Lord is not slow about the promises–how much patience do we need, anyway?

There’s been a lot of news this past week that makes some of these hard themes to work with–waiting, preparing, comfort are not exactly the order of the day in the US during the weekend after Thanksgiving. How are you working in the realities of the season this week? What will you be praying, affirming, calling, naming, singing?

Share your ideas here, prime the pump with a few words or a phrase or a whole liturgy ready to go!

Longing for comfort: call to worship, confession & assurance for Advent 2

From Rev. Melissa DeRosia, Pastor of Gates Presbyterian Church, Rochester, NY

Call to Worship (Isaiah 40:1-11, 2 Peter 3:8-15a)
Leader: We are people longing for comfort.

People: Longing for the stones of anxiety to be cleared from our hearts.

Leader: We don’t know when or how,

People: God’s comfort is patient with our uneasiness.

Leader: So we wait with the promise,

People: God’s glory revealed for all creation.

Prayer of Confession
Comforter of the lost, you call out to us but we are too busy right now to listen. We lose our way and fool ourselves into believing that many of our rough ways and crooked paths are justified. We tell ourselves that we don’t have enough time to get everything done, but can’t ever say “no.” We scoff at people who can’t seem to control themselves, but indulge to fill the emptiness we feel. Lead us back to the level plains of your comfort that provides us the space and time to change and be the people you call us to be.

Silent Prayers of Confession

Assurance of Grace
Leader: “Comfort, O comfort my people,” says our God. In Jesus Christ the good news of God’s promises proclaim “Here is your God.”

All: Our sins are forgiven! Thanks be to God. Amen.