a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Communion: Word made flesh

The Lord be with you.  And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.  We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Good and gracious God,
we thank you for your presence among us,
that you would bring us the eternal Word made flesh,
that you would call us your beloved children,
that you would send your light into the darkness.
To you we ascribe all thanks and praise,
for you alone are our hope and our salvation.
Through the power of your speech,
you brought all creation into order;
all things have come into being through you;
not one single thing is exempt from your creation.

With all creation, with people in every time and place,
we join the everlasting chorus:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.  Hosanna in the highest.

We remember how, on that holy night,
Mary and Joseph could find no place to stay,
so they found a manger and made their bed with the animals of the stable.
Through these marginalized people seeking refuge,
you made your presence known to the world.

We remember how the shepherds and the wisemen gathered
to worship the child who would redeem all of creation.
Their gifts were brought to pay homage to the true King.
We give you thanks for the gifts of this Table,
which are given to us to proclaim your holy and majestic name.

We remember how this child grew up,
growing in wisdom and in years,
embodying your goodness in word and deed,
healing people, comforting people, loving stranger and friend.

We remember how he gathered his friends on the night he was betrayed,
how he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying:
“take, eat, do this in remembrance of me.”

Likewise, he took the cup and, pouring it, said:
“this is the cup of salvation, shed in my blood, for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

For as long as we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim the resurrection of our living savior until he comes again.

As we wait, watch, and wonder with the wisemen and the shepherds,
we proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

We give thanks for your gifts of grace and goodness in this season of Christmas.
May this meal of remembrance transform us into your servants,
going out into the world to proclaim your resurrection
and to welcome all to partake in your reign of peace, love, and harmony.
As we prepare to live as your disciples,
hear us as we pray as you taught us to pray, saying:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.  Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

dedication: every good thing

We praise you, O Lord, and everything in us proclaims your holy name. You have forgiven our sin, healed our brokenness, and redeemed us from the power of death. You satisfy us with every good thing. We celebrate your goodness in the sacrament of this meal, and we respond with gratitude through the gifts we present. Receive our offerings and our discipleship with your blessing, and lead us as we serve you in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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

illumination: a feast

God of all wisdom and might,
send your Spirit this day that we might hear your word of truth,
the gospel of your salvation, and believe in you.
May your scripture be a feast upon our lips
and a gladsome song to be sung for all eternity.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

dedication: surpassing gift

Almighty God, we give thanks for the surpassing gift of your Beloved, the Christ. As we welcome him again into our lives, we commit ourselves to the work of his kingdom. Receive the gifts we offer as signs of our commitment to live according to Jesus’ good news, by which we are redeemed. Thanks be to God! Amen.

 

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

prayer: Christmas God

Christmas God,
because you came to us as a helpless little baby,
we are reminded that each of us, young and old alike, are your children.
Through the incarnation of your Son, Jesus Christ,
the Word has been made flesh and light has shattered the darkness.
Bless this our worship and lead us to your everlasting light.  Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

confession: verbs

Call to Confession

As we continue the season of Christmas,
let us confess our sins,
our actions and our inactions,
that are contrary to the kingdom of the newborn King.

Prayer of Confession (Responsive)

Almighty God,
The verbs of Psalm 147 remind us of your actions:
you strengthen, bless, grant, fill, send, give, make, and declare.
But we confess that our verbs do not always match yours:
we argue, fight, lie, steal, oppress, ignore, refuse, and silence.

    Forgive us, Lord, for what we’ve done to tarnish your holy name.
Give us courage, merciful God, to make our actions match yours.
Help us to shed our sin and join you in your redemptive work.
This we pray in your good and gracious name.  Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

The prophet Jeremiah reminds us that our sin does not have the final word.
God will turn our mourning into joy, God will comfort us,
God will give us gladness for sorrow.
Friends, in the name of the Jesus Christ, you and I are forgiven!
Alleluia!  Amen!

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

CTW: a new year

A new year begins, and with it new opportunities to preach the Gospel!
    We give thanks to God for the year past,
and look with anticipation at what God will bring in the year to come.

God has destined us for adoption as God’s children,
the season of Christmas reminds us of the fulfillment of that adoption.
    We are God’s children, and the Lord is our God!
In Christ, we have obtained an inheritance;
    We, who have set our hope in Christ, live for the praise of his glory!
Come, let us worship the newborn King!

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

illumination: grow in wisdom

  Holy God, your Son Jesus Christ grew in wisdom as a child.
Send your Spirit to this place that, in the reading of this scripture,
we may, too, grow in wisdom by the proclamation of your Word.  Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

confession: clothe yourselves

Call to Confession

Christ has been born and has come before us.
Now let us come before him and confess that which we have done
that is contrary to his peaceful kingdom on earth.

Prayer of Confession

    We are told by your holy word to clothe ourselves
with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
But too often we clothe ourselves with hurtful garments;
we clothe ourselves instead with stubbornness, selfishness,
impatience, rudeness, and apathy.
Help us to clothe ourselves with love
that the peace of your son might rule in our hearts.
This we pray in your merciful and forgiving name.  Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness

    Hear the Good News of the Gospel:
God has broken into our broken world
and saved us from ourselves.
With God’s help,
we are now able to put on clothes of righteousness and justice.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.  Alleluia!  Amen!

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY.

prayer: other side of Christmas

God of our fulfillment,
as we gather on the other side of Christmas Day,
we rejoice that we have just scratched the surface
in understanding the good news that is before us!
How great you are that you have chosen us as your dwelling place!
Bless our worship this day that we might hear it with fresh ears and open hearts.  Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY