a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: God’s Anointed

People of God, Jesus comes to bring God’s mercy to all people.
Therefore we are bold to sing our prayers
to the one whose reign is justice, peace, and joy:

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 1

We pray for those who are captive to violence, oppression, and sin.
We pray for all who are hungry, sick, sorrowing, or afraid.

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 2

We pray for everyone who longs for new beginnings.
We pray for those who celebrate and rejoice.
We pray for all who travel to be with families,
and we pray for those who celebrate the birth of the Savior alone.
We pray for the gift of peace, in our hearts and in our world.

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 3

We pray for those in positions of power,
for those who have more wealth and power than they realize,
and for those whom we are called to serve.

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 4

Let your kingdom come in this world, O God,
and let our hearts welcome the birth of the Holy Child,
who teaches us to pray as we say together:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

confession: justice is too hard

O God, You are faithful to all generations—from the beginning of time, you have called all kinds of characters to be your people. When we forget that their story is our story, forgive us. When we admire them from afar while insisting that kind of faith isn’t practical for us, forgive us. We confess that your justice is too hard for us to do, and we prefer to create our own. We confess that we do not often bear the fruit you expect of your vineyard, resisting your kingdom’s way when it conflicts with our desires. Forgive us yet again, and plant your word of justice deep in our hearts and lives. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, The Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL

CTW: a new world

Jesus said the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed; it starts out as a small thing, but it grows and grows until it gives a home to the birds of the air.

Can we believe a new day is coming? As surely as the sun rises over the horizon God is creating a new world. 

Jesus said the Kingdom of God is like that someone who casts seed on the ground, and then sleeps and wakes, day after day, while the earth produces the fruit from the seed that was cast.

We do not know how God works out the fullness of redemption. But we know we are partners in that work. 

Praise the name of the Lord who still cares for the world!

Praise the name of the Lord who leads with power and grace. 

 

Submitted by Rev. Lisa Lopez, Christ Presbyterian Church, Hanover Park IL

illumination: speak

Come, Spirit of the Lord, and speak through us.
Send your Holy Word to be upon our tongues
and your gospel upon our hearts.
Speak to us, speak through us, speak among us,
for we, your servants, are listening.  Amen.

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

confession: other kings

Call to Confession

Come, people of God, let us confess our sins.
Let us confess how we have fallen short of God’s plans for us.
Come, to the font to be redeemed.
Let us come to the waters of our baptism to be cleansed.

 

Prayer of Confession

You, God, are our one and only King.
We beg your forgiveness for the other “kings” that we kneel before:
money…
power…
gossip…
self righteousness…
racial privilege…
We beg your forgiveness, we who are broken and torn apart
by our own doings and un-doings.

Guide us to be your servants.
Lead us to trust in you as the only king we need.
Direct our faith in your sovereign power
as we strive to follow your Son,
through the power of your Holy Spirit, we pray.  Amen.

 

Assurance of Pardon
We have done wrong to God our king
but the good news of the gospel is this:
God has chosen mercy over vengeance.
Together, through the waters of our baptism,
we have been cleansed of our sin
and are redeemed as beloved servants of a merciful King.
Alleluia!  Amen!

 

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

CTW: one and only

God has said: “This is my resting place forever,
Here I will reside, for I have desired it.”
The Lord has chosen us; God desires to live among us.
We are blessed to have God call us home.
With God among us, we will be clothed with salvation;
The faithful will shout for joy!
With a faithful shout, we proclaim Christ our King!
May the corners of the earth hear our cry:
Jesus Christ is our King!
Come let us worship our one and only Savior!

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

prayer of dedication: joyful and trusting obedience

Jesus, our Teacher and Savior, truly you are God’s Son. For the sake of your kingdom, you insist that we surrender our power. For the sake of your abundance, you invite us to give our resources away. For the sake of your glory, you call us to serve the least among us. Receive these offerings as signs of our joyful and trusting obedience, and let them sustain your people in their every need. Amen.

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

confession: everyone except ourselves

Call to Confession

The kingdom of heaven is a realm of reconciling love. Trusting in the promise of reconciliation, let us acknowledge our sin before God.

 

Prayer of Confession

O God, King of glory and Lord of justice,
we confess that when we proclaim your coming,
we are quick to envision your judgment
for everyone except ourselves.
You know, more than we can admit,
how many times we have failed to serve you.
We have ignored you when you sit begging;
we have turned away when you starve to death;
we have been all too happy to let your suffering go unnoticed.
We have denied your sovereignty and exiled ourselves from the kingdom of heaven.

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

 

Assurance of Grace

Sing with joy to the Lord,
because our righteous Judge
is our loving Redeemer.
I declare to you, in the name of Jesus Christ,
we are forgiven!

Thanks be to God!
By the power of the Holy Spirit
we will live in joy and mercy.

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

Charge and Benediction: CtK

Jesus has told us who needs us to care. As you go out into God’s world, keep your eyes open for those who are hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick, or imprisoned. See Christ in them and help them.

And remember you are God’s beloved. The Holy Spirit lives in you. Christ’s compassion shines forth in what you do. Live as those who know and have experienced God’s goodness. Go now in peace.

Submitted by Rev. Susannah DeBenedetto

confession: caught between options

God, so often we do not know what to do. We feel caught between the options, uncertain of where you are leading. In our anxiety, we turn on each other, relying on sarcasm and mocking to bolster our pride. In our frustration, we ask all the wrong questions while never listening for an answer. In our fear, we sacrifice you on the altar of our own security and desire. Forgive us, O God.

~silence~

One:    We stand at the threshold of your kingdom, Lord.

All:     Open wide the door of life, and give us courage to walk through.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL