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

POP: harvest of joy

Lord of glory, Savior of all who call on you,
we pray for your people who are near to our hearts today.
We rejoice with those who rejoice,
whose hopes and dreams have come true today.
Let our mouths be filled with laughter,
and let us sing songs of joy,
for you have done great things for your people.
We give you thanks!
Merciful God, we also weep with those who weep.
We call out on behalf of those whose lives are dry and barren,
for all who long to be restored.
Where there are tears, or suffering, or illness, or grief,
may there be songs of joy once again.
We lift up the prayers of your people
with longing and hope,
trusting that you will bring forth a harvest of joy.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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

confession: lip service

Your word still rings true, Lord, generation after generation. You are a God who keeps promises. Yet we confess that we would prefer your work to conform to our timeline, and even better to our desires. We sometimes pay lip service to your word while seeking our own glory. And when we are frustrated and yearn for an answer, our words are often bland and cliché while our faith is in turmoil. Forgive us, O God, for our impatience and our unwillingness to be completely honest, even with you. Help us to trust you enough to grow into real relationship with you. Amen.

 

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

CTW: look to the stars

One: Look to the stars—filling the sky with light!
All: God’s word is a light, shining bright in the darkness.
One: Look to the stars—spread across the universe, farther than any eye has seen.
All: God is everywhere present, whether we go to the ends of the earth or depths of the sea.
One: Look to the stars—more than we even have numbers to count.
All: God’s grace is beyond imagining, beyond language, beyond counting.
One: Look to the stars—signs of God’s promise, shining through all generations.
All: We come to worship God, in whom we trust.

 

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

confession: just enough to be dangerous

Creator God, you made us to live together with you. We confess that we are sorely tempted by the opportunity to be our own gods. We admit to you that we have tried shortcuts to wisdom—we think we know what is best, when really we know just enough to do harm to your creation and your beloved people. Forgive us for acting so arrogantly out of our limited human perspective. Forgive our disobedience, and give us ears to hear your word, and hearts ready to obey your will. Amen.

 

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

CTW: in the beginning

One: In the beginning, when God created, God looked at the world and called it good.
All: Not only way back when, but even now, God is creating, calling us to join the work
of making the world good.
One: Earth and water and air, plants and animals and people, made from dirt and word and love.
All: God gifts us all this and more, so that we can glorify and enjoy God forever.
One: Come, let us worship God together.

 

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

confession: we believe ourselves wise

Creator God, you knit all things together with your infinite wisdom. We confess that we are often foolish, yet believe ourselves wise. We ravage your creation, taking what we want without concern, searching for freedom and happiness, forgetting that our true purpose and joy is found only in you. We seek first our own good, heedless of our place as one strand in the carefully woven fabric of your world. Forgive us. Open our ears to hear you speaking, and our hearts to embrace your purpose. Amen.    ~silence~

 

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

POP: on psalm 19

O God, the heavens declare your glory,
and all creation reveals your surpassing wisdom.
We give thanks to you for those who reveal your riches to us
and teach us in the way we should go.
We pray for all who are searching,
that you would shine your light ahead of them
and help all people rejoice in you.
We pray for those who struggle and suffer,
especially those we have lifted up by name today.
Revive all our souls and refresh our spirits.
Guide us in your service,
because your will is the desire of our hearts.
Let all that we say or do be acceptable in your sight,
we pray in Jesus’ name, saying together:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

communion: on Psalm 91

O God Most High, we give you thanks
today and every day for your unfailing goodness and love.
You are always coming to the rescue of your faithful ones,
and you promise to guard us in all our ways.
We praise you for the gift of this sacrament,
which is a sign of your promise to watch over us forever.
As we come to this table, we lift up before you
those who need your special protection today.
Grant your healing, your protection, your peace, and your hope
to all who are in need.
Give your special care and guidance to this nation,
and grant peace to all the earth,
in the name of the Prince of Peace,
who prays with us as we say together:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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