a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: commodity god

God,
we’re not really sure what Simon and the others meant
when they told Jesus that “everyone” was looking for him.
Maybe they were trying to protect Jesus…
trying to keep him safe within their grasp…
as if he were some sort of commodity that belonged exclusively to them.
It would certainly make sense.
We often do that to you, as well…
as if the creator of all that is would be doomed without our witty, theological
comebacks to put the naysayers in their place.
Maybe we should spend less time trying to own you,
and more time trying to fully belong to you,
even now…as we offer our silent confessions…

 

Submitted by Rev. Scott Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

illumination: breathe in

 

God of our deepest strength,
as we breathe in the words of ancient poets and prophets,
as we inhale the words of 1st century storytellers,
refresh our hearts and minds
so we might hear these words in new ways…
so we might struggle with those words long enough to understand them…
so we might be renewed to go and be and do…
Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Scott Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

call to confession / declaration of grace: exhausted / restored

 

It takes a great deal of energy to live the life for which God created us…
and sometimes, we are simply too exhausted.
So please join me in the prayer of confession, printed in the bulletin,
followed by a moment of silent reflection and personal confession.

This is good news:

We may grow weary…
We may grow tired and indifferent…
But the Holy Spirit breathes into the very depths of our being,
restoring us to lives that reflect the profound goodness of God.

So let’s sing and give thanks to God!

 

Submitted by Rev. Scott Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

call to worship: breathe in


Wipe the sleep from your tired eyes…
Stretch the gnawing apathy from your aching muscles…
Breathe in…deeply…the goodness of God…
And let your lives be renewed…now…as we worship together!

 

Submitted by Rev. Scott Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church, Lexington KY

the rest of the service

Happy Groundhog Day, everyone! Apparently, old Phil saw his shadow, which means six more week’s of winter. (Not quite sure what to do with that information for those of us in parts of the country who haven’t experienced much “winter” to have more of). Do you find the seasons affecting your liturgy? Or is it mainly the seasons of a more liturgical nature that inspire you? Or, as Super Bowl (and Souper Bowl) Sunday is this Sunday, perhaps the sports seasons are making a rare appearance this week!

Whatever you are working on this week, feel free to share your ideas and thoughts for the rest of the service here. Do you have a children’s sermon idea to share? Or a prayer? What about some communion liturgy? We’d love to hear from you!

prayer of confession – broken, but reluctant to be made whole

submitted by Rev. Rebecca Page Lesley, Suffolk Presbyterian Church, Suffolk, Virginia
inspired by Mark 1:29-39

O God, we come to you knowing that we are broken but reluctant to be made whole. We confess that we often fear your healing touch and what it might mean to be made well. We are comfortable in our brokenness because it is familiar. We are afraid that we would owe you too much if we allowed you to make us new. Yet that is what we long for, deep in our souls, for you to make our lives whole again. Heal our hearts, forgive our failings and mend our hurts. Reach out to us, O Lord, so that we might have the courage to reach back… (time for silent prayer)

call to worship: don’t you know? haven’t you heard?

based on Isaiah 40:21-31, Common English Bible
submitted by Rev. Andy James, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Whitestone, New York

Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
God created all things and summons everyone by name.

Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
No one – nothing – can compare to God’s glory.

Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth,
and never grows tired or weary.

Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength forever and ever.

confession: isn’t there someone else?

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake, IL.

One: God, we look at the world and see so much hurt and need.
All: We wonder: when you will do something about it?
One: We look for you, desperately seeking your help,
All: and sometimes we forget that you have called us.
One: We know you can heal and teach and love,
we know your presence is always with us,
but it is so easy to forget, to make excuses,
to look for someone else to do the work.
All: Remind us that, through you,
we too can heal and teach and love.
Take us by the hand, Lord, and lift us up,
that we may serve you and one another. Amen.

Sunday’s Coming: working toward February 5

The first Sunday in February–we all know what that means, right? the Souper Bowl, of course! Are you working with the Souper Bowl of Caring in your worship service? Will there be a special moment for that, a litany or prayer specific to that collection, or perhaps some kind of liturgical action that allows people to participate in the offering and in praying for those in your community who are hungry while most of us gorge ourselves on junk food in front of a huge TV?

And of course there’s the lectionary–where Jesus meets those people in need, and the disciples show the first signs of not really “getting it.” There’s the good news in Isaiah that God is there even when we fail, and will lift us up. Paul sets the bar really high by claiming that he can be all things to all people–no pressure, pastors and preachers! The Psalm reminds us that God provides and is to be praised–perfect for a call to worship, don’t you think?

What are you thinking this week? What phrases are turning around in your mind, begging to be turned into liturgy? What hymn ideas do you have? Anyone have an original communion liturgy to share, or a dedication of food pantry donations, or other liturgical seeds we can water and grow together?