a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

communion: dwelling

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

We give you thanks, O Lord of hosts,
for you have gathered us into your presence
and made our hearts and souls rejoice in your dwelling place!
You created a place for even the lowliest creature,
and you revealed the beauty of your holiness
in the lightness of birdsong and the thunder of the ocean.

In your faithful love, you made your dwelling in our homes
by taking on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.
He declared your name and shared your strength.
He journeyed all along the way,
pouring out blessings on all
and tirelessly doing the work of the kingdom.
For the sake of the One who died, rose again, and ascended on high,
we sing our praises to you:

Holy, holy, holy…

Holy are you, Lord God of hosts,
for you hear the prayers of your people.
You pour out your Holy Spirit on your church
and you send forth your care for all who are in need.
Through the gift of this meal,
you gather our spirits into your dwelling place,
and you seat us at your eternal table.
Your grace and your glory are eternal, O Lord,
and we joyfully receive your blessings.
We pray in Jesus’ name, who taught us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

POP: grace and compassion

We praise you, O Lord, with all our hearts!
As your people gathered in faith, we call upon you.
We celebrate what you have done for us,
and we love to tell the stories of your grace.

For the sake of your unending righteousness,
we call upon your grace and compassion for your people.
We pray for those who are hungry,
and we seek to use our gifts so they might be fed.
We pray for those who suffer oppression
from enemies within or beyond their homelands,
and we look for justice and peace for all people.
We pray for those who seek to draw closer to you,
that you would open the eyes of every heart
and reveal yourself to all who seek you.

We give you thanks, Holy One,
for you are always faithful to your people;
your promises are always sure.
We pray with the wisdom, and in the name,
of Jesus Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

communion: taste and see

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

 

We do praise you, O Lord, at all times,

and our souls boast in you.

From the beginning, you have reached down to the depths

and lifted your people into new relationship with you.

You shine your light on the world, and we are radiant with your joy.

When we cried out to you, drowning in our sins,

you heard us and came to us in Jesus Christ.

Through his life, death, and resurrection,

you have delivered your people from every trouble.

 

Therefore, we join with the faithful of every nation,

singing joyfully to the glory of your name:

 

Holy, holy, holy…

 

You are great and holy, O God, and blessed is our Lord Jesus.

By his grace, you have provided for all your people,

and we have all we need.

Pour out then your Holy Spirit upon these gifts of bread and cup

that we have taken from your bounty,

that as we eat and drink in Jesus’ name,

we might taste and see that the Lord is good indeed.

 

Let your eyes remain on your people, and listen to our prayer.

More than that, walk with us as we take refuge in you,

so we might carry your good news to the brokenhearted

and lift up those who are crushed in spirit.

Bind us to you and to all your people, now and forever,

in the name of Jesus, with whom we pray, saying together:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

CTW: God is a baker

One:    God is a baker, providing an abundance that surpasses our hopes,

All:     We come to give praise to the One who feeds and nourishes us with love.

One:    God mixes and kneads, bringing together many to create one.

All:     We come to be re-created, many grains into one loaf, broken for the world.

One:    God is a baker who provides for the hungry, and calls us to do the same.

All:     We come to be strengthened to feed and nourish others.

One:    God offers us the bread of life, mysterious in its brokenness that makes us whole.

All:     We come to worship the Baker who is the Bread of Life.

 

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

confession: confined

All:     You are a God whose very being is community, and you call us into relationship with you and one another. You long to take up residence in our lives, in our bodies, in our churches. We confess that we simultaneously want much less than that, and much more. When we confine you to an intellectual belief, forgive us. When we live as if our relationship with you affects only the afterlife, forgive us. When we insist that your love can be earned and lost, forgive us.

~silence~

One:    Come to us again, O God, in the ordinary stuff of life, and remind us to seek your face.
All:     We pray in the name of Jesus, bread of life and light of the world. Amen.

 

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

POP–we do not understand

You are—and we thank you.
You are holy, and powerful, and gracious, and forgiving.
You are love.
You are hope and peace.
You are the One who gives, and the One who calls.
And so we thank you, for your faithfulness, your persistence, your generosity.
Yet at the same time, gratitude may be simultaneously over and understatement…
for we do not understand.
We do not understand why some have more and some have less.
We do not understand why some have floods and others drought.
We do not understand why the earth shakes, or fires rage, or violence erupts.
We do not understand where you can possibly be when we are sick, or worried, or despairing.
And yet…you are.
You are here. You are there.
You are within and among and around.
You remind us that we cannot know everything,
that mystery is called so for a reason.
So we do what we can do—
we come. we listen. we speak our pain and our joy.
we offer ourselves to you,
broken and healed, hopeful and lost, wondering and frustrated.
We bring our hearts, our minds, our bodies,
and pray that you would make yourself known yet again.
May your image shine in each face we see,
and in our own.
May your kingdom be visible in our community.
May your love overflow through our love.
Make us people unafraid to speak truth, to confront injustice, to show compassion.
Draw us near to you, and make us ever more in your likeness,
that all the world may know your healing love.
We pray in the name of the most gracious, Jesus the Christ, who taught us how to pray:
Our Father…

 

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

confession: battle

Unison:  It is all too easy to forget that we are not in charge of this world.  We create nations, build buildings, fight wars, and change landscapes.  We are part of a culture that builds up people’s reputations and livelihoods only to tear them down. We use words as weapons in skirmishes that leave others wondering why they would want anything to do with us or You.  We seem to be in battle with every enemy but the ones that matter.  Empty us of our pride and fill us with your humility; replace our striving with your contentment, exchange our need to lead for a heart that follows only you.  We give ourselves to you this day, knowing that only you can make us whole through Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit.   Amen.
Affirmation: Christ came to conquer death, driving out fear with his perfect love. A Prince of Peace in a world of strife, Jesus offers that same peace to hearts struggling to live in grace.  Friends hear and believe the good news of the gospel.  In Jesus Christ you are forgiven.

Submitted by Laura Viau.

confession: wisdom

(based on Psalm 19, CEB)

One:      The Lord’s instruction is perfect,
reviving one’s very being.
All:      But we chafe at instruction and perfection,
            preferring to give you our instructions.
One:      The Lord’s laws are faithful, making naive people wise.
All:      But so often we think your way is naïve
      compared to our own human wisdom.
One:      The Lord’s regulations are right, gladdening the heart.
All:      It seems strange to think of regulation
      bringing gladness, so we go our own way.
One:      The Lord’s commands are pure, giving light to the eyes.

They are more desirable than gold—
than tons of pure gold!—
and they are sweeter than honey—
even dripping off the honeycomb!
All:      Forgive us, God, for wanting gold and honey
      more than we desire You.
      Forgive us, God, for preferring darkness to your light.
      Forgive us, God,
      for closing our ears and eyes to your word.
One:      No doubt about it: your servant is enlightened by them;
there is great reward in keeping them.
All:      Turn us again to your way,
      that we may hear and follow you. Amen.

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

Sunday’s Coming: working toward August 19

Yes, it’s barely Monday morning, but Sunday is still on its way…and as the end of summer nears, so too does the end of the seemingly interminable series of bread sayings. Do you ever wonder about people in, say, Singapore or Taiwan or someplace where bread is a luxury, not an everyday item, and how they read these passages? What are we really saying when we say that Jesus is the bread of life, or that if you eat this bread you’ll live forever abiding in Jesus? And given that we’ve been discussing this for several weeks now, with still one more week to go (sort of)…what else is there to say about it? What approach have you taken? And how will you enter into this idea in prayer, in song, in art, in movement, in ritual, in words?

Perhaps, like Solomon, you’ll be praying for wisdom (or using some wisdom to avoid yet another week of bread!). Or maybe you’ve read those verses the lectionary leaves out and will instead be pondering the mysteries of sibling rivalry and a mother’s power.  What words might you use to call people to prayer for wisdom, or to confess how we use our worldly wisdom?

Perhaps a ponder of Paul’s admonition to spend time in singing and praying as a path toward wisdom is in order?

Or maybe you’re wondering just what it means to end a song of praise with “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom“…how does one “practice” this fear and so gain understanding and right-relationship with God and the whole creation?

 

Lots to think about this week…what catches your attention? What word or phrase or image pops to mind? How might you help a community encounter the living Word this week in liturgy? Leave your ideas–whether fully formed or thoroughly vague–in the comments, so we can create together!