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

Invitation: let them come

Just after the scripture reading we focused on today,
Jesus offers an invitation we all need to hear:
“Let the little children come to me…”
Let the humble, the meek, the ignored come.
Let the noisy, the misbehaving, the boisterous come.
Let the ones who ask the hard questions come.
Let the ones who trust in ways we cannot understand come.
Let all come to the table,
“…and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.”
It is to us, my friends, that the kingdom of God belongs.
All are welcome at this table.

 

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

call to confession/assurance of pardon: calling out to God

Call to Confession

Like the rich Pharisee, we believe that if we do all the right things before God, we will have earned God’s favor. Yet God does not want our pretenses and posturing. God says to us, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” So let us drop the barriers between us and God and our neighbor and call out like the tax collector, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” confessing to God together in prayer the things that keep us hurting and broken…

(Suggest using a part of one of the Reformed confessions of our heritage in honor of Reformation Sunday.)

Assurance of Forgiveness

We have called out to God and God has heard our cries. God’s merciful Spirit is poured out on all people. Our Creator has offered us forgiveness of our sins through Jesus Christ, for we have humbled ourselves before him and sought his mercy, and so we shall be exalted. For these abundant gifts of God’s undeserved grace, let us stand and sing praise.

submitted by Rev. Rebecca Page Lesley, Suffolk Presbyterian Church, Suffolk, VA

 

confession: justifying ourselves

Merciful God,
all that we have and all that we are come from you,
yet we prefer to focus on what we have done to justify ourselves.
We count all that we have done to earn your love
rather than confess our need for your grace and mercy.
We point out the shortcomings of others
rather than examine our own waywardness.
Forgive us, Lord.
Open our eyes to our need for your indiscriminate and unconditional love.
Free us from our need to justify ourselves in your sight,
and guide us as we welcome the fullness of your life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Submitted by Rev. Andy James, First Presbyterian Church, Whitestone, New York