a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Benediction: God’s future

We are God’s beloved,

and we go out into God’s future

to love, to serve, and to be made new.

As we go, may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,

the love of God,

and the unity of the Holy Spirit

keep us now and forever.

Alleluia! Amen.

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

communion: feasting on the word

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 both thanks and praise!

all sing verse 1:
Come, thou Fount of every blessing; tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;
praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of God’s unchanging love!

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe,
for your grace overflows in your world,
creating and redeeming and sustaining all things.
Your streams of mercy flow from your glory
bringing living water into every place,
nourishing creation, making it bear fruit that will last,
filling our cup until it runs over, spilling out abundant life.
We give you thanks for your generous providing,
and for your call to be your people.
We have wandered in the desert, we have turned our backs,
we have followed the path, we have walked on ahead,
and still your Spirit calls us, tugging us back to your way,
shining your light and singing your grace
so we might follow in faith.

all sing verse 2:
Here I raise my Ebenezer; hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.

It is with gratitude, praise, and hearts lifted high that we come to your table,
calling to mind your Son who walked among us,
who ate with sinners and tax collectors and women
the same as he ate with Pharisees and disciples and neighbors.
As he reached out to touch the sick, may we reach out with healing hands.
As he went to the bad neighborhoods and visited the homes of the poor,
may we go out to where your people long for good news.
As he spread health and holiness with every step, every word, every breath,
may we live as if grace is contagious,
sharing your love with people near and far,
those we meet and those we would rather avoid.

As we meet at the feast of your family, O God,
we carry with us those who hunger and thirst,
who cannot imagine the abundance of this table,
who feel excluded or forgotten,
who live with fear and violence,
who wait for justice, who long for peace,
who suffer in body, mind, or spirit.
While we celebrate this day, some in your family see no cause for celebration.
While we have feasted on your word,
some still see reading as an impossible luxury.
While we have learned and spoken and prayed together,
some have been silenced and held aside.
When we break bread together, break our hearts too,
and then by your Spirit bind us together with all your people
to seek your purpose and work your will.
Give us a glimpse of your kingdom, where the whole human family eats together,
and strengthen us with the courage to build your kingdom here on earth.

all sing verse 3:
O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let that grace now, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart; O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.

We offer our hearts and lives to you, O God,
praying that you would use grain and grape
to write your covenant of love within us.
until grace overflows.
We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, host at this and every table, who taught us to pray together… the Lord’s Prayer

 

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

dedication: carrying grace

Gracious God,
we thank you for the gifts before us
and ask that you bless them that we might use them to be a blessing to others.
As we finish this journey of Advent,
care for us as you did your servant Mary,
that we might serve you as she did,
carrying God’s grace into the world.  Amen.

 

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

CTW: Christ is Alive!

Christ is alive!

We will rejoice and give thanks!

God’s grace is always at work!

We will let love overflow!

The Spirit is speaking yet again!

We will join our voices in proclaiming the good news!

 

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

CTW: etches grace

L:  We have gathered in God’s holy presence,
the One who etches grace on our hearts.
P:  This is the place where God
will transform us into disciples.
L:  We glorify our God, who yearns for justice,
not just for a favored few, but for the least of our world.
P:  This is the place where God
will write compassion on our souls.
L:  We give thanks to God for unceasing grace;
we remember God’s persistence in saving us.
P:  This is the place where God
P:  will breathe the Word into our lives.

 

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies.

declaration of grace: people on the way

Thanks to Teri’s CTW (people on the way) for the thematic inspiration 🙂

Listen to the good news!

We are people on the way…
We are people whom God refuses to abandon
when we choose the destructive way in our moments of weakness.
We are people on the way to lives of faith, hope, and love…
Lives of justice, mercy, and humbleness.
We are people on the way…

So let’s sing and give thanks to God!