a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Advent Hymn: Lord, Our Shepherd…

tune: Genevan 42 (comfort, comfort ye my people)
text: Stephen Fearing

Lord, our Shepherd and our comfort, hear us now, your people cry.
Show yourself and shine upon us, save your sheep and loose your light.
Darkness cannot win the day; guide our feet and show the way.
Lord, your light and love is spoken; never more shall we be broken.

We, your vine, have always needed your provision and your care.
You, our God, brought us from Egypt; all was perfect, all was fair.
Why must we return to sin?  Why must always we give in?
Come, attend and plant within us light that always shines out from us.

We have long rebuked and wandered; you have brought our sins to light.
We have fought and we have tarnished; you have pushed us from your sight.
Give us chance to live and learn!  May no more your anger burn!
Make your face to shine upon us and no more shall darkness hide us.

Lord, our hope and our salvation, hear us now, we pray and plea.
Show yourself and shine upon us.  Open us and help us see.
Darkness will not win the day!  Light will come and always stay!
God will be our jubilation; evermore our restoration!

Submitted by Stephen Fearing. Follow him on twitter: @stephenmfearing

An Advent Hymn: Love, Come and Live In Us

Love, Come and Live in Us
(Tune: What Child is This)

O Love, come down and with us dwell,
We’re tired and hurt and broken.
We need your love to make us well,
Your word to us now spoken.
Love, come and live in us,
Heal us ‘til we are whole again.
You, Lord are love and life,
And we will follow you.

Come fill our souls and make them yours,
Give us the love we’ve found in you.
Fill our minds with your light divine,
And make our hearts beat strong and true.
Love, come and live in us,
Heal us ‘til we are whole again.
You, Lord are love and life,
And we will follow you.

As we wait through advent here
May we see things we can do.
Help us to serve you now
And come to make us new.
Love, come and live in us,
Heal us ‘til we are whole again.
You, Lord are love and life,
And we will follow you.

WORDS: Katherine Thomas Paisley 2013
MUSIC: 16th century English melody (Greensleeves)

 

Submitted by Rev. Katherine Paisley, Irving Park United Methodist Church, Chicago, IL

Maundy Thursday communion prayer: wondrous love

This communion prayer includes sung congregational responses using three verses of the hymn “What Wondrous Love Is This.”

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.

Eternal God,
it is right to give our thanks and praise,
for your love marks the expanse of creation,
your justice stretches out into the farthest land,
and your peace makes all things complete.

You are worthy of praise.

Yet we fall short.
We have stepped away from your love.
We have ignored your call for justice.
We have sowed conflict rather than peace.

Yet you know no boundaries.
Nothing we say or do can keep you away from us.
Even amidst all our brokenness, you kept calling us back,
with prophets and messengers and kings to guide us in your ways.

And in the fullness of time, you sent your own son, Jesus,
to intervene in our world,
to call us to know your love,
to show us that we are worthy to bring you praise.

And so we join our voices with the multitude of the ages,
singing joyfully of your wondrous love:

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul,
what wondrous love is this, O my soul.
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the heavy cross for my soul, for my soul,
to bear the heavy cross for my soul.

Your love in Jesus Christ is wondrous, almighty God.
In him you stepped into our world;
in him you taught us how to live in harmony with one another;
in him you healed and made whole;
in him you challenged us to journey a new road together.

In his death, you took on the fullness of our pain and suffering,
and in his resurrection, you showed us that death will never have the final word.

So just as he did with his disciples on the night of his arrest,
so we too gather,
sharing a meal,
receiving the bread of his body,
welcoming the cup of his salvation,
and trusting that we too will be made whole.

And so we sing our praise to you for the wonder of this gift:

To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing,
to God and to the Lamb, I will sing;
to God and to the Lamb who is the great I Am,
while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing,
while millions join the theme, I will sing!

And so gather us with those millions, loving Lord.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and cup,
that the bread we break and the cup we bless
may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ.

By your Spirit, make us one with Christ and one another,
united in faith, hope, and love with all those who share this feast
as we reach out and serve the world with your grace, mercy, and hope
until your kingdom comes
and we are free to sing with all creation forever and ever:

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on;
and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be,
and through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
and through eternity I’ll sing on.

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor are yours, almighty God,
now and forever. Amen.

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