a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Approach and Confession: complicit

Most loving and gracious God, we give you thanks for your unending faithfulness. We come into your presence with praise and with hope, for you are good, and you call us your own. You created us in your image, and you shepherd us through this life, calling us by name and leading us in your way. We confess that we, like sheep, have gone astray. We have wandered from your path, choosing to walk in shadow rather than light. We have built fences and believed they make us better neighbors, we have created requirements and believed they were yours, we have stood silent as the door was shut, we have called for peace without working for justice. Forgive us, Lord. Forgive our inadequate imaginations, for we cannot see the height and depth and breadth of your love. Forgive our closed eyes and hearts and minds, keeping the light at bay. Forgive our complicity in the systems of injustice that make the world go round. Open us to know your truth, and to live according to your word. Help us to experience the fullness of your grace, and then make us true reflections of that grace for others. Guide us once again into the abundant life that you desire for all creation. We ask in the name of the One whose love we see on the cross and in the empty tomb, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Marchmont St. Giles Parish Church, Edinburgh, Scotland

Easter communion: at this table, still you work

Invitation

Jesus said “I am the gate, and you will come in and go out and find pasture.”
At this table, Christ opens the door for all people, calling us by name and inviting us to be nourished.
At this table, it does not matter if we have denied, betrayed, forgotten, or turned away—Christ bids us come.
At this table, we do not need to understand, we only need to be open to love.
At this table, we do not need to be Presbyterian, to all think or believe the same things—all we need is to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, calling us to enter and be fed.
At this table, we are filled with the good gifts of God so that we can go out and feed others.
At this table, Christ is the host, and each one of us is a treasured guest.
So come, for you are invited to come in and go out and be fed.
Prayer

The Lord be with you,
and also with you!

Lift up your hearts!
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Let us pray together:
It is truly right and our greatest joy to give you thanks and praise,
O Lord our God, Creator of the universe,
for you worked in darkness to bring all life into being,
and to bring new life through Christ your Son.
Out of that darkness you bring marvelous light, again and again.
When we shield our eyes, unwilling to see what you are doing, still you work.
When we shut the doors, afraid to step into your new world, still you work.
When we deny and betray, with words and with actions, still you work.
And so we give you thanks, O God,
that your love does not depend on our faithfulness,
that your saving grace does not depend on our worthiness.
You are the breath of life and the light of the world,
giver of every good gift.
As we come to your table of grace, filled with your bounty,
we cannot forget the emptiness that plagues so many bellies,
the hunger of our neighbors near and far.
We cannot forget the rawness of your earth,
exploited for our gain and groaning under our weight.
We cannot forget the world at war—in Syria, in the Congo, in the streets of Chicago.
We cannot forget the world preparing for war, and we beg for peace in North Korea and Ukraine.
We cannot forget those who suffer at the hands of those who should love them.
We cannot forget those who feel trapped in the tomb, with no hope of life ahead.
We pray that you would come quickly, Lord, with good news for this troubled world.
Come quickly, Lord, with your spirit of justice and peace.
As you rose in darkness to bring about a new thing,
rise again in our darkness, bringing light that dispels the shadows of despair.
As we come to your table of grace,
we hear again your call to be made one,
and to show the world your love in our every action and every word.
Send your Spirit again to this place,
that just as many grains become one bread and many grapes become one cup,
we who are many may become one with you and with your people in every time and place.
May this feast nourish us for your kingdom,
and may your kingdom come here and now.
We pray these and all things in the name of Jesus the Christ,
who is victorious over death and who calls us by name,
and who taught us to pray together, Our Father…

 

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

CTW: come in and go out

One:    God invites us to come in and go out and find pasture:

All:     to come into the kingdom, into abundant life, into the light;

to go out to serve, out to live our faith, out to be the Body of Christ.

One:    Christ calls us to hear his voice

All:     and so we come to listen and seek and follow.

One:    We stand at the threshold of God’s future,

All:     the Spirit stands at the door and knocks.

One:    Come, let us worship.

 

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

Litany of Penitence: at the threshold of life

One:    God, you are Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer.

All:     You formed us from the earth
and breathed life into our bodies.
You walk among us
and offer us your life.
You call us together
and breathe your Spirit through us.

One:    You have made us in your image.

All:     Now remind us that still, we are not God.
For we confess that we have forgotten.

One:    We have forgotten that it is your kingdom, not ours.
We have forgotten to listen for your voice, so often drowned out by our own.
We have forgotten that you call all creation to life and relationship, not rules and regulations.

Kyrie

One:    We pray “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done”
and yet we confess, O Lord, that we are very attached to our own wills.

All:     We ask your forgiveness for the times we think we have all the answers.
We confess that we have slammed the door, keeping others out,
we have stood in the doorway monitoring who comes and goes,
and sometimes we have barged right through others’ doors,
caring little for the consequences.
Forgive us, O God, and turn us again to your way.
Fill us with your steadfast love, and lead us into life.

~silence~

Kyrie

One:    You call, O Lord,
sometimes in a storm and sometimes in a silence,
through your word written and proclaimed,
through the voice of stranger and enemy and friend.

All:     I confess that I have not always been an eager student of your word,
I have talked more than I have listened in prayer,
and that I might not recognize your voice in a crowd.
I admit that I have followed other voices,
and that my own voice has often been louder than yours.
I have stood by the door, but not walked through.
I have stood by the door, and kept others from walking through.
I have stood by the door, calling people to walk my way rather than yours.
Forgive me, O God, and turn me again to your way.
Fill me with your steadfast love, and lead me into life.

~silence~

Kyrie

One:    You, Lord, are Healer, making wholeness where once there was brokenness.
You offer a way of life that carries hope for all the world.

All:     Yet we turn our eyes from a dying creation, ignoring your call to care.
We admit that we choose what is easy,
at the expense of the people and the planet you have created.
We confess that we want the green pastures and still waters for ourselves,
and we have set up systems in which some waste away while we simply waste.
When our doors are unmarked, so only those in the know may enter,
when our hearts are firmly locked against anything new,
when our habits are closed and therefore shut others out,
forgive us, O God, and turn us again to your way.
Fill us with your steadfast love, and lead us into life.

~silence~

Kyrie

One:    We stand at the threshold
of community
of grief
of hope
of repentance
of possibility
of fear
of forgiveness
of life.

~silence~

Every day is filled with opportunities both missed and taken—
to speak up, to speak out, to keep silent, to listen…
to hope, to despair, to heal, to hurt, to help…
to come in and to go out and to find pasture.

~silence~

The Kingdom of God (Taize)

The Turning

One:    Trusting in the gracious mercy of God,
do you turn from the ways of sin and toward God,
who is faithful and just, loving and compassionate?

All:     I turn my mind, my heart, and my life toward God.

One:    Will you seek God with your whole heart,
and follow where God’s Spirit leads?

All:     I will, with God’s help.

One:    Will you be Christ’s faithful disciple,
obeying his Word and showing his love?

All:     I will, with God’s help.

~silence~

The Kingdom of God (Taize)

One:    Your steadfast love endures forever, O God.

All:     From dust we came,
to dust we will return;
but your steadfast love endures forever.   

One:    We gather in penitence,
we gather in confidence;
we stand at the threshold of life.

All:     Restore us, O God,
open the gate and turn us to follow your path again,
to proclaim your love that endures forever.

 

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