a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

affirmation: Lord, you have done so many things

Lord, you have done so many things;
the earth is full of your creations!
You make them all so wisely.
Look at the deep, wide sea;
the home of countless creatures large and small.
All of God’s creations look to God for sustenance.
Some trust more than others.
God has breathed life into the world –
it is through the Spirit that we live.
Let the Lord’s glory last forever!
Let the Lord rejoice in all He has made!
We will sing to the Lord as long as we live;
we will let our praise be pleasing to God.
We rejoice in the Lord!
Submitter’s note: We are still doing prayers of affirmation rather than confession on Pentecost. This one is LOOSELY based on Psalm 104:24-34 (minus the Leviathan).
Submitted by Rev. Kathryn Johnston, Mechanicsburg Presbyterian Church, Mechanicsburg PA.

communion invitation for the Easter season

VOICE ONE:

Easter matters.

It matters that the same one who healed with his touch, who taught in the temple, who prayed in the Garden – was hung on the cross.

It matters that the same one who was beaten by the guards, betrayed by his disciples and crucified on the cross – descended into hell.

It matters that the same one who was buried by our failures and sins and brokenness is not dead, but lives!

Easter matters.

VOICE TWO:

This table matters.

It matters that Jesus is here, waiting for us – just as he was only a little over a week ago – before we failed him, before he saved us.

This table matters.

VOICE ONE:

You matter.

The invitation is clear – Jesus died for us. Jesus lives for us.

We are invited to celebrate this holy feast that reminds us that despite theological differences, despite known and unknown sin, despite unworthiness – Jesus clears a place for us and says, “Come!”

You matter.

VOICE TWO:

Wherever you are, wherever you have been, come and celebrate this feast which Jesus has prepared for all of us – uniting us in our salvation through Him.

Easter matters.

VOICE TWO:
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…. 
Continue with prayer…

Submitted by Rev. Kathryn Johnston, Mechanicsburg Presbyterian Church, Mechanicsburg PA.

Maundy Thursday Litany

One: I love the LORD because he hears my requests for mercy.                        (Psalm 116:1-2, 12-18)
I’ll call out to him as long as I live, because he listens closely to me.
All:   What can I give back to the LORD for all the good things he has done for me?
I’ll lift up the cup of salvation. I’ll call on the LORD ’s name.
I’ll keep the promises I made to the LORD in the presence of all God’s people.
The death of the LORD ’s faithful is a costly loss in his eyes.

One: Oh yes, LORD, I am definitely your servant!
I am your servant and the son of your female servant— you’ve freed me from my chains.
All:   So I’ll offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to you, and I’ll call on the LORD ’s name.
I’ll keep the promises I made to the LORD in the presence of all God’s people,
in the courtyards of the LORD ’s house, which is in the center of Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD!

You are the Lord, giver of mercy! You are the Christ, giver of mercy!
You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

Time of Silent Meditation: What are the good things the Lord has done for you?

One: O God, your steadfast love endures forever.
All:   We choose whom You can love.
We limit Your love.
We act as if we are undeserving of Your love.
We don’t share Your love.
We forget that we are created in Your image.
We forget that You are love.
We choose judgment rather than love.
We limit the reach of Your love.
We ignore Your call to love.

You are the Lord, giver of mercy! You are the Christ, giver of mercy!
You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

Time of Silent Meditation: Where is the world aching to receive your love?

(John 13:31b-35)
One: Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify the Son of Man in himself and will glorify him immediately. Little children, I’m with you for a little while longer. You will look for me—but, just as I told the religious leaders, I also tell you now—‘Where I’m going, you can’t come.’

All:  “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other. ”

You are the Lord, giver of mercy! You are the Christ, giver of mercy!
You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

Time of Silent Meditation: Where is God calling you to be a disciple?

One: Trusting in the gracious mercy of God, do you turn from the ways of sin and renounce evil and its power in the world?
All:   I do.
One: Who is your Lord and Savior?
All:   Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.

You are the Lord, giver of mercy! You are the Christ, giver of mercy!
You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

 Submitted by Rev. Kathryn Johnston, Mechanicsburg Presbyterian Church, Mechanicsburg PA.

confession and assurance: darkness and light

*Prayer of Confession

   We hear that we are loved, but we struggle to receive it. We err on the side of fear and judgment rather than faith and love. We choose darkness instead of light. We hear there is eternal life, but refuse to believe it.

   Forgive us when we choose darkness over light. Have mercy on us when we choose judgment over love. Remind us that you hear our cry in the wilderness and we will not perish
(time of silent confession)

 

*Assurance of Pardon   
The Light has come into the world and the darkness shall not overcome it!
God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
Rejoice! Beloved children of God, we are forgiven!
Alleluia! Amen!

Submitted by Rev. Kathryn Z. Johnston – Mechanicburg Presbyterian Church – Mechanicsburg, PA

ash wednesday litany

LITANY OF CONFESSION           

One:             We don’t want to be renewed.
We like things the way they are.
We don’t let our imaginations run free.
We don’t seek who God wants us to be.
We’re stuck on one way of being – going in one direction.
The problem is not who we are (we are beloved children of God!) but how we are.
All:            Help us to turn.
         Reshape us.
         Reform us.

Kyrie # 572: Lord, have mercy upon us; Christ have mercy upon us;

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Time of Silent Meditation: Where are you stubborn with God?

One:             O God, your steadfast love endures forever.
All:            We choose whom You can love.
We limit Your love.
We act as if we are undeserving of Your love.
We don’t share Your love.
We forget that we are created in Your image.
We forget that You are love.
We choose judgment rather than love.
We limit the reach of Your love.
We ignore Your call to love.

Lord, have mercy upon us; Christ have mercy upon us;

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Time of Silent Meditation: Where do you withhold love?

One: Have mercy on us, O God.
All:            I am comfortable the way things are.
         I prefer the illusion of control.
            I turn my eyes away from people in need.
            I turn my heart away from people with whom I disagree.
            I turn my mind away from realities of the world.

Lord, have mercy upon us; Christ have mercy upon us;

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Time of Silent Meditation: How do you withhold love?

One: Help us. Guide us. Open us.
All:            You love us unconditionally… forgive our conditions.
         We turn from Your world in need.
         We turn our eyes from a dying creation.
         We turn inward to save our institutions instead of heeding Your call to go out.
         Turn us God.
         Turn us from our selfish ways.
Turn us to Your way.
Turn our eyes to You.
Turn our hearts.

Lord, have mercy upon us; Christ have mercy upon us;

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Time of Silent Meditation: Who is God calling you to be?

 

One: Trusting in the gracious mercy of God, do you turn from the ways of sin and renounce evil and its power in the world?
All:             I do.
One: Who is your Lord and Savior?
All:             Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.

Lord, have mercy upon us; Christ have mercy upon us;

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Submitted by Rev. Kathryn Johnston, Mechanicsburg Presbyterian Church, Mechanicsburg PA. Adapted from the Ash Wednesday brainstorming post here on LL.