a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

CTW: God Refines the Soul

We gather together, full of bountiful hope and terrible fears.

A crucible is for silver, and a furnace is for gold, but the Lord refines our hearts.

Sin coats us like rust, eating away at our connections to each other, but God anoints us with oil to keep us safe.

A crucible is for silver, and a furnace is for gold, but the Lord refines our hearts.

In the fire of the Holy Spirit, we are forged anew – again and again – into the image of God.

A crucible is for silver, and a furnace is for gold, but the Lord refines our hearts.

Let us worship God, who refines our hearts and strengthens our souls for everlasting life.

Amen!

 

(Based on Proverbs 17:3)

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

CTW: Arise and Shine

Arise and awaken, children of God!

For our light has come, and the glory of the Holy One shines out!

Lift up your eyes! Look around you!

The people gather together – the people of all nations come together to worship God

You shall see and shall shine with God’s light

Let us rejoice and praise God, whose love shines forth into the world. Amen. 

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

Confession + Pardon: Darkness + Light

Holy and Beloved God, it is hard to hope when all seems lost. The darkness has a way of fuzzing our vision, of taking our eyes off of your holy light. It’s hardest to see your light when our eyes are shut – shut to you, shut to each other, and shut to the suffering that is just barely disguised by thin smiles and haunted eyes. Yet, your light shines. Your hope abides with us, awakening us to your love, and calling us to share your light with each other. Help us prepare a way for you in our hearts, that your love might open our hearts to see you fully in the world. Amen.

 

silence or musical response: Prepare the Way (Glory to God #95)

 

Awake, people of God! Open your eyes, open your ears, and open your hearts! The Holy One arose, yes, arose even from the depths of death, and calls you to do the same, with messages of hope, peace, joy and love. Know that God’s love and grace are greater than sin! Know that you are forgiven!

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

Confession: Act in Love

Holy and Beloved God, we know that your heart is saddened when your children suffer, when your children are displaced, when your children are persecuted. You hear cries for justice from some of your children – and prayers that you keep things exactly as they are from others. Help us to see and speak to each other, instead of ignoring the pleas from our brothers and sisters. Guard us against the fear that fills our world, leading us instead to act in love, and speak out with your prophetic voice against injustice, violence, and inaction. Form and reform us, beloved God, according to your vision of righteousness.

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

 

CTW: Church Reformed

We gather today to worship God, and remember our motto:

The Church Reformed and always being reformed

For God has fashioned us to share in God’s Spirit of Creativity

The Church Reformed and always being reformed

For Christ leads us to preach and teach and reach out to the edges of society

The Church Reformed and always being reformed

For the Holy Spirit fills us with the breath of life, and love, which must be shared

The Church Reformed and always being reformed according to the Word of God!

Let us worship God! Amen.

 

~Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

Confession: Bonds and Judgments

Holy and beloved God, though you ask us to love each other, and be bound as your family by that love, we instead like to work to separate those bonds. Whether leaping to conclusions and snap judgments, or out of fear of those who seem different on the surface, we are not comfortable in welcoming the stranger and seeking justice for the oppressed. Change our perception, helping us to know your presence in everyone we encounter. Change our minds, that instead of imposing our way on the world, we first seek your goodness. And change our hearts, filling them to overflowing with your love.

 
Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church, in Bixby, Okla.

CTW: Seek Shalom Together

God calls us to gather together to seek the Shalom of our city
We seek God’s Shalom together
Where there is separation, may God forge new connections through us
We seek God’s wholeness together
Where there is violence, may God bring reconciliation through us
We seek God’s peace together
May the wholeness and peace of God be felt in this community
We seek God’s Shalom together. Let us worship God!

 

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, OK

Confession – Turning Our Backs

Holy and Beloved God, Sovereign of the Universe, we pray for forgiveness. It is so easy to lose your way—even with the light of the sun and the moon to guide us, we often prefer to turn our backs and head out on our own path. Then, when we have adjusted to the darkness, turning back to your light seems to hurt our eyes, and we squeeze them shut to block out our pain and the pain around us. Help us to open our eyes again. To trust that the pain of seeing the world as you see it is reduced when we do your work. Hear the pains and burdens we bear—and take them from our hearts, that we may instead be filled with your heavenly joy and love.

 

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, OK

 

(for a service remembering Buzz Aldrin taking communion on the moon)

Confession/Pardon – Debts

Holy and Beloved God, we pray to you often, asking you to “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” – and then, in the next breath, we turn away from you and shake down our friends and families. Bring justice through the world, holy God, even though we may turn aside. Help us learn from our wounds – and the wounds we have inflicted on others – to turn away from violence both physical and fiscal. Make clear to us your vision, so that we can work together for the benefit of all. Amen.

Friends, hear the good news! God has already forgiven our debts, and repaid our sin.
God’s Spirit fills us with love and peace, and leads us to heal instead of hurt.
Therefore, let us forgive one another as God has forgiven us!
Amen!

 

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, OK

Confession: Choose Life

On our journey with God, we often make mistakes, and hurt each other. By acknowledging these mistakes, and asking for forgiveness, we work to heal that pain, and reconcile with each other and with God. Let us join together in prayer:

Holy and Beloved God, you have blessed us with life itself – and yet, we choose to walk away from you again and again. We get engrossed in the small details and the broad strokes, and lose track of you as the artist. We say we want to be your disciple, but we chase after dreams that you tell us to ignore, and ignore your call to act in love in the world. Help us to turn our hearts back to you. Help us give our whole attention and whole self to you, as Jesus told us to do. Help us to choose life in you over all else. Hear the words of our hearts as we lift up silent prayers.

No matter how often we forget God’s presence, or choose to follow our own paths and dreams, God calls out to us to return to the path, that God has already forgiven us, and that Jesus is waiting for us with open arms.

May we love God and each other as much as God loves us! Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bixby, OK

(Based on Deut. 30, and Luke 14, for Proper 19 (Sept 4, 2016))