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Supporting Life in Liturgy

This site is a labor of love from your friends in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia, where the editor resides as Deputy Regional Minister and Vice President.  You can help sustain the work, whether you are a part of our communion or not.  We encourage you to consider sustaining Christ’s work here through a gift to our annual Christmas Offering for Regional Ministry.  The West Virginia Region will be grateful to receive and will carefully steward your gifts to strengthen all of our life together.  We give thanks for you in this season of newborn faith and deeper hope!

You can give online at our secure site. We are grateful for your support!

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Advent 3C

 

Dec. 13

 

ADVENT

Advent Candle Lighting Rituals offers some scripted options for your use. A simpler alternative, as published by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Pennsylvania, may be found this file in PDF format (or this file in Word).

 

Advent Hymn is offered by the editor for your use.

 

Call to Prayer  ©2007 David T. Chafin (tune: Hyfrydol)

Come, O God, commune here with us, as we lift to you our cares.

You, our hope and our deliv’rance, promise to receive our prayers.

God of love and understanding, you alone know heart and soul.

Listen to our intercessions, recreate us, make us whole.

 

Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

 

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:

Zephaniah 3:14-20 Roman Catholic reading: Zephaniah 3:14-18

Isaiah 12:2-6 Episcopal reading (RCL): Canticle 9

Philippians 4:4-7

Luke 3:7-18 Roman Catholic reading: Luke 3:10-18

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates). Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available. Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

284 – Gather Us In

140 – Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

138 – Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn

410 – Now We Come Before God’s Presence

142  – People, Look East

 

More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.

 

 

Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:

Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week: Philippians 4:4-7 – for which we offer no advice from the hymnal.

 

Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Zephaniah 3:14-20

 

Within our midst, our God is near,

here in these teeming hearts.

Rejoice, exult: excitement reigns:

God clears the judgment scene.

 

As on a day of festival,

when all are jubilant,

we lift our song in merriment,

our praises on a shout.

 

Such clarity of promise peals

as bells ring out the news

of how our Savior chooses life,

parades in coming home.

 

So suddenly reversal thrives,

rides in the coming near

that in our bleary joyful throes

we celebrate our God.

 

CM                     Suggested tune: Westminster

 

Note: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor. If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention. No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.

 

Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer  

L: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John…”  He came to bring witness to the light, and we are called to do the same.

P:  Christ is coming!  We gain confidence from that assurance.

L: Now our hope grows even stronger, as three lights burn where there was darkness.

P:  God, who comes to dwell among us, will quicken our imagination, and we will find new and creative ways to proclaim the wonderful news: Christ is coming; Christ is here!

 

Prayer of Approach

L: The Lord be with you.

P: And also with you.

L: Let us pray. All of heaven and earth sing to you, O Lord our God, for this earth which you lovingly made has been given a King and Savior in your Son Jesus Christ.  As we prepare to fully welcome him, help us to be aware of the meaning of his coming—bringing hope among our empty lives, peace among those whose relationships are broken, and joy—great joy—where gloom and sorrow had once reigned.  We open ourselves to receive your great gifts, praying as he taught us saying…

 

Intercessions (from Common Worship)

R=Lord, have mercy or Lord, hear our prayer.

Watchful at all times, let us pray for strength to stand with confidence before our Maker and Redeemer.

That God may bring in his kingdom with justice and mercy, let us pray to the Lord: R

That God may establish among the nations his sceptre of righteousness, let us pray to the Lord: R

That we may seek Christ in the scriptures and recognize him in the breaking of the bread, let us pray to the Lord: R

That God may bind up the brokenhearted, restore the sick and raise up all who have fallen, let us pray to the Lord: R

That the light of God’s coming may dawn on all who live in darkness and the shadow of death, let us pray to the Lord: R

That, with all the saints in light, we may shine forth as lights for the world, let us pray to the Lord: R

Let us commend the world, which Christ will judge, to the mercy and protection of God.

Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept.  The Collect and Lord’s Prayer follow.

 

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

O Lord Jesus Christ,

who at your first coming sent your messenger

to prepare your way before you:

grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries

may likewise so prepare and make ready your way

by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,

that at your second coming to judge the world

we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;

for you are alive and reign with the Father

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

We give you thanks, O Lord, for these heavenly gifts;

kindle in us the fire of your Spirit

that when your Christ comes again

we may shine as lights before his face;

who is alive and reigns now and for ever.

 

Additional Collect

 

God for whom we watch and wait,

you sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of your Son:

give us courage to speak the truth,

to hunger for justice,

and to suffer for the cause of right,

with Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come

among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins,

let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver

us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and

the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

 

Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Luke 3:7-18

 

Straightforward words of counsel ring, O God,

and in our hearing singe the soul,

the words of honor and compassion,

words of mercy and integrity.

Beyond these rings the promise heard

of more to come, the intimate with God.

Address our waiting patience, Lord,

with your igniting baptism of Spirit and fire.

 

Service of Table

Preparation (Invitation)

The first letter of John says: “If anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” Let us open our hearts and our hands to give as God has so richly provided for us, that others might know the love of God through us.

 

Offertory Prayer (Church of Ireland)

Wise and gracious God, you spread a table before us; nourish your people with the word of life, and the bread of heaven.

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving

(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)

Lord of all life and love, in your Son Jesus Christ you have come to us bringing joy. As we break the bread of life and drink from the cup of salvation, may we who receive Christ in them know the fullness of joy – joy that is overflowing into our neighborhoods, and into your world. Send forth your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts that all may come to rejoice in you, O God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.

[if not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”]

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service. Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.

Rev. Tim Graves offers Liturgy Bits with valuable, culturally sensitive and creatively contemplative works, well worth your time.

You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.

Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.

Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw (Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful. Read more here.

 

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2015. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2015 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2015; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992. The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE: We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday. We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary. Send your comments or content here.

 

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Proper 10B – 7th Sunday after Pentecost

 

July 12

 

Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:

2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19 or Amos 7:7-15 Roman Catholic reading: Amos 7:12-15 United Methodist reading: 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19

Psalm 24 or Psalm 85:8-13 Roman Catholic reading: Psalm 85:9-14 United Methodist reading: Psalm 24

Ephesians 1:3-14 Roman Catholic reading: Ephesians 1:3-14 or Ephesians 1:3-10

Mark 6:14-29 Roman Catholic reading: Mark 6:7-13

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates). Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available. Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

66-Immortal, invisible God only wise

531-Thank you, Lord

534-When our confidence is shaken

544-No, not one

384-Here at thy Table, Lord

More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.

 

Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:

Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://www.modernpsalter.com/ or

http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week: Psalm 24 is on page 735

Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Mark 6:14-29

Amid all the tumult of victory’s pyre

when everything matters and mystery looms,

there is in confusion the newness of life.

Those winnowing Spirits bring earnest to bear.

Attendant on mercy’s full might and delight,

the following care finds a fallow desire.

For into the worry of kings and their courts

the freshness of Jesus brings God’s gracious care.

Intending control all is loosed to the air,

a flagrance of witness, a leaven to dare.

For out of the throes of enormity’s glare

comes the passion of Jesus beyond despair.

11.11.11.11.   Suggested tune: St. Denio

Note: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor. If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention. No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.

Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer  

L: The Spirit of God gave the universe birth.

P: The Spirit of God delivered the world.

L: Our God is the first; our God is the last.

P: No other god declares the word of creation.

L: Yet this same God invites us, saying, “Do not be afraid!”

P: Worship the One who banishes fear, who comforts the trembling and quickens the faint! Worship the One whose creation is renewed and whose creatures are never forsaken!

Prayer of Approach

L: The Lord be with you.

P: And also with you.

L: Let us pray. As we worship this morning, O God, we pray that your spirit will be our strength, your word will be our guide, your love will be our comfort, and your promises will be our hope. We gather now to praise you, O God, in the name of Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Intercessions

Center us now, O God, on your presence in this place among your people, as we lift up our hearts desires, our soul’s deep needs, our hungers, fears and failures.

As we have often failed to be obedient to your will in our lives as individual disciples and as church, we pray that you will forgive us and enliven us to be and to do the gospel of Christ. Open us to your Spirit’s urgings, and awaken us to live faithfully as your people in a changing, often hurting world.

We pray for those around us who need your care, and ask that you would make of us your instruments of healing, peace and redemption. We pray especially for those we have named to you this day, and others we lift to you in the silence of our hearts.

Reveal your presence with them and with us, God of life, that as people of renewed faith and vitality, we may be empowered to serve your world, and so give glory to you; for we offer our prayers and our lives in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

Merciful God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as pass our understanding: pour into our hearts such love toward you that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion

God of our pilgrimage, you have led us to the living water: refresh and sustain us as we go forward on our journey, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Alternative Collect

Creator God, you made us all in your image: may we discern you in all that we see, and serve you in all that we do; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who

call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand

what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and

power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ

our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Mark 6:14-29

Appearing in our midst, our Lord,

you startle with compassion

in the earnest of authority,

that gleaned of grace imbued.

Become among us that which rises

and crests above the atrocities

we learn to dwell upon

before thy buoyancy inspires.

 

Service of Table

Preparation (Invitation)

Each of us it to look not only to personal interests but also to the interests of others. We come together as the church of Jesus Christ to do this. We are devoted to a mission whose benefits are not for us alone. This is our opportunity to share in important work in this community and around the world.

Offertory Prayer

With hearts of praise, O Lord, we dedicate to you these gifts as tokens of our lives and work. Use them, as you use us, to the fulfilling of your purposes for creation, that we might give glory to you not only in the hearing, but in the doing of your word.

Prayer of Thanksgiving adapted from the Church of Ireland

(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)

Merciful God, we thank you for these gifts of your creation, this bread and this wine.  We pray that we who eat and drink them in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit in obedience to our Saviour Christ in remembrance of his death and passion may be partakers of his body and his blood, and share with him in eternal glory.  Renew us by your Holy Spirit, unite us in the body of your Son, and bring us with all your people into the joy of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Conclusion: Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.

[if not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”]

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service. Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.

You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.

Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.

Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw (Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful.  Read more here.

 

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2014. Compiled by Simon Kershaw October 2014 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2014; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992. The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE: We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday. We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary. Send your comments or content here.

 

Read Full Post »

Proper 9B – 6th Sunday after Pentecost

 

July 5

 

Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:

2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10 or Ezekiel 2:1-5 Roman Catholic reading: Ezekiel 2:2-5 United Methodist reading: 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10

Psalm 48 or Psalm 123 Roman Catholic reading: Psalm 123:1-4 United Methodist reading: Psalm 48

2 Corinthians 12:2-10 Roman Catholic reading: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Mark 6:1-13 Roman Catholic reading: Mark 6:1-6

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates). Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available. Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

618 – How firm a foundation

602 – O Master, let me walk with thee

545 – He leadeth me

406 – Beneath the forms of outward rite

More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.

 

Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:

Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://www.modernpsalter.com/ or

http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week: Sorry – not this week. See Words of Greeting, below.

Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On 2 Corinthians 12:2-10

In all the yearning for our God,

the weakness of desire

becomes the strength of God’s delight

in holding peace for all.

Exalted past all knowing now,

the riding on joy’s crest,

those lean lamentable designs

are found at holy ground.

Sufficient is God’s grace in throes

that seem disaster’s ilk;

for in the moment near despair

is found God’s buoyancy.

CM             Suggested tune: Stracathro

Note: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor. If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention. No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.

Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer from Psalm 48

L: Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God.

P: God’s holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth.

L: We ponder your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple.

P: Your name, O God, like your praise, reaches to the ends of the earth.

L: Walk about Zion, go all around it, count its towers, that you may tell the next generation that this is God, our God forever and ever.

P: God will be our guide forever.

Prayer of Approach

L: The Lord be with you.

P: And also with you.

L: Let us pray. O God, source of all beauty and goodness, your grace comes fresh every morning. In each new day you give us light. We praise your for your never‑failing love that satisfies our needs and shows us the way to follow. We rejoice in your constant care, for you are faithful in love for all people, offering the world salvation through Jesus Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Intercessions

Gracious and loving God, we come to you with hearts that need to be opened to your word and your love. There is so much around us that tears at us and causes us to tremble. Keep us ever mindful of your presence and the hope that you have given us in your Son Jesus Christ.

Guide us, we pray, as your church, struggling to spread the good news. Keep us focused on the mission and ministry to which you have called us and lead us forward. We know, Lord, that there will often be bumps and holes in the road along the way. Save us from dwelling on them and make us secure in the goals you have placed before us.

Hear our prayers for all who need your tender touch of healing in their lives—those we name before you each day, and those who are known only to you in the depths of our hearts. Be with those who mourn. May we all remember the love and grace that your faithful people have brought to our world.

We pray for all your creation, always at odds with one another. Guide our leaders and those of other nations that this world might truly be as you created it to be—a world of peace, hope and love.

These are our prayers, together with those that lie on the hearts of all your faithful people, which we offer to you in the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ who said “not my will, but thine be done.”

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church    is governed and sanctified: hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people, that in their vocation and ministry they may serve you in holiness and truth to the glory of your name; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion

Grant, O Lord, we beseech you, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered    by your governance, that your Church may joyfully serve you in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Alternative Collect

Almighty God, send down upon your Church the riches of your Spirit, and kindle in all who minister the gospel your countless gifts of grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

O God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments

by loving you and our neighbor: Grant us the grace of your

Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole

heart, and united to one another with pure affection; through

Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the

Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Mark 6:1-13

Upon your mercies, Lord our God, we lean

and learn our sustenance in you.

You send us in the throes of mercy;

now lead us on the paths of prayer.

We labor as you lead us, Lord;

so let us bear your graciousness

about this life you give to us

in Jesus Christ.

Service of Table

Preparation (Invitation)

Giving is not a casual act—it relates God’s work to our work. Peter writes: “as each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace, that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” Let us give as people whose work is inextricably linked to God’s great works of creation, redemption and empowerment.

 

Offertory Prayer

Almighty God, giver of every good and perfect gift, teach us to give to you all that we have and all that we are, that we may praise you not with our words only, but with our whole lives.

Prayer of Thanksgiving (adapted from the Church of Ireland)

(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)

Lord of all creation, we praise you for your goodness and your love. When we turned away you did not reject us. You came to meet us in your Son, welcomed us as your children and prepared a table where we might feast with you.

Holy Spirit, giver of life, come upon us now; may this bread and wine be to us the body and blood of our Savior Jesus Christ.  As we eat and drink these holy gifts make us, who know our need of grace, one in Christ, our risen Lord.

Conclusion: Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.

[if not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”]

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service. Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.

You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.

Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.

Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw (Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful.  Read more here.

 

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2014. Compiled by Simon Kershaw October 2014 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2014; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992. The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE: We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday. We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary. Send your comments or content here.

 

Read Full Post »

Proper 7B – 4th Sunday after Pentecost

 

Father’s Day – June 21

 

For a good Father’s Day resource …

“Peace, Be Still!”, the resource booklet for clergy that Christian Associates of Southwest PA produced in cooperation with the FISA Foundation as part of the “Southwest PA Says NO MORE” initiative, is now available electronically at www.casp.org/fathersday.pdf. The booklet includes liturgies, sermon starters, practical tips, and related resources to help congregations offer a “Father’s Day Pledge” event in their congregations on Father’s Day, June 21. The pledge asks men and women to commit to refraining from violence in their own relationships and speaking out when others use violence.

 

Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:

1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49 or I Samuel 17:57 – 18:5, 10-16 or Job 38:1-11 Roman Catholic reading: Job 38:1, 8-11 United Methodist reading: 1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49

Psalm 9:9-20 or Psalm 133 or Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32 Roman Catholic reading: Psalm 107:23-31 Episcopal reading (RCL): Psalm 9:9-20  or Psalm 133    or Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32 United Methodist reading: Psalm 9:9-20

2 Corinthians 6:1-13 Roman Catholic reading: 2 Corinthians 5:14-17

Mark 4:35-41

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates). Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available. Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

453-Called as partners in Christ’s service

59-This is my Father’s world

85-Eternal Father, strong to save

629-When the storms of life are raging (Stand by me)

725-God of the ages, whose almighty hand

393-One bread, one body

More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.

 

Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:

Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://www.modernpsalter.com/ or

http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week: Psalm 133 is available on p. 764

Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Mark 4:35-41

The storm that rises on the sea

takes boat and casts it wide.

As waves crest over stem and stern

the seamen strain for life.

Yet in the back does Jesus sleep

in ease on pillow-rest.

Then in the panic of the crew

Jesus does rise for peace.

When life is cast upon the storm

and all the church is worn,

as time and circumstance conflict

and all is failing nigh,

then Jesus is attendant too

and rises to the storm.

He cries against the wailing wind

that Peace and Stillness reign.

Now in the worry of the crew,

the faithful at the oars,

as sails are furled and rudder held

and keel groans at the waves,

begin with earnest, take the way

that Jesus cares for all

and treasure gifts of hope and joy

that welcome and adore.

DCM          Suggested tune: Kingsfold

Note: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor. If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention. No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.

Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer  

L: When confidence in our way of life is shaken, to whom do we turn for comfort?

P: We look to friends, we cling to loved ones, we grope for answers in familiar, sacred places.

L: How shall we find strength to recover? Where do we find heart and hope to go on?

P: Our hope is in God alone, our Savior, the Shepherd of our Souls, our sheltering Fortress.

Prayer of Approach

L: The Lord be with you.

P: And also with you.

L: Let us pray. God of all glory, on this first day you began creation, bringing light out of darkness. On this first day you began your new creation raising Jesus Christ out of the darkness of death. On this Lord’s day grant that we, the people you create by water and the spirit, may be joined with all your works in praising you for your great glory. Through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Intercessions

        How vast and deep is your love O God, for us and for all the world. As we give you thanks for the beauty of creation and for the gift of life, we turn to you for strength and guidance to help those of our world in need of care and healing.

We pray for our community, our nation and world that peace and justice might be made known. We pray for our families and friends, especially those who are hurting, sick, grieving or alone. We pray for our own burdens and needs, both spoken and unspoken…

We yield our lives to you as we offer our prayers in the strong and saving name of Jesus. Amen.

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

Almighty God,

you have broken the tyranny of sin

and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts

whereby we call you Father:

give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service,

that we and all creation may be brought

to the glorious liberty of the children of God;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion

O God, whose beauty is beyond our imagining

and whose power we cannot comprehend:

show us your glory as far as we can grasp it,

and shield us from knowing more than we can bear

until we may look upon you without fear;

through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Additional Collect

God our saviour,

look on this wounded world

in pity and in power;

hold us fast to your promises of peace

won for us by your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your

holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom

you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving‑kindness;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Mark 4:35-41

As seas toss heavily, Lord God,

and all the throes of misery attend,

we struggle, ashen to the core,

until we find you risen as utter peace.

Be ever more the master of our ship

that in all storms and dangers we aspire

to stay in surety with you;

in Jesus Christ.

Service of Table

Preparation (Invitation)

Our offerings take us into the mainstream of God’s work through the church. Jesus said that whatever we do to the least of his brothers and sisters we do to him. May our offerings bring him comfort, relief and joy.

 

Offertory Prayer

Holy one, your heart abounds with gifts. Receive this offering as a sign of our trust in you and our intention to live surrounded by your mercy, inspired by your Spirit, open to the joy of your presence, hospitable to one another, and generous toward your world. Amen.

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving

(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)

O God, who brings peace in the midst of life’s chaos and hope where all is lost, we give you thanks for the gracious offering of yourself to us in Jesus Christ, and for his offering of himself in these gifts of bread and wine. Send now your Spirit upon us and upon these gifts. Transform us, as we receive the broken bread and cup outpoured, to be his body in this world, bringing peace and promise to all through his Good News spoken and lived. Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.

[if not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”]

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service. Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.

You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.

Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.

Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw (Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful.  Read more here.

 

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2014. Compiled by Simon Kershaw October 2014 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2014; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992. The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE: We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday. We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary. Send your comments or content here.

 

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Proper 5B

2nd Sunday after Pentecost

 

June 2

 

Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:

1 Samuel 8:4-11, (12-15), 16-20, (11:14-15) or Genesis 3:8-15 Psalm 138 or Psalm 130 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

Mark 3:20-35

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates). Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available. Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

280-God is here

16-Come thou Fount

538-Hope of the world

577-Nearer, my God, to thee

108-Lift high the cross

426-The voice of Jesus calls his people

More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.

 

 

Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:

Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://www.modernpsalter.com/ or

http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week: Psalm 130 is on p. 762

Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Genesis 3:8-15

Embarrassed, hidden from the Lord

within the garden fold,

the naked pair in Paradise

are sought by God’s kind voice.

Admission of their hidden fear

invites God’s questing pose,

that something new has entertained

their visionary life.

These gates of Paradise retain

a nimble virtue’s plan.

The moment plied upon them all

must turn to life’s demand.

Beyond the innocence unplanned

the turn from hedge and ease

becomes the test of wit and will

to tend the restless land.

With all the leisure garden bound,

the innocence survives;

now in the challenge to survive,

the dew of grace allures.

With such enticement at the brink

of blissful evidence,

we answer your sublime release,

O God, with earnest hope.

DCM     Suggested tune: Coe Fen

Note: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor. If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention. No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.

Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer  

L: Thank the Lord with all your heart, in the gathered assembly of God’s people.

P: Mighty are the deeds of the Lord; great are the God’s works,

     studied by all who have pleasure in them.

L: Holy and awesome is God’s name!

     To worship the Lord is the highest wisdom; those who do so know all that is good.

P: God’s praises will last forever.

Prayer of Approach

L: The Lord be with you.

P: And also with you.

L: Let us pray. God of grace, you have given us minds to know you, hearts to love you, and voices to sing your praise.  Fill us with your spirit that we may celebrate your glory and truly worship you; through Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Intercessions

Lord God, we give you thanks for all your gifts to us—for daily food, for health, for each breath we take, for freedom to choose, and for the gifts of your word, your power and your love. Our hearts are truly overwhelmed, O God, when we consider how you have entrusted so much to us. May we be worthy of that trust—may we be a people who are unafraid to live as fully and as richly as you want us to live.

Help us, O God, as followers of Jesus, to multiply all that you have given us, to risk spreading your word and perhaps see it misunderstood, to gamble by loving those whom others think worthy only of hate, to take chances by doing good to those who have not done good to us. Help us be faith filled and desire to increase your glory and your goodness in this world. Make us people who share in both word and deed that which you have given to us.

We pray for the church gathered today, both here and around the world, that it may encourage all of its members to discover, develop and use all their gifts, those of nature and those of grace.

We pray for those who are poor in body or in spirit, for those oppressed and heavy laden, for those sick or in despair.   Minister by your Spirit and by us, to all those for whom we have prayed, and help us walk faithfully in the path of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

O God,

the strength of all those who put their trust in you,

mercifully accept our prayers

and, because through the weakness of our mortal nature

we can do no good thing without you,

grant us the help of your grace,

that in the keeping of your commandments

we may please you both in will and deed;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion

Eternal Father,

we thank you for nourishing us

with these heavenly gifts:

may our communion strengthen us in faith,

build us up in hope,

and make us grow in love;

for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Additional Collect

God of truth,

help us to keep your law of love

and to walk in ways of wisdom,

that we may find true life

in Jesus Christ your Son.

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

O God, from whom all good proceeds: Grant that by your

inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by

your merciful guiding may do them; through Jesus Christ our

Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one

God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Mark 3:20-35

Become in us, O God,

the mother, brother, sister, hope

abiding in your forward cast

that, in this nurture

in the Lord,

we find thy gracious care

and share the fullness known

in you, as we become beside ourselves.

Service of Table

Preparation (Invitation)

Listen to God’s word concerning our offerings, as told by Moses long ago: “Let everyone give as they are able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which he has given you.” God has given much. Let us rejoice in this opportunity to share God’s blessings with the world.

 

Offertory Prayer

O God, we thank you for your great generosity. All that we are and all that we have is a gift from you. Help us to serve one another and so reflect your spirit and goodness. Accept these offerings and grant that the cause to which they are devoted may prosper under your guidance.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)

O God, you have always offered yourself to us, and now we seek to receive from your hand again the gift of life that is ours in Jesus Christ. As we give thanks to you for these gifts of bread and wine, we pray that you would pour forth your Spirit upon us, and upon these gifts to be for us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus. Make us one with Christ, one with one another, and one in service to all of your world. Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.

[if not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”]

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service. Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.

You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.

Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.

Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw (Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful.  Read more here.

 

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2014. Compiled by Simon Kershaw October 2014 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2014; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992. The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE: We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday. We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary. Send your comments or content here.

 

Read Full Post »

The following materials were adapted from various sources, and built around common texts used during Advent lectionaries.  They offer the opportunity for a number of people to participate at the Advent Wreath, as well as a responsive piece and suggested hymn for use by the congregation.  Any parts may be re-assigned or divided as needed for use in your congregation.     — ed.

——————

Advent 1

The text is divided into 4 readers; you may divide it any way you wish, and include someone to light the candles at the appropriate time.

 

Reader 1

Listen to the prophet Isaiah:

In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.   Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.   O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!

(Isa. 2:2-5)

 

Reader 2

The poet George Herbert once wrote: “He that believes in hope dances without music.”

This is a good picture for a life of faith. To hope in God’s grace is to move to a rhythm that other people may not hear. It is to act out a drama others cannot imagine. It is to glide through life guided by a tune that plays only in your own heart.

The hopes of our faith make no sense from the outside. It’s a rough world, with forces that try to dominate our lives. But we hope in a God of truth and justice to have the final word.

In a world where violence and force always seem to win the day, we hope in a force of love that is the supreme power. In a world where wealth and status seem to have the upper hand over desperate, needy people, we hope that poverty and innocence have God’s special blessing.

 

Candle-lighter: Light 1 candle

 

All sing the candle-lighting hymn.(Suggested: “One Candle Is Lit,” Chalice Hymnal #128, verse 1)

Reader 3 As the hymn ends…

            Having hope means constantly expecting a different kind of future, even when history seems to confirm our fears. Hope is for those who feel the pain of the world. Hope is for those who agonize at human cruelty. Hope is for those who hear the cries of homeless and hungry children, and cry along with them.

In a world where hope seems so far away, we are a people of hope. We listen for the voice of angels in the wind. We stretch to see the first light of a new day on the horizon. We long for a new birth of grace in every human heart. We wait. We listen. We hope.

 

Reader 4 (may be offered responsively or by one voice)

Let us pray:

Christ we sit in darkness, but you are our light. We long for your coming into our hearts, into our lives and into our world.

            You are the One for whom all the peoples of the earth wait. Our world has been shaken by fire and earthquake and storm; Our security has been shaken by bombings and wars and uncertainty.

            We wait in anticipation expecting God’s light to penetrate our darkness and radiate within us.

In the midst of our doubts and our insecurities we are reminded that you are never shaken. Your faithfulness reaches to the ends of the earth.

            We watch and wait expecting new light to shine as the season of joy approaches.

You are our rock and our refuge, an ever present help in trouble. Come down, come in, walk with us so that we trust in you and not be shaken.

            We wait in hope attentive to all the signs of Christ’s coming.

 


 

Advent 2

The text is divided into 7 readers; you may divide it any way you wish, and include someone to light the candles at the appropriate time.

Reader 1

Listen to the Prophet Isaiah:

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

ALL:

The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.

Reader 1 (continues)

They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

 (Isa. 11:1-10)

Reader 2

Advent is about peace. And we do so long for peace. We live in a world of chaos and discord. The trademark of our times is violence. In a nation awash in guns, we continue to raise our children on myths of machismo. Our movie heroes are tough-talking, gun-wielding musclemen. Our streets are dangerous. Our civil dialogue has given way to abusive rhetoric. And a routine trip through a busy intersection is often enough to give us a glimpse of at least one other driver’s middle finger. In all of it, we do long for peace.

 

Reader 3

The state of our minds often mirrors the state of our world. We juggle hyperactive schedules, fragmented families, and hypertensive pressures. We worry about our children, we agonize over how to care for our parents, and no job seems secure. Our choices of antacid are outnumbered only by our spiritual options. We grasp for gurus and scan self-help books in serial confusion. Stress is the name of our days. And we do so long for peace.

 

Candle-lighter: Light 2 candles

 

All sing the candle-lighting hymn.(Suggested: “One Candle Is Lit,” Chalice Hymnal #128, verse 2)

 

Reader 4: As the hymn ends…

Surely the peace of our world starts with the peace of a heart. We are reminded that there is a peace of God which passes all understanding. At the core of each of us, if we will only listen, there is a still, small voice which can calm our fears, quiet our lives, and dispel our desperation. At the heart of each of us, if we only seek it, there is a spirit that rests in the grace of God. An assurance at the center of our lives can tame the chaos at the edges.

 

Reader 5

That spirit of God is also the hope of our world. Peace can come only when we can understand each other, knowing that God’s spirit makes us truly one. In the eyes of even a murderer, I can see my own anger. In the face of a terrorist, I can see my own desperation. In the breast of my enemy, I can feel my own fear. Peace is possible because we share that one spirit that rests in the presence of God.

 

Reader 6

Not one of us is a stranger to the other. Every passion or malice that might separate us I can find and recognize in my own heart, and so our differences lose their force. We are one with each other, and one with God, and that is a peace beyond the power of any stress or violence that can assault us. As we await the Bringer of Peace, the peace of God is already with us.

 

Reader 7 (may be offered responsively or by one voice)

Let us pray:

Prepare the way! The promise is come!

            The lion shall dwell with the lamb.

Prepare the way! The old with the young!

A child shall teach us to stand.

Prepare the way! Make the paths straight!

Earth shall fill her deep valleys!

Prepare the way! Break down walls of hate!

            The Way is approaching! Servants keep watch. Soon we shall see the salvation of our God!


 

Advent 3

The text is divided into 6 readers; you may divide it any way you wish, and include someone to light the candles at the appropriate time.

 

Reader 1

Listen to the word of God from Isaiah:

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. …Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people…the redeemed shall walk there.

And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

 (Isa. 35:1-10)

Reader 2

Advent is about joy. But our times seem little suited for rejoicing. Our culture irritates and entertains, intoxicates and numbs, but rejoicing seems like a foreign idea. You can’t do it on cue. Joy can’t be bought and sold. You can’t plan for it or train for it. It doesn’t fit into a well-ordered life, and it’s not FDA approved.

 

Reader 3:

Joy comes only when least expected. We rejoice only when life has been turned on its ear; when—whatever we feared, whatever we steeled ourselves against–some gift of God has presented itself instead. When we rein in our loves to protect ourselves from pain, when we curtain our hopes from fear of disappointment, when we equip ourselves with cynicism to avoid looking foolish, we do so at the expense of joy.

 

Candle-lighter:  Light 3 candles (in places where a pink candle is available, this should be the 3rd one lit)

 

All sing the candle-lighting hymn.(Suggested: “One Candle Is Lit,” Chalice Hymnal #128, verse 3)

Reader 4: As the hymn ends…

As freedom can only be tasted in all its sweetness by those who know the feel of chains, so joy sings with its most full-throated glory only in spirits enlarged by the weight of despair and softened by the brine of tears. Pleasures floats on the surface of life. Happiness flits across a moment or an hour. But joy springs from the depths.

 

 

Reader 5

Joy is new life beating in a heart that has been broken. Joy is awakening to a fair morning from a nightmare of reality. Joy is a flight sunward on wings you had forgotten you had. Joy is the sound of laughter erupting from a procession of grief. Joy is God’s melody amid the discord of life, a song carrying the rhythm of eternity and touching the chords of longing in our souls.

Hand microphone to Reader 6

 

Reader 6: (may be offered responsively or by one voice)

Let us pray:

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.

We give thanks to you, O God, for the promise of full joy that this

            season brings to light.

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.

            For all the troubles life can bring, you bring amazing possibilities

            that fill our hearts with joy.

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.

Renew in us this day the promises of light after darkness, day after

            night, hope after despair, joy in this and every morning, for our trust

            is in you. Amen.

 


 

Advent 4

The text is divided into 6 readers; you may divide it any way you wish, and include someone to light the candles at the appropriate time.

 

Reader 1

Listen to the Gospel according to Luke:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

 (Luke 1:26-38)

Reader 2

Advent is about love. Francis Bacon once wrote: “A crowd is not company, faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk is but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.”

We are social beings. That is our blessing and our curse. We long for each other. We long to touch, to share, to bare some part of ourselves, to be understood, to invite others into our lives. We all long to lessen the loneliness that lurks in the background of even our most crowded moments.

 

Reader 3:

We are born alone and we will ultimately die alone, but in between we desperately want to be known, to be understood, to belong, to find some kind of acceptance just as we are—some intimacy of soul. And so we reach out with fragile, delicate efforts of love.

But love is dangerous. We can hurt each other. Hearts can be broken. Rejection can come. If you try to belong, you can be excluded, and that can hurt more than being alone.

Love, and the vulnerability that comes with it, can be the riskiest business of all. But there is no love without such risks. Like hunger and thirst, the longing for love is implanted deeply within us, and God offers us many opportunities to care, to reach out, and to love.

 

Candle-lighter: Light 4 candles

 

All sing the candle-lighting hymn.(Suggested: “One Candle Is Lit,” Chalice Hymnal #128, verse 4)

 

Reader 4: As the hymn ends…

There is some part of this gift of life that can’t be stored up or locked away. Some part of this spirit that God has placed in us will die if we do not spend it or share it or give it away.

 

Reader 5

Love is always a risk, but it is a risk upon which the very heart of our life depends. To love is to touch the heart of God. To look into the eyes of another and recognize our common soul is to see the face of God. Even to feel the ache of a heart broken for love is to discover God’s grace.

 

Reader 6: (may be offered responsively or by one voice)

Let us pray:

Your love, O God, is great, and the risks you have taken were supreme.

Teach us the way of love, and help us to walk in it.

From the depths of your creating love, you made us male and female.

Teach us the way of love, and help us to walk in it.

In the goodness of your covenant, you created us a community of your love.

Teach us the way of love, and help us to walk in it.

In the fullness of time you sent us Jesus, a man of love that risked all for the sake of the world.

Teach us the way of love, and help us to walk in it.

In your resurrection power, you have revealed your love to all humanity.

Teach us the way of love, and help us to walk in it.

Help us, O God, to reveal your love as we discover anew the tremendous power of the Christmas story and meet again the Christ-child, born anew among us.

Amen and Amen.

 

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