Liturgy for September 21, 2014, Narrative Lectionary
Call to Worship
One: God is my strength, my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
Many: I call to God, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
One: The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. In my distress I called to God; I cried to the Holy One for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.
Many: God reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. God rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. God brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
One: You, O God, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light
Many: The Holy One lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Saviour! Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O God; I will sing praises to your name.
(from Psalm 18)
One: My sisters and brothers, we know we have not done what we wanted to do, and we have done what we did not want to do—we have not lived into our best selves. When we release our mistakes and resolve to do better in the future, God is with us, to give us the grace to let go of wrongs and to embrace what is right. Let us pray.
Many: Holy One, we acknowledge our failure to be your face of love and hope in the world. We welcome your forgiving arms around us and the blessings of hope and courage to do what we know is right. Beginning now, we will strive to be the best person we can be, with your grace and encouragement in our hearts.
One: By the grace of God, you are forgiven!
Many: You are forgiven!
One: God is with you!
Many: And also with you!
One: God the Creator has made all things good!
Many: Thanks and praise to the Creator!
One: Holy One, from a great void your creative powers formed the cosmos, from the largest stars to the smallest creatures; and you declared all of them good. Yet we humans, placed just below you, forgot this and have put all creation under our heel, declaring ourselves to be in charge of creation. You sent your prophets to point out the errors of our ways, but we did not listen. Your beloved child, Jesus the Christ, came to us to show us a new way of life, of living, of love—and we still turned away. Speak to us again in these gifts of creation, of grain from the hills, and the fruit of the vine, that we may remember your love for all creation.
On the night before Jesus gave up his life for us, he gathered with his closest friends and shared one last meal with them. At that meal, he took the bread, blessed it after the manner of his people, broke it, and shared it with his friends, saying:
Many: This is my body, opened for you.
One: When the meal was over, Jesus took the cup, and blessed it after the manner of his people, and passed it to his friends, saying:
Many: This is my love, poured out freely for you and for all nations.
One: And when we eat this bread and drink from this cup
Many: We remember Jesus’ promise and the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again! Go and tell.
One: Spirit of the living God, pour out your grace and your presence on these gifts of grain and grape. Make them be for us whatever we need them to be, that we may be reminded of your gracious love for us, now and always. Amen.
One: Go now in peace, knowing you do not go alone.
Many: Even when there is no light and I feel lost, God is with me.
One: The blessing and presence of our living God, creator, redeemer and sustainer, go with you always.