Worship Elements: June 10, 2018

April 29th, 2018

Third Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: 1 Samuel 8:4-20 (11:14-15); Psalm 138; 2 Corinthians 4:13–5:1; Mark 3:20-35

Call to Worship:

L: Let us lift up the name of our God!

P: Let us praise the faithfulness of the Lord!

L: For just as the Lord's greatness fills the heavens,

P: The Lord's love embraces the earth,

L: Preserving our life in the midst of trouble.

A: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God!

Invocation:

We turn to you, O Lord, for we have learned the folly of putting our trust in earthly rulers. They promise peace with justice for our children, yet they take them from us and make them run before war's chariots. Now, O Lord, we put our trust in you, assured that, if we seek your justice, we will receive it; that, if we seek your peace, we shall find it — a peace other rulers can neither give nor take away.

Litany:

L: Yesterday I would have cried for God, but I did not know God's name. The scribes insisted that it could not be written; the sages, not be said.

P: But now the world has changed. Cry to God, and call him, "Father!" 

A: The name shall be revealed by the lips of your heart, and God shall answer.

L: Yesterday I would have appealed to you, but I did not know your names. Your shifting eyes told me to keep my distance; your upraised hands, to stay away.

P: But now we have changed. Appeal to us, and call us, "Brothers!" Appeal to us, and call us, "Sisters!"

A: Our names shall be revealed by the lips of your heart, and we shall answer.

L: Today life has changed, for God is near.

P: Life has changed, for we are near one another.

L: Behold, salvation comes — to me, and to all!

P: Behold, liberation is here — for the one and the many!

L: O God, my father and my friend —

P: Our father and our savior —

A: The hands of this family are clasped together, and still the circle grows! May love endure for all generations!

Prayer for One Voice:

O God, hear our prayer! We need to know that, beyond us, you are. For while we seek our own salvation, it cannot be had through striving. We think highly of ourselves, O Lord, but we are not great — only driven by dreams of greatness. And we have stumbled upon such dreams until finally we have fallen and plunged into the pit.

We cannot see; the midnight-dark steals our sight. We cannot breathe; the stale air smothers our breath. We cannot hear; our pounding heart deafens our ears. We cannot bear it. For here, in the pit, we meet our demons, our fiercest enemies, our terrible idols — things seen substituted for things unseen; things fleeting worshiped in place of things eternal. Here, in the pit, the fact of our baseness explodes the myth of our greatness. Here, in the pit, we stand alone.

And yet, O God, we are not alone. For suddenly we perceive that we are cowering in the midst of lions. These are the royal powers upon which we may call — powers you have set within us to prey upon the demons and consume the false gods. Give us courage in their presence; let us trust them. By devouring all within us that is not yours, they shall carry us up and out of the pit.

Yes, Lord, we shall be saved! Reveal to us our potential for evil and for good, that the pit might become the crest of your mountain, and our fall, a fall upward to you!

Benediction:

Do not lose heart, for there is the abode of God. If your heart be troubled, God will share your agony; if your heart be triumphant, God will share your gladness. Do not lose heart, for there is the shelter for your neighbors. May you share their agony and gladness, as you trek, arm-in-arm, to the mountaintop.

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