I choose to believe in One who says it’s never too late to be on this path . . . because it’s really the only path. Not to constantly relive the past and cast blame on those who have hurt us and didn’t teach us well how to open our hearts, but to live now as beginners, each moment like children just starting out.
Kayla McClurg, Inward/Outward, 10/24/2009
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: God of mercy and justice,
you call us to begin again and again.
People: You ask us to give you our pain,
to open our hearts to the mystery of life.
Leader: God of compassion and truth,
you invite us to live in freedom and joy.
People: You ask us to give you our sorrow,
to walk with you on the path of love.
Leader: God of honesty and grace,
you lead us towards an unknown future.
All: Today, we begin again,
living in this new moment,
learning to find new life in you
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: We forget there is suffering ahead of us.
People: Suffering tempts us to think
that we have chosen the wrong road.
Leader: We are surprised by pain.
People: We forget that intense compassion
can burst forth like a spring of fresh water
from the depth of our pain.
Leader: We forget that compassion is the fruit of solitude.
People: We refuse to go where it hurts,
to enter into places of suffering.
Leader: We refuse to share
in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish.
All: We are callous and numb,
unwilling to suffer for the healing of the world.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The Holy One holds our fear.
God’s joyful compassion bursts forth
like a spring of fresh water,
showering us with forgiveness.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION
PRAYER OF COMMITMENT
All: O Holy One, we come today
to claim our relationship with you.
We pray for the commitment to grow together,
sharing the gifts you give us with others
here and in the wider world.
Forgive us for the hurt we have inflicted,
and help us forgive those who have hurt us.
Give us strength and discipline
to nurture our relationship with you;
to care for every part of your creation;
to foster justice and be in solidarity with those in need;
to work to end all war, and violence, and discord;
and to respond joyfully when you call,
freely giving our selves as you have shown the way.
We open our hearts to you and your creation
in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ. Amen.
Leader 1: Holy Creator God, we thank you for the gift of this earth, for its abundant life and amazing beauty.
People: We give you thanks and praise
for creating all people in your image,
for loving each one of us,
for leading us in faith, hope, and love.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit,
who guides us through the wilderness of our confusion,
who opens our hearts to compassion and joy.
People: We give you thanks for Jesus, the Christ,
who shows us how to live as servants and friends,
giving ourselves as he gave himself to the world.
BLESSING THE ELEMENTS
Leader 1: Christ invites everyone to eat the bread of life,
to drink the cup of the new covenant.
Leader 2: Jesus said, I am the bread of life.
You who come to me shall never hunger,
You who believe in me shall never thirst.
Leader 1: On the night of his arrest, Jesus took bread,
and after giving thanks to God, broke it and said,
This is my body,
broken for the healing of the world.
Whenever you eat it, do so remembering me.
Leader 2: After supper, Jesus took the cup and said,
This is the cup of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for all.
Whenever you drink it, do so remembering me.
SHARE THE ELEMENTS
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
All: God of abundance and mercy,
we give joyful thanks
for your eternal love and healing presence
in our celebration of bread and cup.
Bless this body of Christ
that we may attend faithfully
to our call to be your servants,
with each other and throughout the world.
Leader: Hold the life God gave you tenderly.
Hold open your hearts.
Let your love flow out like a spring of fresh water,
an offering to a thirsty world.