Unpacking Our Prophetic Baggage
A Christian Community
In the Tradition of the Church of the Saviour
Unpacking Our Prophetic Baggage
The time is surely coming, says the Lord God when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: To this table the God of Wisdom bids us come.
People: We are bloodied with our wars,
we are wearied with our wounds,
we carry our dead with us.
Leader: We hold the seeds of healing,
we dream of a new creation,
we know the things that make for peace,
and we struggle to give them wings.
All: In conflict and in communion,
in discord and in desire,
we gather at this table.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: The prophet sees a basket of summer fruit
and calls us to account for our actions.
People: Jesus sees a loaf of bread
and invites us to feast on forgiveness.
Leader: The prophet sees a plumbline
and calls us to measure ourselves against it.
People: Jesus sees a cup of wine
and invites us to drink deeply and be healed.
All: We unpack our prophetic baggage,
surprised by what we find.
Leader: The prophet says that the end will come
to those who trample on the needy,
to those who sell poor goods at high prices,
to those who pay low wages for long, hard days of work.
People: We want to be fair to workers and farmers,
but we also want a bargain,
to spend less money for the things we want and need.
Leader: The psalmist says, “Hand down justice
to orphans and the weak,
uphold the rights of the poor and oppressed”.
People: We want to share with those who have little,
but we live in a society where money and power
speak louder than justice.
All: Forgive us, Holy One,
for the hardness of our hearts.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The good news in Christ is
that everyone who asks receives,
and everyone who searches finds,
and to everyone who knocks,
the door will be opened.
PRAYERS OF THE COMMUNITY
All: Eternal Spirit, Father and Mother of us all,
Holy is your name.
Let justice and mercy fill all Creation
and let us recognize
that every thought and thing belongs to you.
Feed us with the bread we need for today.
Forgive our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Stand with us in trial and temptation.
Free us from the grip of all that is evil.
For you alone are creating our universe,
now and forever.
Leader: Let us be bold to do the work God is calling us to do.
Do not be afraid, for God is with us.
Call to Worship based on Jan L. Richardson, “In Wisdom’s Path,” pg 129.
Responsive Reading based on Amos 7 & 8.
Confession based on Amos 8 and Psalm 82.
Assurance based on Luke 11:10.
Benediction based on Jeremiah 1:7
Liturgy cover photo: Amos’ Basket of Summer Fruit © 2002 Ginger Henry Geyer (used with permission) glazed porcelain with white gold 11 pieces, 11 ½” x 15 ½” x 12″ Adaptation of Caravaggio’s The Supper at Emmaus
As we enter the Summer liturgical season our worship will include a fresh interpretation of the prayer that Jesus offered when the disciples asked him how they ought to pray (Matthew 6:9-13). This version is part of our commitment to be a church “…which comes together in weekly worship rooted in the Biblical faith, with shared leadership … empowering the gifts of women and men to help our worship flow out of and feed into the life of the community.” (From the Call of Seekers Church.)
Looking at recent scholarship around Jesus’ teaching on prayer in Matthew 6, it seems pretty clear that the Christian church has a long history of living in the tension between maintaining the literal meaning of the original text and offering a prayer that brings worshipers into the prayerful relationship with God that Jesus wanted for his immediate disciples.
For starters, there are two (different) versions of this key teaching, Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4. Most scholars believe that the Matthew version was written first. That is probably why it seems to be the basis for the modern versions of the Lord’s Prayer. It’s interesting that the Matthew version seems to refer to the words of the prayer as an example, while the version in Luke is presented as a rote prayer (which is just what Jesus is cautioning against in the conversation leading up to the version in Matthew.)
Our efforts in Celebration Circle to craft a prayer following the teaching of Jesus fit nicely within the tradition of the Church, and open us to the exciting if uncomfortable prodding of the Holy Spirit. Here is the current result of our discernment, a fresh version of the common prayer Jesus gave as an example. We will include it in our Summer liturgy. We offer it now for your reflection, and welcome your response.