At Gooding UMC we are currently engaging in our annual Stewardship Drive. This drive is not for the sole purpose of asking for money, but is a time in which we restructure our lives (as individuals and a church) so that God is first in all that we do and are.
In the past, I’ve written liturgy for worship services, but never shared them beyond the congregation. To be honest, I wasn’t sure anyone would be interested. However, this past summer several colleagues asked me to begin sharing the prayers and litanies I write… and I’ve delayed doing just that.
However, as a part of my attempt to become more generous with the gifts God has given me, I’m launching a new layer to this blog as a place to share the liturgies I write.
This week’s worship was built around the first chapter of Adam Hamilton’s “Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity”, When Dreams Become Nightmares.
CALL TO WORSHIP:
The world has been loud this week, calling to us, distracting us, luring us away from the path that leads us to God.
But we are here now, Lord. Silence the world around us so that we can hear your promises spoken in this place.
The things of this world rust and corrode and fall apart.
But God’s promises are eternal.
Let us worship the Eternal One!
We will worship the God of eternity and we will celebrate a Kingdom not of this world.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION:
Almighty God, Father of our Savior Jesus Christ who sacrificed everything in order to save us, we are sometimes more like the rich young man than we are like a disciple of the Messiah.
Like the rich young man, we fear we don’t have enough, and so we go away empty.
You have given us all that we need. You have given us an abundance of good things.
And yet, we worry about preserving ourselves and what we have.
The dream of your kingdom is at our fingertips.
Yet we can’t see it through the nightmare of this world.
Forgive us, God, for thinking more of ourselves and our stuff than we do of living the life you have given us.
Forgive us, Christ, for forgetting the lessons you have taught us. Forgive us for choosing this world over your Kingdom.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE:
Hear the Good News: The Lord Jesus Christ will have mercy on us, who are sinners. Amen.
~Adapted from the Jesus Prayer
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING:
Dear Jesus, you have given us so very much: a chance to live in the Kingdom, the ability to stand in the presence of God, the hope of eternal life and we offer so little back to you in return. Receive these gifts, Lord, and may they be multiplied and become fruitful resources in the building of your kingdom here on earth. But more importantly, touch our hearts, minds, and souls so that we live as a people who joyfully celebrate that you have given us more than enough. Amen.
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING:
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you.
Almighty God, you took the time to lovingly form each and everyone of us.
We were lifeless beings until you breathed the breath of life into us.
You gave us more than we could ever need and placed us into a life of abundance.
Even when we were lured away by the appeal of the world, when we turned our back and forgot you and the good things you had given us, you never stopped loving us.
When we failed you, you remained faithful and steadfast.
And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest
Holy are you and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ.
It was your love become flesh and blood that brought him to us.
You anointed him to do your will and with the power of your Spirit he brought good news to all the peoples of this earth.
He gave hope to the poor,
he healed the sick,
he loved the unlovable,
he taught the proud to be humble,
and made the humble to inherit the earth.
He showed grace to sinners,
and opened wide the gates of the Kingdom.
By his baptism, death, and resurrection you gave birth to your church, rescued us from the sin which has bound us as slaves to death and you made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.
On the night in which he sacrificed himself for us, he took the bread, gave thanks
to you, gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take. Eat. This is my body given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
When the supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks to you, and gave it to his disciples and said, “This is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for the forgiveness of sins. Take this and drink of it. Do this in rememberance of me.”
And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet.
Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father, now and forever. Amen.