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I’ve Been Meaning to Ask: Where are you from?

This sermon/worship series is found at https://sanctifiedart.org/ive-been-meaning-to-ask-worship-series. Please do not use these materials, which are based on their materials by Rev. Sarah Are, unless you have purchased the original material from them. You can buy just the Worship Words portion for a small fee.

FULL bulletin is at https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgdp5vu-HQT_FctdBNw

SERMON is at https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgdRT1li7u7o4K0BHYw

VIDEO of our service is at https://www.facebook.com/MakemieMemorial/videos/211300390824511

Hymns

Presbyterian Hymnal #306 Fairest Lord Jesus

PH #507 I Come with Joy

PH #288 I Sing the Mighty Power of God

Call to Worship[1]

We are from north and south.

We are from here and we have come here.

We are from the town and from the countryside.

We are from small apartments and expansive houses.

We are from big families and dinners made for one.

We are from stages of grief and stages of love.

We are from rainy days and sunny days.

We are from new places, new spaces, and the making of new memories.

We are from kitchens with passed down recipes, and front porches with old, familiar swings.

We are from the dust of the earth and the stars of the sky.

We are from a lot of places, but today we are here.

Today we are together.

ALL: HOLY GOD, GATHER US IN.

Call to Confession1

In this moment for truth telling, for reflection and honesty, to be honest about the places we want to grow and the way we need God’s help, let us pray together.

Prayer of Confession was taken directly from Worship Words from A Sanctified Art for this series

Assurance of Forgiveness1

If you ever ask yourself, “Can anything good come from this messy and human life of mine?” remember God always answers, “Yes.” You were created in the image of God. Your origin story is one of goodness and love from the very beginning. So hear and believe the good news of the gospel: God is here. God is at work among us. Thanks be to God for the Good News of God’s love:  In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Prayer for Illumination1

O God, where we come from there are so many distractions. Where we come from there is so much noise. Where we come from there is too much silence. Where we come from there is too much emptiness. Find us. Hold us. Be in these words. Help us hear. Amen.

Old Testament Scripture: Genesis 2:4b-15

New Testament Scripture: John 1:35-51

COMMUNION1

INVITATION to THE LORD’S TABLE

The Creator of North, South, East, and West, invites us to come and see—

Come and see how much the Father loves us.

Come and see who Jesus is and who we are in him.

Come and be united by the Holy Spirit.

Let us pray…

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

P:         The Lord be with you.             C:         And also with you.

P:         Lift up your hearts.                 C:         We lift them up to the Lord

P:         Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
C:         It is right to give our thanks and praise.

O God, open our lips and fill our hearts to say thank you.

Thank you for scooping up the dirt and breathing life into it.

Thank you for forming this body and this life.

Thank you for creating this world and these people.

Thank you for drawing us in, for holding us up.

Weave us together with all people from all times and places

who forever sing the glory of your name

All:   Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might; heaven

and earth are full of Your glory.  Hosanna in the highest! 

Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord,  Hosanna in the highest!

When people ask, “Where are you from?” we speak of geography—

yet we must also always sing your name.

for you are our past, our present, and our future.

Great is this mystery of faith:

Christ has died; Christ has risen; Christ will come again.

As we lift this bread and cup before you, lift us up.

Scoop us up like you scooped up that dirt on that first day.

As you breathed life into the first human being,

breathe upon us and fill us with your Spirit.

Feed us that we may be full.

Nourish us as only you can

and make us at home in you.  Amen.

Confession of Faith  (adapted from the Heidelberg Catechism Questions 26-28 )

God created us good and in his own image. God created us in true righteousness and holiness. God created us that we might truly know God our creator. God created us to love God with all their heart. God created us to live with God in eternal happiness, and to praise and glorify God. God out of nothing created heaven and earth and everything in them. God still upholds and rules them by his eternal counsel and providence. God is my God and Father because of Christ the Son.

God will provide whatever I need for body and soul. God will turn to my good whatever adversity befalls me. God is able to do this because he is almighty God. God desires to do this because he is a faithful Father. We can be patient when things go against us. We can be thankful when things go well. We can have good confidence for the future that nothing in creation will separate us from his love. Thanks be to God.

Benediction1

Family of faith, God stir you up with the curiosity to counter assumptions. God beget in you the vulnerability to befriend. God excite in you the bravery to speak your truth. God develop in you the wisdom to listen. God engender in you the strength to ask for help. God give rise to the resiliency that makes you able to choose love. In the name of the One who made you, the One who redeems you, and the One who accompanies you. Amen.


[1] Adapted from a prayer by Rev. Sarah Are | A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org

Worship Words: May 16, 2021

PRAYER 1 by Sarah Erickson Merciful God, you invite us to be in beloved community, connected to you and one another. Help us nurture these connections so that they lead to the fullest expression of our shared humanity instead of building walls of separation between one another and the community you desire. We pray in the name of the One leads in the way of resurrection hope. Amen.

PRAYER 2 by Sarah Erickson Merciful Jesus, you shower us with grace. You show us how to be faithful disciples. Yet we are often quick to dismiss the complex simplicity of it all. Forgive our stubbornness. Help us see your vision of shalom and do our part to make it so. In the name of the One who is mercy incarnate. Amen.

PRAYER 3 by Sarah Erickson You, Lord, are the thread connecting us to one another. You weave together days into months and years. As this week begins,  hear our prayers and make sense of them, the laments and wails of despair, the sighs too deep for words, the acclamations of praise and wonder. Open us to receive your responses, so that we may connect our lives to You and the world you so love. In the name of the Christ who binds us together in love. Amen.

CALL to WORSHIP by Barb Hedges-Goettl

Why are we waiting on the promises of God?                                                            

Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ is coming again.                                      

Why do we believe in the coming of God’s kingdom?                                                            

Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ is coming again.                                           

What do we witness to?                                                                                        

Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ is coming again.                                 

Why do we devote ourselves to prayer?                                                                           

 Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ is coming again. 

PSALMS in a TIME of SICKNESS: PSALM 1 paraphrase by Barb Hedges-Goettl

O God, bless us by making us more and more your people.

Keep us from following the bad advice of those who aren’t seeking you.

Redirect us away from the paths taken by those who don’t listen to you.

Free us from sitting with those who disbelieve the truth

    and scorn compassion.

Let us delight in you: in your Word and your teachings.

Fill our hearts, minds, and souls with you every hour of the day and night.

Plant us by your streams of living water. Grow us into trees rooted in you.

Make us fruitful according to your time and plan.

Let us flourish as your people, following your way,

    without withering or faltering.

Those who don’t follow you are like chaff driven by the wind.

They cannot withstand judgment.

They do not stand with the congregation of the righteous.

Their way perishes.

Chart the path for us, O God.

Watch over us on the way, O Lord, to you.

May your way guide our feet,

    and our paths help others find their way.

In the name of Jesus, our Guide and Pioneer, Amen.

PRAYER of CONFESSION by Barb Hedges-Goettl based on the Belhar Confession

Prayer of Confession #3

Call to Confession:

One: God has given the church the message of reconciliation in and through Jesus Christ, but we fall short of God’s call to be salt of the earth and the light of the world.

Prayer of Confession:

All: God, our fears and prejudices run deep. Sometimes we can only see our own point of view.

We stick with those who are like us, rarely venturing outside our comfort zones. We do not hear

those crying for justice and true peace. We blame those who are suffering and in need instead of standing by them. We deny the power of your gospel to unite us with those who are different from us.

Lord, give us eyes to see and ears to hear. Use us to open new possibilities of life for all of your people.

Assurance of Forgiveness

One: We are reconciled with God and with one another through Christ’s work. Thanks be to God

for the Good News: All:  In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Confession of Faith #3/Litany by Barb Hedges-Goettl (drawn from the Belahr Confession)

The three parts of this litany may be used separately or in flexible combinations.

a.

One: We believe that unity is both a gift and an obligation for the church of Jesus Christ.

Many: Through the work of God’s Spirit, unity is a binding force.

One: At the same time, unity must also be earnestly pursued and sought.

Many: We must be continually built up to attain this unity.

One: Our unity must become visible to the world.

Many: Separation and hatred between people and groups is sin, already conquered by Christ.

One: Anything threatening our unity has no place in the church.

Many: We commit ourselves to resisting anything that threatens our unity.

One: The unity of the people of God is active and made manifest.

All: Thanks be to God.

(For this next section it works well for the two groups to make the proclamations below to each other.)

Group One: The communion of saints called from the entire human family is united by God.

Group Two: As the people of God, we love one another.

Group One: We experience, practice, and pursue community with one another.

Group Two: We give ourselves willingly and joyfully to one another.

Group One: We are a benefit and blessing to one another.

Group Two: We share one faith and have one calling.

Group One: We are one body, and are of one soul and mind.

Group Two: We have one God and Father.

Group One: We are filled with one Spirit.

Group Two: We are baptized with one baptism.

Group One: We eat of one bread and drink of one cup.

Group Two: We confess one name and are obedient to one Lord.

Group One: We work for one cause and share one hope.

All: Thanks be to God.

c.

All: Together we confess that God unites us in faith.

Together we come to know the height, and the breadth, and the depth of the love of Christ.

Together we are built up to the full stature of Christ.

Together we know and bear one another’s burdens.

We admonish one another. We comfort one another. We suffer with one another.

We need one another and we build up one another.

Together we pray. Together we serve God in this world.

Together we fight against all which may threaten or hinder this unity.

Thanks be to God for drawing and keeping us together.

Charge/Benediction in 2 voices by Barb Hedges-Goettl

L: By the power of the Holy Spirit         P: we are Christ’s witnesses. 

L By the power of the Holy Spirit          P: we witness to Christ at work in you. 

L: By the power of the Holy Spirit          P: we witness to Christ at work in others. 

L: By the power of the Holy Spirit         P:  we witness to Christ in the world 

ALL: We live, love, and are blessed by the power of the Spirit. Thanks be to God. Amen. 

______________________________

Barb Hedges-Goettl is a Presbyterian pastor with a doctorate in liturgy. She and her husband recentlly moved from Philadelphia to Rehoboth Beach, DE. She has been working with inner-city middle school students as a special ed teacher and will soon begin to serve as a full-time interim pastor at Makemie Memorial Presbyterian Church, Snow Hill, MD.

_____________________________

If you are looking for some words to use for worship, or some inspiration for your own, here are some you can use or adapt, thanks to members of our RevGals community. If you can please give credit in video descriptions or print versions, that would be great, though spoken verbal attribution is not necessary.

Worship Words: April 18, 2021

Psalm 4 Paraphrase by Barb Hedges-Goettl                                                                                                                                                      

God, you are right and just and true.

When I call with a loud cry,

    You answer me.

You widen the straits of distress

   that bind and besiege me.

When my world is small, narrow, and cramped,

  You give me room to breathe.

When I am stuck between a rock and hard place,

   You let me loose in your broad, wide pasture.

You bend to me in kindness and mercy,

    understanding my prayer.

How long will people hurt God’s reputation

     and damage God’s honor and glory?

How long will we love empty words,

     seeking lies and requiring falsehoods,

     and yearning after worthless things?

Set us aside for yourself, O Lord.

     Make us your good and faithful ones,

     Your kind and godly ones,

     Your saints by Your mercy.

O Lord, hear me when I call to you.

When I am trembling and quivering,

       Agitated and disturbed,

       Angry and disquieted,

       Worried and anxious,

             Keep me from sin.

Inspire me to meditate on you at night.

    Put me to bed and tuck me in with your comfort.

    Whisper to the ears of my heart, that I may hear you.

    Quiet and calm me in my whole being.

I confess my dependence on you.

    Enable me to wait upon you

    With confidence and patience.

I offer myself in thanksgiving;

    I give myself to you because of your mercy.

    I respond to your love with love of my own.

    I respond to the all you give me

        With my all.

I put my trust in you.

    I hold out my hand for your hand.

    I offer my heart to your heart.

    I offer my mind to your purposes.

    I offer my body to your body.

Be my hope,

      my boldness,

      my security,

      my confidence,

             my God.

There are many who say:

       “Oh, that we might perceive some good!”

Shine your light upon us, O God!

        Make your presence dawn upon us.

Give us joy and gladness

        at our deepest heart of hearts–

Joy greater than a bountiful harvest

         or material riches.

Bestow gladness in our very being,

         A share in your joy.

We will lie down and sleep;

         We will be stilled and remain at peace,

         dwelling in God’s house,

         where we can safely lie down.

Thanks be to God.

Opening Prayer(adapted from Psalm 4) by Barb Hedges-Goettl

My God,

Be my hope,

      my boldness,

      my security,

      my confidence,

My God.

Call to Worship (adapted from Psalm 4) by Barb Hedges-Goettl

There are many who say:

       “Oh, that we might perceive some good!”

Shine your light upon us, O God!

        Make your presence dawn upon us.

Give us joy and gladness

        at our deepest heart of hearts–

Joy greater than a bountiful harvest

         or material riches.

Bestow gladness in our very being,

         A share in your joy.

Confession of Faith in the Good News cf. Acts 3 (RCL) and Acts 6-7 (NL) by Barb Hedges-Goettl                                                                                                                         

We believe and receive the Good News. We experience God’s confounding of the evil of crucifixion with the grace of resurrection.  We participate in God’s conversion of mourning into dancing. We are dressed in grave clothes made over into glad rags. We are lifted up from the grave and given new life. God lifts us up from down-and-out to up-and-at-‘em. For this Good News, we give thanks to God. Amen.

Prayer of thanks for a witness by Barb Hedges-Goettl

God, we thank you that we have a witness. You bear witness to yourself:  You proclaim that we are made in your image, and that image is very good.Jesus proclaims love for all people, the sacrificial love of a Shepherd for the sheep.The Spirit proclaims you with sighs too deep for words.

O God, we thank you that we have a witness. Witnesses have come before us: Prophets proclaim your justice for all people, rolling down like waters. The women at the tomb proclaim your confounding of evil and death through the resurrection. Astounding the crowd by healing the lame, Peter witnesses to forgiveness and resurrection. Condemned by false witnesses, Stephen witnesses to the Son of Man and forgiveness.

O God, we thank you that we have a witness. Witnesses are all around us:Give us ears to hear voices long silenced, peoples whose experiences challenge and correct our own. Fill our hearts with love for the diverse ways in which you speak, that we know and hear your word through each person’s own experience, and so honor your image and your presence in each one we meet.

O God, we thank you that we have a witness. Make us witnesses going forward, sharing what we have known, what we have heard:  your love, your hope, and the Good News of the resurrected life  redeemed from evil, death and all that would separate us from you and from one another.

In Jesus’ name and by the power of the Spirit we pray, Amen.

The below are from Rev. Katy Stenta, see https://katyandtheword.com/2021/04/13/prayers-for-acts-6-stoning-of-stephen/?fbclid=IwAR3hB6dxy9lTay-hhKQB1fNNGEWd6t6qPogFHHIt7j1lFjfox1L8VT5vaUw

Prayers for Acts 6: Stoning of Stephen

Acts 6:1-7:2, 44-60

Suggest Pairing Isaiah 66:1-2, 22-23

Call to Worship (based on Isaiah 66:13-14, ) 

God promises, asa  mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you

We shall see, and our hearts shall rejoice. 

Come let us pray for the Lord, for God is Good. 

Come let all flesh give God Thanks and Praise. 

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that we find comfort in tradition. We have struggled throughout this year as so many things have had to change. Walk with us this spring and we try to understand what it is we need to keep, and what it is we can leave behind. Help us to choose, always and forever, the ways that lead us closer to your kingdom. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen 

Assurance of Pardon: God’s promises to remake heaven and earth in God’s forgiveness. Let us share the good news with one another: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of Dedication: (unison) Lord, let us go forth giving thanks for all that is good. Place praise for you on our lips and on our tongues, that others might see and know and understand your love. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Hymns: Morning Has Broken, Jesu Jesus Fill Us with Your Love, Called as Partners to Christ’s Service, Great is Thy Faithfulness, Amazing Grace,

Psalm 137 Worship Resources

Cover photo: An aerial view of protesters gathered near the makeshift memorial in honor of George Floyd, marking one week since his death (Minneapolis). Photo by Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images.

We are using the 2020 Presbyterian Women’s Horizons Bible Study for our Summer Series:  Into the Light: Finding Hope Through Prayers of Lament, a $10 resources with 9 lessons. This is week 2 on lamenting together; week 1 was intro to lament.

Singing the Lord’s Song/being in communion when separated and in times of darkness

How do we sing the Lord’s Song when our world’s violence makes any thoughts of even one peaceful Sabbath a pipe dream? When you’re in such a dark place that you wish death on somebody, maybe even yourself? When our people and communities are broken, divided by illness, grief, spite or sheer vengeance? When your own church’s communion – much less the world’s – seems impossible?

From Sacredise: https://sacredise.com/lectionary-resources/proper-22c/

REFLECTIONS ON THEME:
The readings this week offer a fascinating juxtaposition of ideas. The Old Testament and Psalm readings all explore the pain and humiliation of God’s people when they are defeated, conquered and exiled, and as they long for forgiveness restoration and salvation. Even Psalm 37 deals with similar issues, albeit in a more generalised way, speaking of the pain and confusion that arises when destructive or evil people prosper, and the difficult work of faith and patience in God’s action on behalf of those who trust God’s ways. The New Testament readings, on the other hand, explore the impact that a life of simple, ordinary faith can have, and the attitude of humble servanthood which expects no undue reward for simply living faithfully. In essence, both Testaments are saying the same thing this week.
In a world where bad things happen to good people, and where it often appears that the lawless and ‘godless’ get the best, it can be tough to live in faith and faithfulness. Justice can take a long time to come, and it can be tempting to use any means – however undesirable – to achieve what we long for. This applies even when our goal is to manifest God’s reign. However, as we live in faithfulness, and pass our faith on to others who come after us, the small, ordinary acts of goodness and justice that we do each day, the small faithful commitments to our convictions that we renew each day, really do ‘move mountains’ and change the world, little by little, into a place where God’s salvation is visibly revealed.

CONNECTING WITH LIFE:
GLOBAL APPLICATION: In the light of the huge challenges facing our world – hunger and poverty, human rights abuses, unequal distribution of resources, human trafficking, dread diseases, environmental degradation, conflict and war – it is easy to get frustrated and impatient, and it is extremely tempting to embrace any strategy that gets results. The danger here, though, is that we can too easily become what we seek to overcome, and our efforts, which may appear successful in the short term, leave us in deeper trouble in the long term. Two important principles that the lectionary offers us this week are 1) the power of small acts of goodness and justice, and 2) the need to think systemically and long term, waiting at the “guard post on the wall” (to use Habakkuk’s image) to observe, nurture and cooperate with any manifestations of God’s reign that emerge. In the world of big business, big politics, and powerful lobby groups, such long term thinking can be frustrating, but, as demonstrated by Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela (it must have taken faith to spend 27 years in jail and then still embrace dialogue as a valid process to end apartheid) such faithful, consistent and just living does result in significant change. What long term commitments to justice can you embrace or renew in your community this week?

LOCAL APPLICATION: Perhaps the best focus, on the local level, this week, is the power of small, ordinary, “everyday” acts of justice. When we refuse to live according to the expedient, self-centred, materialist values of the society around us, it may appear to have no impact, and we may feel like we become nothing more than a laughing stock – a people in exile, suffering for what may sometimes feel like foolish and ineffectual convictions, while those around us “live it up” and succeed. The promise of the Scriptures, though, is that such alternative living does have an impact – a significant one – and also has lasting value – becoming the heritage of faith and goodness that is passed down through generations and across communities. The reassurance this gives is that our suffering is not in vain, and that our faithfulness is useful to God. In our “instant gratification” society, such perseverance and endurance is hard and counter-cultural, but is a powerful witness to the Gospel. Where has your church’s commitment to “everyday justice” grown tired or weak? In what ways do you need to renew your commitment to persevere? What alternate living choices do you need to make or renew together? To whom can your faith heritage be passed on? What can you do to inspire and sustain small, long term, commitments in your community this week?

SONG: https://www.psalmimmersion.com/psalm-137

Psalm 137:1

בָּכָה bâkâh, baw-kaw’; a primitive root; to weep; generally to bemoan:—× at all, bewail, complain, make lamentation, × more, mourn, × sore, × with tears, weep.

Psalm 137:3 captors/tormenters

תּוֹלָל tôwlâl, to-lawl’; from H3213; causing to howl, i.e. an oppressor:—that wasted.

Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon [?]

Psalm 137:7 rase/tear down/lay bare

The KJV translates Strong’s H6168 in the following manner: uncover (3x), discover (3x), emptied (2x), rase (2x), leave destitute (1x), make naked (1x), poured out (1x), poured (1x), spreading (1x).

Outline of Biblical Usage [?]

  1. to be bare, be nude, uncover, leave destitute, discover, empty, raze, pour out
    1. (Piel)
      1. to bare, lay bare
      1. to lay bare by emptying, empty
      1. to pour out
    1. (Hiphil)
      1. to make naked, strip bare (of sexual offences)
      1. to pour out
    1. (Niphal) to be poured out, be exposed
    1. (Hithpael)
      1. to expose oneself, make oneself naked
      1. pouring oneself, spreading oneself (participle)

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

עָרָה ʻârâh, aw-raw’; a primitive root; to be (causatively, make) bare; hence, to empty, pour out, demolish:—leave destitute, discover, empty, make naked, pour (out), rase, spread self, uncover.

Psalm 137:8 ravaging the daughter of Jerusalem

The KJV translates Strong’s H7703 in the following manner: spoil (30x), spoiler (11x), waste (8x), destroy (2x), robbers (2x), miscellaneous (5x).

Outline of Biblical Usage [?]

  1. to deal violently with, despoil, devastate, ruin, destroy, spoil
    1. (Qal)
      1. to violently destroy, devastate, despoil, assail
      1. devastator, despoiler (participle) (subst)
    1. (Niphal) to be utterly ruined
    1. (Piel)
      1. to assault
      1. to devastate
    1. (Pual) to be devastated
    1. (Poel) to violently destroy
    1. (Hophal) to be devastated

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

שָׁדַד shâdad, shaw-dad’; a primitive root; properly, to be burly, i.e. (figuratively) powerful (passively, impregnable); by implication, to ravage:—dead, destroy(-er), oppress, robber, spoil(-er), × utterly, (lay) waste.

Psalm 137: Complex Communal Laments

JOHN AHN

Journal of Biblical Literature

Vol. 127, No. 2 (Summer, 2008), pp. 267-289 (23 pages)

Imagine the 267N5 Imagine the act of decapitating little children or infants against the edge or corner of the wall of Jerusalem. Something that is supposed to protect is now employed to behead. The violent and traumatic visual image of such a repeated act goes beyond anything we can comprehend.

Mock-simha; fake song of victory over enemies

275 Why would Ps. 137k accentuated by laments & curses, be place in the midst of these 0135-137] Thanksgiving and praise psalms? This is a bold but unconventional editorial move that proposed to give thanks and praise through lament laden with honest feelings of enmity. Thhanksgiving and praise arise not only from positive elements in life. Rther the true mark of these practices if finding the courage & strength to praise & give thanks when there is nothing worthwhile or praiseworthy. 176 Brueggemann says that Ps 137 is marked not by despair but by hope. However, we cannot move into this hopeful realm all too quickly without allowing the pathos to resound and have its rightful place. The ? is, Can those in Babylon, both the first wave and the second wave of forced migrants collectively voice “Hallelujah” or “Thanks be to God” in the midst of their most difficult time? The answer seems to be complex.

278 by the waters of Babylon; by the irrigation canals where the Judean royalty and religious leadership were put to work maintaining/desalinating the canals.

280 weeping willows crying for those who hung the harps

v.3 wordplay beween captors, tormenters & hung

282 For there our captors asked us for the words of a song, but our tormenters asked for mirth, ‘Sing for us a Zion song!’

283 Captors, Babyonians, may be separate from torments, who may be fellow-laborers who are not Jewish.

284 Bookends: Forget/do not remember

Musician wiling to forgo righthand instrument & mouth/tongue for praising God

College Press NIV Commentary 470

v. 5 Wordplay: forget with become crippled/lamed

Conversations Among Exiles

by Walter Brueggemann

The Christian Century, July 2-9, 1997, pp. 630-632.


SUMMARY

In response to times of crisis, Leviticus urged the practice of holiness, and Deuteronomy stressed neighborliness. Unless the experience of loss is expressed, examined and understood, new ways of living are not able to emerge.

In our time of dislocation the church can offer ways of speaking and acting that the dominant society regards as subversive, but without which we cannot for long stay human.
The church can
1) express sadness, rage and loss as an alternative to the denial that inevitably breeds brutality.
2) be a voice of holiness that counters the trivial commodity-centered world by the practice of disciplines that make communion possible.
3) be a voice of imaginative, neighborly transformation, focused on those in need.
4) express new social possibilities, rooted in the truth of God’s good news.

Before us is the choice between succumbing to a fearful self-preoccupation that shrivels the spirit or heeding God’s call to re-enter the pain of the world and the possibility of renewal and salvation. [Numbers added]

Juneteenth https://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm

http://www.theafricanamericanlectionary.org/PopupLectionaryReading.asp?LRID=10  Maafa service – Maafa is an African word used to refer to four centuries of worldwide enslavement of black people.   The remembering in Psalm 137 (v. 1, 6, 7) occasions anguish, accountability and anger. Babylonians asking for a kind of minstrel show. Includes sermon illustrations.

Phrase from an article that is no longer at the link: Hope without singing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGz5wbIGm0w British Bishop on singing the Lord’s song in a strange land in a time of COVID-19

LITURGICAL RESOURCES

Call to Worship, Prayer, Personal Meditation by Joan Stot http://www.thetimelesspsalms.net/w_resources/pentecost20[27]c_2013.htm

Includes dealing with the last vengeful verses and provides alternative of Lamentations 3:21-26 as an assurance of pardon or final blessing. http://hwallace.unitingchurch.org.au/WebOTcomments/OrdinaryC/Pent19Psalm137.html

Our bulletin is at https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcYfmV3FepVsFsaFng

The sermon will be here; target date is 6/15. https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcYfmV3FepVsFsaFng

The Heart of Lament: Bulletin and Sermon for Psalm 22:1-12 and Psalm 139:7-12

Worship Without Walls

Trinity United Presbyterian Church                June 7, 2020

Prelude  Cry for the Desert                                                             Twila Paris

Opening Prayer[i]

Even—especially—in this time of loss and uncertainty, fear and death,

we come to worship God,

who loves us before we were yet born,

who knows us even better than we know ourselves,

whose presence never leaves us,

and whose love for us never ceases.

Amen.

Call to Worship

When we are alone and afraid, O God, we come to you.

When we experience illness and death, O God, we come to you.

When we are overwhelmed and don’t know what to do, O God, we come to you.

When we mourn division and hatred, O God, we come to you

When we want to know the truth, O God, we come to you.

When we are losing hope, O God, we come to you.

*Opening Hymn How Firm a Foundation[ii]

1: How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word
What more can He say than to you He hath said
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled

2: Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand

3: When through the deep waters I call thee to go
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress

4: When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie
My grace all sufficient shall be thy supply
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine

5: The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to its foes
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake

Call to Confession:  Let us ask for God’s forgiveness for not believing God can handle whatever we are experiencing.

Prayer of Confession:
When we are ashamed of how we feel and try to hid it from you, forgive us.

When we act like all is well when things are far from well, forgive us.

When we don’t believe that you love us no matter what, forgive us.

When we don’t believe that you love others no matter what, forgive us.

When we give up instead of listening for your call, forgive us.

When we cease to believe you are at work, forgive us. (Silent confession)

Assurance of Pardon: Throughout all time, people trust in God and are delivered; they cry to God and are saved; they trust in God and are not put to shame. Our God is with us in every circumstance, loving us. Thanks be to God for the Good News:   In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Gloria Patri: (Blue #579) Glory Be to the Father https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUBxpypSblw

Sharing of the Peace: The peace of Christ be with you.             And also with you.

Prayers of the People/Lord’s Prayer (traditional)                       

Celebration of Birthdays and Anniversaries                                          

Hymn  You Are Before Me, Lord [iii]                                                                 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VESwOhxYUMc (different words on video)

You are before me, Lord, You are behind.

And over me You have spread out Your hand;

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

Too high to grasp, too great to understand.

Then from Your Spirit where, Lord, shall I go;

And from Your presence where, Lord, shall I fly?

If I ascend to heaven You are there,

and still are with me if in hell I lie.

If I should take my flight into the dawn,

If I should dwell on ocean’s farthest shore,

Your mighty hand will rest upon me still,

And Your right hand will guard me evermore

If I should say, “Let darkness cover me,

And I shall hide within the veil of night,”

Surely the darkness is not dark to You;

The night is as the day, the darkness light.

Search me, O God, search me and know my heart;

Try me, O God, my mind and spirit try;

Keep me from any path that gives You pain,

And lead me in the everlasting way.

* Doxology (Blue, #592)   Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivaDXu27_IY

* Prayer of Dedication

May the words of our mouths, the dedication of our hearts,

and the gifts of our time, talents and money be acceptable

and pleasing in your sight, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer. Amen.

Prayer for Illumination Spirit of the Living God[iv]

Spirit of the living God, Fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me, mold me, Fill me, use me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Scripture Reading: Psalm 22:1-11

https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Ps.22

Message Lamentation and Hope                                                     Pastor Len                                       

Confession of Faith: Psalm 139:7-12 (NIV)

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I fleefrom your presence?If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

*Closing Hymn A Mighty Fortress Is Our God [v]

1A mighty Fortress is our God, A Bulwark never failing;
Our Helper He amid the flood Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
2Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His Name, From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
3And though this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him. (interlude)
4That word above all earthly powers, No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours Through Him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His Kingdom is forever.

*Charge and Benediction                                                Pastors Barb and Len

Postlude A Mighty Fortress Is Our God                                                        Gladhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk8U58vfOoc


[i] By Christine Longhurst (slightly adapted) https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2011/05/mothers-day-call-to-worship.html

[ii] Words and Music – © OCP  

[iii] Words – ©1973 Estate of Ian Pitt-Watson, The Fuller Foundation TTEE

Music – ©1998 Hope Publishing Company

[iv] Words and Music – ©1982 Fred Bock Music Company

[v] Music – ©2016 Beckenhorst Press, Inc.

The above reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-733426. All rights reserved.

Psalm 22:1-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

 

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;

    and by night, but find no rest.

Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.


In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried, and were saved;
    in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm, and not human;

   scorned by others, and despised by the people.
All who see me mock at me;
    they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;
“Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver—
    let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”

Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
    you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.
10 On you I was cast from my birth,
    and since my mother bore me you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Lamentation and Hope

Sermon by Len Hedges-Goettl

I’m not a complainer. I don’t mean to complain. I shouldn’t complain. I have nothing to complain about really. Stop whining and complaining!

We have all probably heard or even said one of these sayings. Complaining is often considered a weakness or personality flaw. Long-suffering without complaint is often held up as a virtue. Some Christians even believe that complaining is bad

or disrespectful and to “just suck it up and take it” is a Christ-like virtue.

Think of the Hymn: They crucified my Lord, and He never said a mumbalin’ word. They nailed Him to a tree and He never said a mumbalin’ word. They pierced Him in the side, and He never said a mumbalin’ word. The blood came trickalin’ down, and He never said a mumbalin’ word. He bowed His head and died, and He never said a mumbalin’ word. Not a word, not a word, not a word.

But then why does the opening of psalm 22 sound so familiar? “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Maybe the hymnist had it wrong after all!

Jesus is the perfect model for our behavior in this life. He prayed, He healed,

He loved, He spoke out against injustice, He praised people for their faith.

AND He cried out in complaint.

The Bible has many complaints or “laments” as they are called. You find them in the stories of the Israelites, you find them in the psalms, you hear them throughout the book of Job, there is even a whole book called Lamentations, and we hear it from the mouth of Jesus as he hung upon the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He cried out and breathed his last, but not until after he cried out in lament.

 Rev. Lynn Miller, the author of the Presbyterian Women’s Horizons Bible Study for this year, which is titled “Into the Light: Finding Hope Through Prayers of Lament,” writes: the perceived absence of God is the heart of lament. Lament

is an emotional statement of sorrow or grief concerning an event in time – past, present, or future. “Lament is not whining” she writes. “(It) is not a pat on the head for people who are suffering or preyed on. Lament is not venting or blowing off steam.”

Instead, lament is communication with God that connects us to the world and the God who loves it and us. Lament helps us focus on actual situations. Lament is a prayer and lament is an opportunity to confess our faith in God whose promises are trustworthy. We lament IN ORDER TO HOPE.

The world is steeped in illness and economic distress. The world is suffering grief from the loss of hundreds of thousands, many who died without families saying goodbye. The world is dying from pollution and global warming. The world is shaking from racial injustice and bigotry and the suffering of the poor.

We have reason to wonder: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

We have reason to lament! WE NEED TO HOPE!

So this summer, Barb and I will be reaching for hope through some of the laments of the Bible. And the first lament is one of the bleakest. “My God, my God,

why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words

of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night,

but find no rest.”

Have you lost sleep these past weeks? Has the news in the papers, on the television, online or even over the phone from those we can’t be with unsettled your heart so much that you found no rest? It is time Church to raise our lament!

First, we need to address God, to take our complaint to the One with power

to rescue, heal, comfort and to change this world. We address God and announce the relationship between God and us, who are His people. We don’t address our complaint to God but to my God! The God we cry out to is the same God who is

in covenant relationship with us, the same God who claims us for His own, the God who loves us so much that we are called the children of God… AND SO WE ARE! God is our Father and we are calling on the head of our family in a time of distress.

Second, we describe our grievance or injustice to our God. We let God know exactly what is going on. In the psalm the one praying says “I am a worm, and not human; Scorned by others and despised by the people. All who seek to mock me; They make mouths at me, they shake their heads.” He is made to feel like a worm, like not even human. There are those even today who are treated like animals,

who feel less like “essential” and more like “disposable.”

I spoke to a Director of Nursing in a nursing home this week. She described the suffering of the past months and the heart-wrenching scenes of multiple deaths each day, the grief and exhaustion of the staff, and the ache of contacting families who could not be with the dying. So for this and for so many other reasons we pray a lament today to the God who is our Father. We cry out to our God who is family.

Finally, we include in our prayer of lament a statement of trust in God. Not a false trust or trust with no reason, but trust in God based on God’s saving actions in the past and trust in the relationship with God that still exists. Based on this trust we find HOPE that GOD WILL ACT! The God who always was and always is faithful!

The one praying the psalm says: “Yet is was you who took me from the womb;

you kept me safe on my mother’s breast. On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me YOU HAVE BEEN MY GOD. Do not be far from me for trouble is near and there is no one to help” and eventually the one prays:

“O my help, come quickly to my aid!”

We all have reason to trust in God whose Holy Spirit moved within us and

brought us to faith. We can all no doubt name times in the past when God acted

in our lives. In the eyes of the world my life, your life, our lives so far may look like the result of happenstance and chance. But when we look back in the eyes

of faith we can know times when God acted. God acted in my life, in your life,

in our lives to rescue, to comfort, to heal, to correct, TO GIVE HOPE.

God may seem absent at times but God is always with us.

His rod and his staff, they comfort us!

Or as Psalm 139 says:

Where can I go from you Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.

If I take the wings of the mourning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,

Even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

Take heart people of God, HAVE HOPE children of our Father.

Though all the world may seem dark,

WE BELONG TO JESUS CHRIST

AND IN HIM THERE IS NO DARKNESS AT ALL.

AMEN

Narrative Lectionary for Pentecost: Acts 2:1-4 & 1 Corinthians 12:1-13 Resources: Bulletin (sermon to follow)

Worship Without Walls

Pentecost                                                                May 31, 2020  

Facebook:      Trinity United Presbyterian Church    Clifton Heights

Prelude   There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in This Place[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ae5pjIK8lM

Opening Prayer[2]

Pentecost us, God.

Inspire us to shed the comfortable accents of churchy insider talk.

Teach us to speak digital. Enable us to worship virtually.
Fit our mouths to something strange, speaking through a mask of love–.
Conjugate the Spirit in and through us. Empower our worry,                                                                                               like the worry of those who waited in the Upper Room so long ago,
to lead us to the active voice of love—mostly verbs, present tense,

not passive voice–and not many possessive pronouns.
Amen.

Call to Worship[3]

Come Spirit like rain, refresh, renew, revitalize.

Come Spirit like fire, embolden, enlighten, enable.

Come Spirit like a mighty wind, move, challenge, enkindle.

Come Spirit like a wave, move, tear down, lift up.

Come Spirit, come Breath, draw us close, make song, bring intimacy.

Come Spirit, come Love, make one, make justice, make peace.

Come Spirit, come Kingdom, come Love.

 

*Opening Hymn Come, O Spirit, Dwell Among Us[4]

First-Plymouth Church, Lincoln, Nebraska

Come, O Spirit, dwell among us, Come with Pentecostal fire;

Give the church a stronger vision, Help us face each crucial hour.

Built upon a firm foundation, Jesus Christ, the Cornerstone,

Still the church is called to mission That God’s love shall be made known.

We would raise our alleluias For the grace of yesteryears

For tomorrow’s unknown pathway, Hear, O Lord, our humble prayers.

In the church’s pilgrim journey You have led us all the way

Still in presence move before us, Fire by night and cloud by day.

Come, O Spirit, dwell among us; Give us words of fire and flame.

Help our feeble lips to praise You, Glorify Your holy name

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Three in one: what mystery!

We would sing our loud hosannas Now and through eternity.

Call to Confession:  

Let us ask for God’s forgiveness for the ways we do not heed the Spirit.

Prayer of Confession:1  
O God, when we let the Spirit deflate, forgive us.

When we lose the Spirit of love or hope, of liveliness or adventure,

of tenderness or courage, forgive us.

When we do not breathe inspiration into all your people, or when we puncture joy,

forgive us.

When we let go of the church just because it isn’t exactly as we wish it,

forgive us.  (Silent confession)

Assurance of Pardon

God is merciful and gracious – a patch to our leaking faith,

the helium lifting us into joy —
the breath for all who are suffocating.

Thanks be to God for the Good News:

In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Gloria Patri: (Blue #579) Glory Be to the Father https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUBxpypSblw

Sharing of the Peace: The peace of Christ be with you.             And also with you.

Prayers of the People/Lord’s Prayer (traditional)                       

Celebration of Birthdays and Anniversaries                                       

Offering Hymn  Spirit[5]                                                                  Kristina Ahlstrom

REFRAIN: Spirit, Spirit of gentleness,

blow through the wilderness, calling and free.

Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, Wind, Wind on the sea.You moved on the waters, you called to the deep,
then you coaxed up the mountains from the valleys of sleep,
and over the eons you called to each thing:
Awake from your slumbers and rise on your wings. REFRAINYou swept through the desert, you stung with the sand,
and you goaded your people with a law and a land,
and when they were blinded with their idols and lies,
then you spoke through your prophets to open their eyes. REFRAIN


You sang in a stable, you cried from a hill,
then you whispered in silence when the whole world was still,
and down in the city you called once again,
when you blew through your people on the rush of the wind. REFRAINYou call from tomorrow, you break ancient schemes,
from the bondage of sorrow the captives dream dreams,
our women see visions, our men clear their eyes,
with bold new decisions your people arise. REFRAIN

* Doxology (Blue, #592)   Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivaDXu27_IY

* Prayer of Dedication

May the words of our mouths, the dedication of our hearts,

and the gifts of our time, talents and money be acceptable

and pleasing in your sight, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer. Amen.

Prayer for Illumination Though I May Speak[6]

Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control, Our spirits long to be made whole,

Let inward love guide ev’ry deed; By this we worship and are freed.

Scripture Reading: Acts 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 12:1-13 (see end of bulletin)

Message Why the Spirit?                                                                    Pastor Barb                                  

Confession of Faith: The Brief Confession of Faith

We trust in God the Holy Spirit, everywhere the giver and renewer of life.
The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith,
sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor,
and binds us together with all believers in the one body of Christ, the Church.

The same Spirit who inspired the prophets and apostles
rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture,
engages us through the Word proclaimed, claims us in the waters of baptism,
feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation,
and calls women and men to all ministries of the church.

In a broken and fearful world, the Spirit gives us courage
to pray without ceasing,

to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior,
to unmask idolatries in Church and culture,

to hear the voices of peoples long silenced,
and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.

In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit,

we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks
and to live holy and joyful lives,

even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth,

praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

*Closing Hymn God, Bless Your Church with Strength![7]

  1. God bless your church with strength! Wherever we may be,
    upbuild your servants as we work in common ministry.
    Urge us from fledgling faith to venture and to soar
    through open skies to sing the praise of Christ whom we adore (interlude)

    2. God bless your church with life! May all our branches thrive,
    un blemished, wholesome, bearing fruit, abundantly alive.
    From you, one holy vine, in freedom may we grow;
    sustain us in our mission, Lord, your love and peace to show.

(Longer interlude)


3. God bless your church with hope! Despite chaotic days,
may we in darkness shine to light a pathway through life’s maze.
May justice be our aim, and kindness ours to share;
in humbleness oh may we walk, assured our God is there! (end)

*Charge and Benediction                                                Pastors Barb and Len

Postlude The Lord Bless You and Keep You                Julliard Christian Fellowship 


[1] Words and Music – ©1990 Manna Music

[2] Adapted from a prayer by Maren https://giftsinopenhands.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/some-pentecost-2020-prayers/

[3] By Martin Brown, posted on the CAFOD website. 

[4] Words: Doris Akers ©1979 Hope Publishing Company

[5] Words and Music: James K. Manley ©1978 J. Manley Publishing

[6] Words: Hal H. Hopson ©1972 Hope Publishing Company. y

[7] Words: John A. Dalles ©2000 GIA Publications, Inc. Music Diademata, George Elvey © OCP

All music reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-733426. All rights reserved.

Pandemic Gifts of the Spirit by Rev. Katy Stenta, from blog katyandtheword

Lord God Almighty, I am on my knees, with my arms outstretched to you,            because I am in need of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit

I need encouragement as a parent of a child                                                               who has been faking their online schooling for the last two weeks.

Patience as I wait for more information, so that my job can make the next decision about how we are running things this week.

Courage as I realize that every single person has their own idea about what is               and isn’t safe and we have to navigate relationships together.

Inspiration as I try to figure out how to connect with the people in my lives                           in new and not discouraging/draining ways.

Hope as death after death, sick after sick case comes in                                                   and the solution seems no closer than it was two months ago.

Breath as I am working too many hours of too many days                                                      and don’t know when it’s all going to end.

Love as all of my imperfections have been laid bare in this time                                  where self-examination is unavoidable                                                                       and all the things I’m carrying have been stuck in quarantine with me.

Lord remind me that I am more than my job or my role in my family                                      or my material worth.

Lord, remind me that I am God-breathed,                                                                      gifted by the Holy Spirit, and sibling of Jesus Christ.

In this time of crises–when every way I function is under a microscope                                 and every emotion I am having is magnified–allow me to fully discern                          and differentiate myself as a child of God.

And even if these aren’t exactly the things I need, and I am too mired to know what it is I really need.

Please grant me the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I pray.

And if I can’t pray to the Holy Spirit, help me to breathe:

in

out

and in

and out again

until the Holy Spirit prays me, instead.

In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Narrative Lectionary: A bulletin, some hymns & liturgical resources for 1 Corinthians 13

Bulletin at https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcRDOTDCk1ldf4oVdg

SONGS

+13.1–14.1  (chapter 13:1-14:1)

126.4 (PCUSA hymnal number.verse) Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove

136.2 Sovereign Lord of All Creation 318 Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost * 350R Fill My Cup 367 Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love 372.2 Lord, I Want to Be a Christian 374 Lord, Make Us Servants of Your Peace 386.5 O for a World 398 There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit 405 What Does the Lord Require 407.2 When a Poor One 433 There’s a Spirit in the Air 531 Not for Tongues of Heaven’s Angels * 533 O Perfect Love 534 The Grace of Life Is Theirs 536.2 Lord, Make Us More Holy

13.1-3 335 Though I May Speak *

13.4-7 9.3 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel 76.4 My Song Is Love Unknown 85 What Wondrous Love Is This 347 Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive 357.2+3 O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee 366.3 Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me 457.4 I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art

13.12 49.4 Once in Royal David’s City 139.4 Come, Thou Almighty King 278.2+4 Our God, to Whom We Turn 301.4 Lord Jesus, Think on Me 310.1 Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

327.3 O Word of God Incarnate 340.3 Eternal Light, Shine in My Heart 376.4 Love Divine, All Loves Excelling 399.4 We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight 426.5 Lord, Speak to Me, That I May Speak 442.4 The Church’s One Foundation 485.2 To God Be the Glory 519.4 Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior, Thee

13.13 545.4 Now, on Land and Sea Descending

Liturgical Resources:

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/07/prayer-index-acts-through-revelation.html

includes
Prayer Reflection: Which Three

(based on 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13)

“…Now faith, hope and live abide, these three…”


doubt moves in
and props its feet
at the hearth of my soul,
warming them
on the coals of my unbelief;
while faith 
rents space
for a few days
in the summers of my life.

despair is the frayed,
soft corduroy jacket
that fits comfortably
on my shoulders
while hope
is a hair shirt
i resist wearing.

impatience is the face
i put on
each morning
in order to greet the world,
while love
is that mask
i wear occasionally,
removing it
when i look in the mirror,
not recognizing myself.

which three will abide in me, O God?

which three?

Amen.

~ Copyright © Thom M. Shuman. Posted on Prayers4Today.  http://prayersfortoday.blogspot.ca/

Prayer

 

Our Father,

each day is a little life,

each night a tiny death;

help us to live with faith and hope and love.

Lift our duty above drudgery;

let not our strength fail, or the vision fade,

in the heat and burden of the day.

 

O God, make us patient and pitiful one with another

in the fret and jar of life,

remembering that each fights a hard fight

and walks a lonely way.

Forgive us, Lord, if we hurt our fellow souls;

teach us a gentler tone, a sweeter charity of words,

and a more healing touch.

Sustain us, O God, when we must face sorrow;

give us courage for the day and hope for the morrow.

Day unto day may we lay hold of thy hand and look up into thy face,

whatever befall,

until our work is finished and the day is done. Amen.

 

~ Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226.  Posted on thisischurch.com http://thisischurch.com/

From “Love” on worshipblogspot


Prayer of Commitment

Holy God, before time you named us
Through time you redeem us
You call us, precious in your sight
May we love as you love.

Holy One, through the turbulent waters
Make us steady, your hands
Holding strong the fragile and weak
May we love as you love.

Gracious God, may the fruits of our lives
be food for the hungry, bread
clothing, shelter, fire, water, Word
May we love as you love.

God of justice, remove the chaff
Of our lives that keep us from
Hearing, following, Your call
May we love as you love.

Loving God, take this day our fears our
Worries, distractions, and all
Turn them into wheat, heart food
May we love as you love. Amen

~ written by Terri and posted on RevGalBlogPals. http://revgalblogpals.blogspot.ca/

Our bulletin is at

SONGS

+13.1–14.1  (chapter 13:1-14:1)

126.4 (PCUSA hymnal number.verse) Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove

136.2 Sovereign Lord of All Creation 318 Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost * 350R Fill My Cup 367 Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love 372.2 Lord, I Want to Be a Christian 374 Lord, Make Us Servants of Your Peace 386.5 O for a World 398 There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit 405 What Does the Lord Require 407.2 When a Poor One 433 There’s a Spirit in the Air 531 Not for Tongues of Heaven’s Angels * 533 O Perfect Love 534 The Grace of Life Is Theirs 536.2 Lord, Make Us More Holy

13.1-3 335 Though I May Speak *

13.4-7 9.3 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel 76.4 My Song Is Love Unknown 85 What Wondrous Love Is This 347 Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive 357.2+3 O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee 366.3 Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me 457.4 I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art

13.12 49.4 Once in Royal David’s City 139.4 Come, Thou Almighty King 278.2+4 Our God, to Whom We Turn 301.4 Lord Jesus, Think on Me 310.1 Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

327.3 O Word of God Incarnate 340.3 Eternal Light, Shine in My Heart 376.4 Love Divine, All Loves Excelling 399.4 We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight 426.5 Lord, Speak to Me, That I May Speak 442.4 The Church’s One Foundation 485.2 To God Be the Glory 519.4 Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior, Thee

13.13 545.4 Now, on Land and Sea Descending

Liturgical Resources:

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/07/prayer-index-acts-through-revelation.html

includes
Prayer Reflection: Which Three

(based on 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13)

“…Now faith, hope and live abide, these three…”


doubt moves in
and props its feet
at the hearth of my soul,
warming them
on the coals of my unbelief;
while faith 
rents space
for a few days
in the summers of my life.

despair is the frayed,
soft corduroy jacket
that fits comfortably
on my shoulders
while hope
is a hair shirt
i resist wearing.

impatience is the face
i put on
each morning
in order to greet the world,
while love
is that mask
i wear occasionally,
removing it
when i look in the mirror,
not recognizing myself.

which three will abide in me, O God?

which three?

Amen.

~ Copyright © Thom M. Shuman. Posted on Prayers4Today.  http://prayersfortoday.blogspot.ca/

 

Prayer

Our Father,

each day is a little life,

each night a tiny death;

help us to live with faith and hope and love.

Lift our duty above drudgery;

let not our strength fail, or the vision fade,

in the heat and burden of the day.

 

O God, make us patient and pitiful one with another

in the fret and jar of life,

remembering that each fights a hard fight

and walks a lonely way.

Forgive us, Lord, if we hurt our fellow souls;

teach us a gentler tone, a sweeter charity of words,

and a more healing touch.

Sustain us, O God, when we must face sorrow;

give us courage for the day and hope for the morrow.

Day unto day may we lay hold of thy hand and look up into thy face,

whatever befall,

until our work is finished and the day is done. Amen.

 

~ Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226.  Posted on thisischurch.com http://thisischurch.com/

From “Love” on worshipblogspot


Prayer of Commitment

Holy God, before time you named us
Through time you redeem us
You call us, precious in your sight
May we love as you love.

Holy One, through the turbulent waters
Make us steady, your hands
Holding strong the fragile and weak
May we love as you love.

Gracious God, may the fruits of our lives
be food for the hungry, bread
clothing, shelter, fire, water, Word
May we love as you love.

God of justice, remove the chaff
Of our lives that keep us from
Hearing, following, Your call
May we love as you love.

Loving God, take this day our fears our
Worries, distractions, and all
Turn them into wheat, heart food
May we love as you love. Amen

~ written by Terri and posted on RevGalBlogPals. http://revgalblogpals.blogspot.ca/

Apocalypse Now? Narrative Lectionary: Mark 13:1-8, 24-37 (March 29, 2020?) Resources

Note: The apocalyptic nature of this reading gave me pause! Some exegetes (esp NL Podcast) see this as referring to Jesus’ Passion as the space/place when God draws near to us. Our current times raise largely unanswerable questions about theodicy (why). While why is fascinating, more often what we really have to answer is “Given the situation, now what? What are we called to be and do?” I do have to confess to having a list of questions for God for when I get there. Don’t know if I’ll just know the answers; won’t feel the need to know anymore; or will have them answered. But I definitely have a list!

HYMNS

Presbyterian Hymnal

Mark chapter 13

77.5 Forty Days and Forty Nights  (means 5th verse esp. relevant)

86 When We Are Tempted to Deny Your Son

87.4 The Glory of These Forty Days

272.2 God of the Sparrow

282 If Thou but Trust in God to Guide Thee

301 Lord Jesus, Think on Me

307 Fight the Good Fight

342 By Gracious Powers

360.5 Hope of the World

361 How Firm a Foundation

388 O Jesus, I Have Promised

389 O Jesus, I Have Promised

401.2 When Will People Cease Their Fighting?

410.3 When I Had Not Yet Learned of Jesus

419 How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord

420 God of Grace and God of Glory

442 The Church’s One Foundation

443.1 O Christ, the Great Foundation

447 Lead On, O King Eternal

448 Lead On, O King Eternal

461.4 God is Here!

538.2 Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing

559.3 We Gather Together

13.1-2,14-20

7.2 Lord Christ, When First You Came to Earth

13.24-27

5 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

6 Jesus Comes with Clouds Descending

9 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

153.1 He Is King of Kings

293.2 This Is My Father’s World

379.4 My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less ELW 596/597, GG 353, NCH 403, UMH 368, TFF 192Link

449 My Lord! What a Morning

467.4 How Great Thou Art

13.28-37

15 Rejoice! Rejoice, Believers

17 “Sleepers, Wake!” A Voice Astounds Us

341.3 Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine!

379.4 My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less

456 Awake, My Soul, and with the Son

+14–15

83.3 O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High

My Lord, what a morning   ELW 438, GG 352, UMH 719, TFF 40

Link to contemporary songs appropriate for Mark 13

https://wordtoworship.com/search/node/Mark%2013

See also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohvLfqf8rUs These are the days of Elijah coming with line about him coming riding on the clouds at the trumpet blast

Link for Hymnary.org for this text

IMAGES

Both of these include Agnus Day and other cartoons
Mark 13:1-8 https://www.google.com/search?q=images+mark+13%3A1-8&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwj6obiag6roAhXbHd8KHb_WDwcQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=images+mark+13%3A1-8&gs_l=img.3…41904.41904..42272…0.0..0.72.72.1……0….1..gws-wiz-img.PRHG9Ft3uy4&ei=aTl1XrrJLtu7_Aa_rb84&bih=576&biw=1366&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS891US891

Mark 13:24-37 https://www.google.com/search?q=images+mark+13%3A24-37&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwiHw8evg6roAhXIHt8KHcANAQsQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=images+mark+13%3A24-37&gs_l=img.3…223984.226104..227297…0.0..0.87.616.8……0….1..gws-wiz-img…….35i39j0i8i30.kld4u3pJeTQ&ei=ljl1XoegA8i9_AbAm4RY&bih=576&biw=1366&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS891US891

Images of church of St. Peter in Gallicantu (cock-crow) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Saint_Peter_in_Gallicantu

See exegesis below re the places to “stay awake” including at the time of cockcrow

CHILDREN”S MESSAGE

When things fall apart (good for preaching to grownups too!) https://rfour.org/childrensmessage_b_51.html

Carolyn Brown on children and the apocalypse http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2012/10/year-b-proper-28-33rd-sunday-in.html

LITURGICAL PIECES/RESOURCES

Link to our bulletin including youtube music & Scripture links. linkshttps://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcFAoraAggfvHmcIJg

Will add sermon link to that site when it is written.

Reader’s Theater Mark 13:1-8 https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/10/readers-theatre-mark-13-1-8.html

Prepare a Way

(referencing Isaiah 40:3-5, Mark 1:3, Matthew 3:3, Luke 3:4)

In the lonely places
The wilderness
Where we stand forlorn
Windswept and alone
Your voice calls out
Prepare a way for the Lord


In the dark places
The shadows
Where we hide our fears
Embrace our tears
Your voice calls out
Prepare a way for the Lord

— written by John Birch and posted on the Faith and Worship website.  http://www.faithandworship.com/prayers_Christmas.htm

God of hope, we come to you in the midst of a world fraught with troubles. Although the darkness is powerful, open our eyes, Lord, to the light of your presence. Give us faith to stand against the voices of division and violence. Through your Spirit remake us into hope-filled disciples, discovering lives attune to your wonder, and sparking in others a desire to know you more. In the name of the One who comes to us, we pray, Amen.

— Rev. Nancy J, on her blog, wonderings through life and other such nonsense

\

ere’s a prayer from Walter Brueggemann.  It references Romans 8:18-25.

Waiting and Longing

God of the seasons,
God of the years,
God of the eons,
Alpha and Omega,
before us and after us.

You promise and we wait:
we wait with eager longing,
we wait amid doubt and anxiety,
we wait with patience thin
and then doubt,
and then we take life into our own hands.

We wait because you are the one and the only one.
We wait for your peace and your mercy,
for your justice and your good rule.

Give us your spirit that we may wait
obediently and with discernment,
caringly and without passivity,
trustingly and without cynicism
honestly and without utopianism,

Grant that our wait may be appropriate to your coming
soon and very soon,
soon and not late,
late but not too late.

We wait while the world groans in eager longing.

~ written by Walter Brueggemann, in Prayers for a Privileged People.  http://www.amazon.com/Prayers-Privileged-People-Walter-Brueggemann/dp/0687650194 Posted on the Prayers and Creeds website.  http://prayersandcreeds.wordpress.com/

Call to Worship

Pecking away at our computers, sitting in a knot of traffic:
we wait for you, God of all words, to speak to us.
Pacing the halls of a hospital, sitting outside the principal’s office:
we wait for you, God of comfort, to fill us with hope.
In the silence of each night, beginning each day’s new journey:
we wait for you, Steadfast Love, for you are our safe place.

Prayer of the Day

Keeper of every moment in eternity:
we come, not only to hear
those words which can transform us,
but to be filled with your grace and hope.
We have come, not out of habit,
but to respond to your call,
willing to be called away
from the familiar ways of our lives.

Walker of our journeys,
in the midst of our harried lives,
you call us to lay aside all that entangles us,
to follow you into service to others.
You invite us to step into
the waters of life and hope,
reaching out to draw others
to our side so, that together,
we might enter your kingdom
of laughter and joy.

When uncertainty fills every block
in our daily planners,
you come, Grace’s Companion,
to offer that hope which anchors
us in God’s heart;
to place our feet firmly
on that rock called peace;
to bring us safely to that haven
filled with God’s steadfast love
.

God in Community, Holy in One,
Rock of every age,
we offer the prayer Jesus has taught us,
Our Father . . .

— written by Thom Shuman, and posted on his Lectionary Liturgies website.  

Call to Worship Litany: Psalm 62: 5-12

Our salvation and honour come from God alone.

He is our refuge, and a Rock of safety.

We wait quietly before God, for our hope is in him,

our Rock and our Salvation.

O my people, trust him at all times.

Pour out your heart to him, for he is our refuge.

We wait quietly before God, for our hope is in him,

our Rock and our Salvation.

From the greatest to the lowliest—all are nothing in his sight.

If you weigh them on the scales, they are lighter than a puff of air.

We wait quietly before God, for our hope is in him,

our Rock and our Salvation.

Don’t try to get rich by extortion or robbery.

And if your wealth increases, don’t make it the centre of your life.

We wait quietly before God, for our hope is in him,

our Rock and our Salvation.

God has spoken plainly—we have heard it many times.

Power, O God, belongs to you; unfailing love, O Lord, is yours.

We wait quietly before God, for our hope is in him,

our Rock and our Salvation.

— based on the New Living Translation.

Call to Worship Litany

(based on Isaiah 40:21-31)

Have you not known?

Even youths will faint and be weary,

and the young will fall exhausted;

but we who wait for the Lord shall renew our strength.

Have you not heard?

We shall mount up with wings like eagles.

Has it not been told you from the beginning?

We shall run and not be weary.

Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

We shall walk and not be faint.

They who wait for the Lord.

We who wait for the Lord.

— written by Katherine Hawker, and posted on her Liturgies Outside website. 

Sending Out: Good Friday

Here is a responsive closing for a Good Friday service.  It was written by Rev. Gord and posted on Worship Offerings.

Good Friday Sending

The story has been told,

and now we return to the world where we live and wait.

The worship is over?

No, the worship continues while we wait and watch.

Our worship will close after the stone has been removed

and the flame of hope has been re-lit.

So we go out to wait,

we watch for the hope that defies despair,

the life that defies death,

the beginning that defies the end.

While we wait,

while darkness covers the land of faith,

remember that no matter how abandoned we may feel

we are not alone.

God has not and will not abandon us.

Thanks be to God. Amen.

~ posted by Rev Gord on his blog, Worship Offerings. http://worshipofferings.blogspot.ca/


Prayer of Intercession

(Luke 21, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, Psalm 25:1-10)

Our Lord Jesus calls us to watch and pray, so let’s do that now,

responding to Lord, in your mercy with come and save your people.

Lord Jesus, thank you for coming in the flesh at Bethlehem, and for coming to us whenever we gather in your name. Keep us alert and watchful through the dark night of this world, and give us confidence as we wait for your coming in glory.

Lord, in your mercy… come and save your people.

We pray for your church—its people and pastors. Keep us alert and watchful in support of one another, guard us from everything false and untrue, and shine on us with the light of your holy word.

Lord, in your mercy… come and save your people.

We pray for the people of the world. Wake all people up to your just judgment and to your saving blood.  Keep us alert and watchful as your witnesses in the world.

Lord, in your mercy… come and save your people.

We pray for the nations. Lift the eyes of those in authority to their duty to govern wisely and well, for the good of all. Curb all terror and replace it with peace.  Keep us alert and watchful to serve you by giving good service to others on our daily lives.

Lord, in your mercy… come and save your people.

Thank you for providing us with everything we need for daily living. Bring relief to all those affected by drought, and poverty. Keep us alert and watchful to the needs of others, and move us to give generously to appeals at Christmas time.

Lord, in your mercy… come and save your people.

Lord, stand by those who wake or watch or weep. Rest those who are weary. Soothe those who suffer.  Shield those who prosper. And come to those we know in particular need and whom we now name silently in our hearts… (brief silence)

Lord, in your mercy… come and save your people.

Lord Jesus, we do not know the day or the hour that you will come with great power and glory. Keep us always alert and watchful so we may welcome you with joy. For you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever.  Amen.

~ posted on the Lutheran Church of Australia’s Worship Planning Page. http://www.lca.org.au/

Here’s a call to worship and opening prayer based on the scripture readings for Proper 8 B (Ordinary 13 B).  They come from the Ministry Matters website.

Call to Worship

(based on Psalm 130)

Wait for the Lord, like those who hope in God’s mercy.
God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Watch for God, like those who eagerly await the morning.
We watch for God, whose power redeems us.
Hear God’s hopeful word, like those who long for pardon.
Sing praise to God and rejoice in God’s love.

Opening Prayer

(inspired by Mark 5:21-43)

Loving God,
we are yours.
We come as we are,
with our cares and concerns.
We long to touch you
and find healing in your embrace.
Strengthen our faith
and heal our brokenness,
that we may worship you with joy. Amen.

— adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2009, © 2008 Abingdon Press.  Posted on the Ministry Matters website. http://www.ministrymatters.com/


Pastoral Prayer for Lent 2 B

(inspired by Mark 8:31-38)

God of compassion, the way of the cross is as much a mystery to us as it was to the immediate followers of Jesus. But we have heard how your grace is exercised in the journey of suffering and rejection experienced by Jesus. Help us to hear with ears inspired, to see with eyes opened to your ways, and to respond with lives committed to your service.

God of our Lenten journey, we watch and walk with Jesus.

We repent O God. We cannot name our own cross even though we try. You must show us the cross you give us. Help us see. Give us the faith to respond and follow Jesus. We have heard that it is in losing our life for the sake of Gospel of Jesus that we find our life.

God of our Lenten journey, we watch and walk with Jesus.

— from The Prayers of Our Church, written by Bishop Telmor Sartison.  Posted on the Worship website of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. 


The Path Ahead

(based on Mark 13: 24-37)

Watch out! Be alert!

Christ comes when you least expect it.

     In the beggar on the street,

     In the loved one at our table,

     In the stranger in our pew,

     In the refugee on our shores,

     In the hour of birth.

     In the hour of death.

With judgement and mercy, Christ comes.

Watch out! Be alert!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

     will

be with you now and always.

Amen!

— written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s HomepageVisit his site for other wonderful lectionary-based worship resources.

 

Call to Confession:

Nothing makes our lack of control more obvious than our current situation; let us confess our reliance on God.

Confession:

Lord, we had the best laid plans. The teacher were teaching, the doctors were healing, the calendars were full. And we had everything set. But plans are ephemeral, the illusion of control. Now all our best laid plans fail. We cobble together new ones, but they are ragged and imperfect. We have no best laid plans. All we have is you, O God. Be with us we pray. (Silent confession) Amen.

Adapted from Best Laid Plans Prayer by Barb & Len’s daughter, Rev. Katy Stenta. https://katyandtheword.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/best-laid-plans-prayer/

EXEGESIS

Exegetical excerpts from my faves among the links below can be found at https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcFWlDPYFyomsajWcw

Greek lectionary for vv. 1-8 What is the foundation of your life?  And second, what is the destiny of life? Jesus as the cornerstone (cf. 12:10) and the days of fulfillment. The disciples actually ask, “Where are these stones from/What kind of stones are these?” (no adjective) http://lectionarygreek.blogspot.com/2012/11/mark-131-8.html

Greek lectionary for vv.24-37 Power and suffering/tribulations in the passage http://lectionarygreek.blogspot.com/2011/11/mark-1324-37.html

NL links re this passage: https://www.workingpreacher.org/search/Default.aspx?cx=001947499050786061073:fplx-aun2rq&q=mark%2013:1-8,%2024-37&cof=FORID:10&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&search_domain=WWW

Includes these individual links:

A take on the apocalyptic power of the God https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2586

The birthpangs of deliverance—and remaining ready. Parallels between the times Jesus says the master may return and the upcoming betrayals related to his Passion. Yet there is still hope even for the faithless disciples. http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=4239

What about the apocalyptic Jesus? it may be an important reminder to hear an ancient prophet cry out about the fragile nature of the world.  https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2663

NL Holy Week context. How is Jesus near? In the Passion, the night, the darkness.** http://download.luthersem.edu/media/working_preacher/narrative/216WPNarrative.mp3

Mark 3:1-8 as apocalyptic https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=442

Psalms in a Time of Sickness: Psalm 1

Psalm 1: Psalms in a Time of Sickness

O God, bless us by making us more and more your people.

Keep us from following the bad advice of those who aren’t seeking you.

Redirect us away from the paths taken by those who don’t listen to you.

Free us from sitting with those who disbelieve the truth

    and scorn compassion.

Let us delight in you: in your Word and your teachings.

Fill our hearts, minds, and souls with you every hour of the day and night.

Plant us by your streams of living water. Grow us into trees rooted in you.

Make us fruitful according to your time and plan.

Let us flourish as your people, following your way,

    without withering or faltering.

Those who don’t follow you are like chaff driven by the wind.

They cannot withstand judgment.

They do not stand with the congregation of the righteous.

Their way perishes.

Chart the path for us, O God.

Watch over us on the way, O Lord, to you.

May your way guide our feet,

    and our paths help others find their way.

In the name of Jesus, our Guide and Pioneer, Amen.

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