Call to Worship:
Written for Senior Chapel Week at Columbia Theological Seminary, October 2016
The theme of the week was: "Voice: Risk It. Hear It. Claim It."
One: Moses said,
All: “Here I am!” (Exodus 3:4)
One: Samuel said,
All: “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Sam. 3:10)
One: Ruth said,
All: “Where you go, I will go.” (Ruth, 1:16)
One: Joshua said,
All: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:15)
One: God said,
All: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” (Jer. 1:5)
One: Jesus said,
All: “I will be with you always.” (Matt. 28:20)
One: The Saints say,
All: Listen, God is calling
One: Let the people say,
All: We will speak words of love. We will listen for the voice of God.
Prayer for Illumination:
Written for the Sanctified Art Pentecost Bundle
Friends, join me in a meditative prayer for illumination:
I invite you to bow your heads, and open your non-dominate hand, palm side up.
Trace the shape of the wind on your palm, in honor of the way the Spirit can move in us.
Now, trace a flame on your palm, remembering how God can show up in mysterious ways, and that the presence of God warms and purifies us.
Now, clasp your hands, lacing your fingers together, remembering the way in which scripture calls us into unity with one another.
And now, with clear minds and focused hearts, I pray that we may hear the words of scripture today, and be receptive to the way in which God speaks to us through this good word.
In God’s holy name we pray, Amen.
Prayer of Dedication:
Written for worship at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church, during a series on prayer.
GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Baptism of the Lord's Sunday
Holy Spirit who hems us in before and behind.
You have given us absolutely everything we have- from summer rains to Georgia peaches and Sunday morning choirs.
We have taken almost everything you have given us, so take this little that we give back.
We pray you can use it for your good. And we pray that you mold in us more generous hearts.
Forever we pray- help, thanks, wow, amen.
We come here again, meeting you at your table, because we need to see you. We come here again, because again, we need to feel you.
It is dark out there God. So the world has forgotten that at creation you pushed back the darkness for light.
And it is cold out there God. So the world has forgotten the warmth of your touch, and the similar warmth that comes in hugs, handshakes, and shared meals together from the touch of a neighbor.
We come here and read your word, and tell our children that it matters because even when the world forgets, we know we can’t forget you! We don’t want to forget the day you waded into the Jordan, the day the clouds split and the dove descended and God, you were so pleased.
We don’t want to forget the day you calmed the storm- stopping those angry waves in their track to tell us that yes, we matter to you, so we should never be afraid, because you are here, and you hear our cry.
And we don’t want to forget the day you parted the sea for your children, building up walls to injustice, in order to make a path where peace could walk.
We don’t want to forget, so we try to imitate you. We try to do what you do, and say what you have said. We baptize because you baptized. We sing because all of creation sings, and we come to this table, because you came to this table.
So God of water and waves, we are here, praying to feel you in our bones, because we could use another moment where you remind us that you are pleased. We could use another moment where the storm is stopped. And we could use another moment where justice rolls down like a mighty stream.
So, Holy Spirit, hover over this table like you hovered over the waters at creation’s birth, and make this meal warm our bodies to the core. Make this meal one that we will remember, one that will push the darkness back.
And in the meantime, we will pray- imitating you in word and deed, exactly as you taught us, saying:
...Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen