Sunday 20th November 2016 – Christ the King (4)

The Christian year draws to a close,

Chosen One of Heaven,

and we praise You for the experience

of the fullness of human life

found within Your story.

Within each fragile moment,

the eternal promise

of God’s revealing light

challenges preconceptions

and sparkles with the hope

of what different thoughts and actions

might reveal.

Standing at the feeding trough, knowing the hatred of Herod,

starlight spoke of the alternatives for leadership.

Sermonising on a hillside, sensing the urgent hunger of the crowd,

sunlight enhanced the warmth of community.

Sitting at table, with the threat of betrayal,

candlelight dappled the hope of forgiveness.

Hanging on a cross, with the agony of death pulling at flesh,

darkness embraced the loneliness and pain of loss.

Running through a garden, filled with excitement at the unexpected,

dawn startled with new hope and possibility.

 

Response:  Let us not be afraid

FOR WE HAVE SEEN THE WORKS OF THE LORD.

 

King of Heaven,

You do not cast Your eye across this world at a distance,

but with the Holy Spirit

make Your passage though

the changing light of day and night,

and the activity of our lives.

On this day we we celebrate Your leadership,

and the alternatives to absolute power,

we pause to reflect upon

those who lead with our world and lives.

In the uncertainty of our time

we pray for those who must make decisions

about with whom and how we trade,

or how to maintain peace,

or the battles that are worth fighting.

We pray for our Government, and for the European Union,

for those across the world

frustrated with politicians and political decisions.

 

Response:  Let us not be afraid

FOR WE HAVE SEEN THE WORKS OF THE LORD.

In the warmth and light of this building,

and in our homes,

we have sensed the presence and assurance of God.

We remember those who feel the cold,

not only physically,

but within their Spirit;

those who feel that they live at a distance

from the love of God.

We remember those who have no roof under which to shelter,

and no walls behind which to hide.

As you embolden our Spirit,

we pray for the people of Aleppo and Syria,

for those living in war zones,

with less food each day

and a lack of medical supplies.

As we light candles of hope,

may we offer the assurance

that people are not forgotten,

and continue to seek ways for all to live life to the full.

 

Response:  Let us not be afraid

FOR WE HAVE SEEN THE WORKS OF THE LORD.

 

Hearing the words of the criminal on the cross,

we mark the beginning of prisoners week

with an acknowledgement

of all our failings.

We remember those who are in prison,

and the lives of the families who support them.

Heal those who have been wounded by the activities

of others, especially the victims of crime.

Help us to forgive one another.

 

Response:  Let us not be afraid

FOR WE HAVE SEEN THE WORKS OF THE LORD.

 

Amen.

Sunday 20th November 2016 – Christ the King (2)

Filler of the Holy Spaces,

who draws us towards the light and warmth of Your city,

You invite us to shelter within Your embrace.

Within the nurture of creation,

the salve that stills

the tumultuous tides of our emotions and anxieties

caresses our skin and thoughts.

Tumbling from anger and tears,

You cool the quaking thoughts

that calm words may be spoken.

Surfing the foaming waves of misunderstanding,

You point towards the the shallow tides

for pause and reflection

that common ground

and a grasp on the pervading reality

might burst into sight.

In the uproar of our world,

You are the firm fortress of truth and hope.

 

In the dimming light of winter,

gloom pervades our thoughts,

and at times we fail to look for Christ’s light

and instead wallow

in our misunderstandings

and misplaced trust.

Too quick to come to ponder on words or thoughts before us,

we make snap decisions,

and run headlong into hurting and miscalling others.

Too willing to point out the faults of others,

we fail to recognise how we have let others down.

Then terrified and afraid

of the reception we will receive

we withdraw and hide away,

until all we can do is turn to You

and hope for Your love to cast its light

upon the possibility

of a different day,

found in Your grace.

 

May we know the coming of Your days.

May we be lead to fruitful and abundant living,

that declares the presence of God

in our words and activities.

Amen.

Sunday 20th November 2016 – Christ the King

Call to Worship

Leader:     God is our refuge and strength,

ALL:          A HELP IN OUR TIMES OF TROUBLE.

Leader:     We will not be afraid, even when all is changing around us;

ALL:          FOR GOD CALLS THROUGH THE STORM AND ANXIETY

OF LIFE.

Leader:     In this holy citadel, the Lord hopes to make us glad;

ALL:          AND AS A NEW MORNING DAWNS, THE HOPE OF NEW

BEGINNINGS AWAIT.

Leader:     The Lord is with us;

ALL:          LET US BE STILL AND KNOW THE PRESENCE AROUND.

Leader:     Let us worship the Lord.

Sunday 30th October 2016 – Pentecost 24 (2)

Prayers of the People

For the welcome You offer,

and the generosity You inspire,

Son of God,

we give You thanks.

On the journeys we have made,

You have walked with us,

offering companionship and guidance.

You have lifted us up when we felt low,

and joined in the songs

that have spoken of encouragement, celebration and love.

We thank You for those who have made us welcome,

in their homes and in their lives.

For quiet meals with family and friends,

when stories of the past have allowed us to notice You around us;

for celebrations and fellowship,

where You have led the dancing

and spilled through the laughter.

 

May Your welcome spill into our meetings with the world,

ever-present Christ,

and remind us to see the world

with Your love and longing.

 

When politicians and world leaders meet,

may they walk as You would walk.

Enable them to hear the voices of the crowd,

the competing values,

the reps and aspirations,

and through the noise and clamour

may Your presence of God spill forth,

as talks focus on the need for peace,

the ensuring of the equity of the sharing of resources,

and the hope of the valuing of all life.

Open the eyes of those in power

to those who are ignored because they have been pushed to the edges of community life.

We pray for the vulnerable:

physically because of ill health

and politically

because of lack of wealth or status.

 

Teach us the value of taking time to watch the crowds around.

Too often we get caught up in the noise and the values

of the world in which we live.

We long for the wealth or freedom

to keep up with those we believe are important.

Or we join in the jeering voices,

and mock those who would not live as we do.

Take us to the edge of the crowd,

or have us climb to a height

where we are able to see the world differently

and notice

all we are missing.

We pray for journalists and reporters

who tell the story of our world,

that You enable them to point out the people and places in need of care.

For the police and community support workers,

who touch the lives

of those we view as trouble makers,

that their stories may allow us to see those we distrust in a new light.

For bankers, tax officers, and financiers,

that their knowledge of budgets and economics

may offer a challenge to poverty.

 

As we remember those who have shared their faith with us

and allowed us to meet the presence of Jesus in their lives,

may we give thanks for all they encouraged within us,

and welcome Your presence

as Your story is retold in our lives.

Christ of all people,

may you continue to seek out the lost,

and lead them and us

into the kingdom of God.

Amen.

Sunday 30th October – Pentecost 24

The Call to Worship and Opening Prayer are being led by someone else this week.

 

Offertory Prayer

Aware of Your presence around,

Welcoming Creator,

You have surprised us with warmth

and the assurance of belonging.

As we make our offering,

we thank You for the generosity

of sharing in the life of faith

and the comfort of our existence.

In moving us from greed to generosity

and from hoarding to hosting,

You challenge us

to see the world,

its needs and Your hopes.

Blessing the gifts of life and work,

open our eyes to the needs of others

and enable us to offer Christ

in all we do.

Amen.

Sunday 14th August 2016 – Pentecost 13 (Narrative Lectionary on 2 Corinthians)

Still off on my adventure in 2 Corinthians, but here are those that I have written.

Call to Worship

In living within the world

we find our resolve tested

and our faith faltering,

as who we are in Christ ripples through

the actions of our hands,

the words of our mouths,

and the thoughts of our hearts.

In coming to this place

we seek after the energising Spirit of God,

to restore the flavour of Christ

at the heart of our being

so that His words,

His enlightening presence may make us

bold and challenging

in the mercy and love we show.

 

Let us worship God…

 

 

Opening Prayer

Treasure of Heaven,

whose hands have worked and shaped

the clay of earth

to bring life and form;

whose imagination played

with light and colour,

with gas and solid,

bring into being

the wonder of creature and nature;

whose resting delights

in all that is made:

we praise You.

In the uniqueness of each part of creation,

You cause us to wonder

at some new knowledge

to be found of Your.

In the pattern and uniform

we are reminded of Your constancy.

In the diversity of our days

you draw us through our dependence

on Your grace and mercy,

and send us independently

to speak of Your love

and celebrate.

 

Like the clay from which we are formed,

we are easily shaped

by the hurts and scars

that living with others can cause.

In the heat of anger and frustration

our hearts are hardened

and we lash out,

afraid of the vulnerability we feel.

Broken by experiences,

we place our hands upon the treasure of faith within,

and seek the healing of Your forgiveness.

 

Silence

 

Lightening our hearts and imaginations with Your presence,

Compassionate Creator,

You remould us for Your purposes

sending us to bring Your healing in the world.

Amen.

 

 

Offertory Prayer

Source of life and renewal,

who provides for all our needs,

in our praise of all we have been given

we make our offering.

May all we give

be used in the glory of Your name

that others may be drawn into Your embrace

and know Your love

shown in Christ.

Amen.

 

 

Prayers of the People

 

Creator God,

In our frailty You do no abandon us,

instead You have made us a people of relationship.

In Your image and design,

You demonstrate the intertwining of hearts and lives,

and as we explore You

as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

as Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer,

as Lover, Beloved and Love,

we discover that at Your heart

that living is enhanced by the mutuality

of being with others.

We rejoice in the relationship we have with You,

from loving parent,

to insistent friend,

to critical companion.

We thank you for the friendships that sustain us,

for the people who encourage us forward

and those who are willing to tell us

when we have got it wrong;

for friendships that have marked the signposts of years

and those we are still to make;

for those lost in the midst of time.

As we remember the weakness of our humanity

overcome by the friendships and relationships

we have shared,

we offer the hand of friendship in prayer.

This prayer continues in an intercession on “friendship” found in “Moments of our nights and days” by Ruth Burgess

 

Amen.