Readings (designed to be printed as back to back A5):
NZ Hymn writer Shirley Murray:
‘Love and trust need no hoard, richest treasure can’t be stored.
Jesus said, have a care your heart will always be where your riches are’.
Call to worship
God of the past who whispered in the prophets’ ears;
who rescued us from sin’s slavery:
we are here to thank you.
God of the future, who is tearing down the old world,
and building your kingdom in our midst:
we are here because we trust you.
God of the present who, in the giftedness of our diversity,
creates us to be one people:
we are here to praise you.
God of life that surprises us when we find it within us:
we celebrate your grace.
Prayers for Others
(Reflecting on Colossians 3:1-11 and Luke 12:13-21)
Christ in this world
The lived compassion and Word of God,
We pray for the things of heaven
So that we in the world might set our minds on things that are above,
not on things that are on earth,
Which are not yet as they should be.
We pray for the things of heaven,
Compassion, grace, justice and the common good
So that they may become real for those who do not share them yet as they should.
We pray for the victims of fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry),
Both ours and others,
For slaves, people trafficked,
Victims of crime and the evils of society,
Those displaced or dispossessed by injustice, war, conflict and famine,
For the poor and forgotten.
We pray for those afflicted by
such things as anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language,
Those who are the targets of racism, hate-speak, bullying, prejudice, bigotry and discrimination.
Those mistreated and left to suffer,
At the hands of individuals groups, communities, cultures, organisations, bureaucracies and governments.
We pray for those like us,
Caught in consumerism,
Gripped in want and greed,
Addicted to the need for more,
Storing up richness of life at the cost of others,
Those caught in the fear of losing their quality of living or their plans for the future.
We pray for those isolated and alone,
Those cut off from connection in community,
Either by their own actions or the actions of others,
The sick, the fearful, the unwell
the lost, the abused, the outcast
So we pray,
Hoping you will act
But also knowing that we are called into communion with your action.
We pray that we might have the faith and courage
To join you in your way
Living your love in this world
That as it is in heaven
May be present here on earth
Thus may it be so
(Source: Jon Humphries)
The Happiness Market by Debra Dean Murphy (Ekklesia Project) – reflections on the texts this week.
Rich Toward God by Nancy Rockwell – reflections on the Gospel
(tune: Aberystwyth 126.96.36.199D – ‘Jesus, Lover of My Soul’, ‘Watchman, Tell Us of the Night’)
“Bigger barns are what I need!” So a rich man said one day.
“From my worries I’ll be free when my wealth is stored away.”
“Fool!” God said, “Today you’ll die! Will your wealth mean anything?
All life’s blessings really lie in my life that wealth can’t bring.”
“Bigger barns are what we need for our money, gadgets, more!”
Lord, we’re tempted to believe having wealth, we’ll be secure!
Somewhere children cry for food or to have a doctor’s care.
Can our bigger barns be good when poor neighbors know despair?
God of love, we long to know what will make us truly blest.
Jesus taught us long ago wealth won’t give us peace or rest.
You are our security! Safe in you, we serve, O Lord.
May we find we’re rich indeed when we’re sharing with the poor.
Text: Copyright © 2001 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Copied from Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Upper Room Books, 2009).
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com/
Hymn Use Permission: Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Upper Room Books, 2009) includes a permission note for those who own this book to use this hymn (along with the 76 other new hymns in the book) in their local church’s worship services. People who do not own Songs of Grace are asked to contact Carolyn (email@example.com) for permission to use the hymn and to get a copy of the hymn formatted for worship bulletin use.
Psalm 107: 1-9
Come and celebrate the goodness of God, whose unconditional love stands forever.
Let God’s liberated people sing and cheer, all who are freed from deep trouble;
those who have been brought in from Sydney to Perth, Darwin to Hobart.
Some wandered in a spiritual desert, unable to find where they belong;
so exhausted from hunger and thirst they had lost the will to live.
At their wits end they cried out to God, and were liberated from their misery,
taken along a newly defined path to reach their true spirit-place.
Let them celebrate this unqualified love and God’s wonderful work amongst us!
Our spiritual thirst is fully quenched, the hungry are filled with the best food.
Whoever wants to be really smart begin by taking these things to heart;
Let all people take time to reflect on the unconditional love of God.
(Copyright 2000. Bruce D. Prewer)
Ray Fowler wrote this responsive reading for Psalm 107. It’s the whole psalm and not the shorter version set for Pentecost+11C (marked with an asterisk*). This reading alternates between two readers and the whole congregation.
- READER 1 (or men) reads those parts of the Psalm which describe the distress of the people before they cried out to God.
- READER 2 (or women) reads those parts which describe how God saved the people from their distress.
- The PEOPLE read those parts which encourage the people to give thanks to God for God’s love and deliverance.
READER 1: Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. God’s love endures forever.
PEOPLE: Let the redeemed of the LORD say this — those God redeemed from the hand of the foe, those God gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.
READER 1: Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away.
READER 2: Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and God delivered them from their distress. God led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.
PEOPLE: Let them give thanks to the LORD for God’s unfailing love and God’s wonderful deeds for humankind, for God satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. (*end of lectionary reading for P+11)
READER 1: Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains, for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. So God subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
READER 2: Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and God saved them from their distress. God brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.
PEOPLE: Let them give thanks to the LORD for God’s unfailing love and God’s wonderful deeds for humankind, for God breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.
READER 1: Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death.
READER 2: Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and God saved them from their distress. God sent forth his word and healed them; God rescued them from the grave.
PEOPLE: Let them give thanks to the LORD for God’s unfailing love and God’s wonderful deeds for humankind. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of God’s works with songs of joy.
READER 1: Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the LORD, God’s wonderful deeds in the deep. For God spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits’ end.
READER 2: Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and God brought them out of their distress. God stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and God guided them to their desired haven.
PEOPLE: Let them give thanks to the LORD for God’s unfailing love and God’s wonderful deeds for humankind. Let them exalt God in the assembly of the people and praise God in the council of the elders.
READER 1: God turned rivers into a desert, flowing springs into thirsty ground, and fruitful land into a salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who lived there.
READER 2: God turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs; there God brought the hungry to live, and they founded a city where they could settle. They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest; God blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased, and God did not let their herds diminish.
READER 1: Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled by oppression, calamity and sorrow; God who pours contempt on nobles made them wander in a trackless waste.
READER 2: But God lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks. The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths.
EVERYONE: GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD, FOR GOD IS GOOD; GOD’S LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!
COMMUNION – a liturgy by Thom Shuman
Prayer of the Day
like a child
running down the sidewalk
to play with her best friend
on a summer’s day,
you eagerly come towards us.
Child of God:
with the anxious heart of a mother
waiting at midnight,
you long for us
to come home,
your arms aching to hold us.
Fullness of Grace:
when all others
have turned away from us,
you throw open
the gates of the kingdom,
inviting us in to share
at the Table of hope
prepared just for us.
God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray as Jesus taught us,
(The Lord’s Prayer)
Call to Reconciliation
When we could be revived by God’s grace, we find ourselves fearing God’s judgment, doubting God’s joy in us, fearing God has turned away from us. Let us come to the One who heals us and calls each of us by name. Please join me as we pray,
Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
How can we forget them, Calling God, those who have been thrown aside by the world, those whose cries are no longer heard by the powerful? How can we judge them, those who make choices with which we disagree, those who are so different from us? How can we still follow the hurlers of angry words, the purveyors of prejudice?
Continue to teach us better ways of living and doing, God of grace. You gather us from our foolishness, so we might be led into acts of mercy. You redeem us from our mistakes to we might bend down and feed those who hunger for hope. Your compassion, so warm and tender, is gifted to us through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, in whose name we pray.
Silence is kept
Assurance of Pardon
L:Do not be afraid. More than anything else, God would rather turn fetid swamps into pools of crystal clear water; bonds of sin into cords of compassion; sinners into servants.
P: God loves us. God forgives us. God lifts us to new life. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication/Offering
We offer not only our gifts, Compassionate God, but our time, so we might spend more moments with the lonely; our words, so the voiceless might be healed; our hands, that the hungry might be fed; our hearts, so that the rejected might find a home. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L: May God be with you.
P: May God also be with you.
L: People of God, open up your hearts.
P: We open them to God and one another.
L: People of God, give thanks to the Lord our God.
P: It is right to give thanks to the One who offers us lives filled with grace.
When we were children
running footloose through grace,
you loved us, Tender God:
dappling the night skies
with the bright stars of morning,
teaching us to walk
the paths of that first dawn,
telling us of your dreams
for all you created.
When, in our hurry to greet you,
we fell, skinning our knees,
you lifted us up in your arms,
holding us to your cheeks
wet with joy.
When we missed your calling
us to wash up for dinner,
you came and found us,
taking us by the hand
to feed us from Eden’s abundance.
But when we grew up,
we knew more than you,
turning to the idols of wealth and power,
who promised to serve us
even as they shackled us;
giving ourselves over
to anxiety’s sweet caress.
Yet you are God,
not a foolish human.
You remain in our midst,
not to punish or destroy,
but to reach out
and bring us home to your heart.
Therefore, we joyfully lift our voices,
with those who have gone before us,
and those who stand beside us,
singing our praise for your great love;
P: Holy, holy, holy, God of steadfast love.
All creation thanks you for your wonderful works.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the One who comes to lead us by a straight way.
Hosanna in the highest.
Holy are you, God of infinite tenderness,
and blessed is Jesus Christ,
your Son, our Lord and Savior.
Breaking the enslaving bonds of sin,
he binds our wounds
with cords of compassion;
walking with us
when we had lost our way,
he shows us the paths
to the kingdom;
stripping himself of glory and honor,
he clothes us in the new life of faith;
leaving aside his equality with you,
he became one of us,
so we might be one with you.
Remembering that you did not give up on us
or hand us over to sin and death
but showered us with your mercy in Christ Jesus,
we take the bread of life and the cup of grace
and joyfully celebrate that mystery we call faith:
P: Christ died, his life hidden in God.
Christ was raised, to be seated by God’s side.
Christ will come again, that we might be revealed with him in glory.
pour out your gracious Spirit on us,
and on these, your simple gifts.
Fill us with the broken bread
that we might be made whole;
touch our parched lips
with the cup of salvation,
so we might proclaim your gospel.
Then send us forth:
our hearts recoiling
at the oppression suffered
by our sisters and brothers;
our hands willing to build shelter
for those cast out by the world;
our arms surrounding
the lost and the least,
in the embrace of common humanity.
And when we are clothed with our new self,
when we are united with our sisters and brothers
gathered around the Table of glory,
we will sing our praises to you forever,
God in Community, Holy in One,
as you satisfy the thirsty with your grace,
and fill the hungry with your love. Amen.
L: Let us go with God to offer life to those around us.
P: We will gather up the broken to offer them healing.
L: Let us go with Jesus to wrap people in hope.
P: We will reach out to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless.
L: Let us go with the Spirit to love all those in our midst who have been forgotten.
P:We will take them in our arms and welcome them to our hearts.
© 2016 Thom M.
Thom M. Shuman
Galloway Presbyterian Church, Columbus, Ohio
Associate Member, Iona Community