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YOUR GIFTS MATTER
CALL TO WORSHIP
From east and west, north and south, we gather in God’s name,
to pray, to worship, to sing, to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
We give thanks that we are part of a large, diverse faith family.
We are old. We are young. We come from tribes of all kinds.
We give thanks that God’s family is one of many colors.
From black to white to every shade in between, we are children of God.
We give thanks that the narrative we proclaim belongs to everyone.
We stand with our friends and family around the world, reclaiming the name of Jesus.
We give thanks for Jesus’ resurrection, a truth that tells us that God’s love wins.
We give thanks and praise to the Triune God: Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer.
Come, let us worship God and gather at God’s wide and wonderful table.
PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION
God of inspiration, break into the wilderness of our lives — the uncertainty, the confusion, and the distractions from your Word with a moment of clarity, grace and understanding that encourages us, and molds us through your Word and by your Spirit in Christ’s image. Amen.
SCRIPTURE Mark 10:7-31
This is the word of God for the people of God
Thanks be to God
CALL TO RECONCILIATION
Despite our foolish and angry words, God continues to speak of mercy to us.
Despite our best efforts to be faithless in our living, God remains faithful
in keeping the promise to forgive us and restore us to wholeness. Let us
confess our sins to God, so that God’s hope and grace might endure in our
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
God beyond borders, we know that on our way to worship, we may not have
noticed the exiles in our neighborhoods. We admit how easy it is for us to
wander down the streets of temptation, pausing at the corner of easy
choices. We fall silent in the presence of those who speak words of anger
and hate. We tolerate a culture that suspects all who are different from us.
Have mercy on us, O God, for surely you take the side of justice. Open
our hearts to all the wonders you are performing in our lives. You gift us
with those of other cultures, that our lives might be blessed. You send us
friends out of places we least expect, that our community might be enriched.
You call us to be generous with our blessings, so others might be graces
with the gift of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Silence is kept
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
L: God challenges us, God encourages us. God confronts us, and God accepts
us. God works wonders in our midst and gives us the eyes, the hearts, the
souls to see such miracles.
P: God forgives us, God guides us through the wilderness of the world, God
leads us home. Thanks be to God. Amen.
INVITATION TO THE TABLE
This is not my table.
This is not our church’s table.
This is not our denomination’s table,
or an American table,
or a table reserved for the wealthy or well-connected.
This table is reserved for sinners,
for the poor,
for those who are cast out,
for those who hunger and thirst.
This table belongs to Jesus Christ.
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is right, … join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Holy are you, …we proclaim the mystery of faith.
Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.
Pour out your Holy Spirit …now and for ever.
Let us pray the prayer Jesus taught.
Loving Creator we honor you, and we honor all that you have made. Renew the whole world in the image of your love. Give us what we need for today, and a hunger to see the whole world fed. Strengthen us for what lies ahead; heal us from the hurts of the past; give us courage to follow your call in this moment. For your love is the only power, the only home, the only honor we need, in this world and in the world to come. Amen.
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Holy Mystery, Your gifts of grace restore us. Assured of our worth and renewed in hope, send us in the power of your Spirit, to proclaim the Good News that binds the broken hearted, frees the oppressed, and rids the world of evil’s lies that demean and destroy. Make it so among us, that all life may flourish as you intended.
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain to joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.