Invitation to Gather by Rev. Courtney D. Arntzen
Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev Courtney D. Arntzen) appreciated.
Call to Worship
Voice 1: Come
Voice 2: Come stay
Voice 1: Come stay near
Voice 2: Come stay near me
Voice 1: My wings
Voice 2: My wings are broad
Voice 1: My wings are broad enough to keep you
Voice 2: Gather here.
Voice 1: Gather and hear.
Voice 2: There is room for you.
Voice 1: Just as you are
Voice 2: Gather and hear.
Voice 1: Gather here.
Call to Confession
The Pharisees come warning Jesus, “Get out of here! Herod wants to kill you.”
Jesus responds, “Not today! Today I have lives to heal and people to release. Today I will tell people again that I am the lifesaver.” Let us pray:
Prayer of Confession
Faithful God, You presented the law to release us from slavery,
and we turn it into a rulebook dictating who is in and who is out.
You provide the prophets with messages of life for all
and we mock their words, abusing their message for our benefit.
Through Jesus you fulfill the release from capture and we choose enslavement. Through Jesus you fulfill the message of life for all and we abuse the message. Over and over we ignore the call to pay attention.(Wake us up!) Over and over again you call us to yourself, longing to gather us, protect us, and save us by your life. (Wake us up!) You call us to life, and we wander aimlessly in the path of death. (Wake us up!) Hear us now as we confess our wandering ways (Silent Confession)…Amen
Assurance of Pardon
Jesus says, unless you turn to me, you will die. He then describes himself as a sacrificial hen that longs to protect her chicks from the sly fox.
This is the good news: Jesus wings are always spread
There is room, enough room
For you all.
Turn toward Jesus, nestle under the wings of Jesus, receive the grace and peace that comes alone from him. In the safety of Jesus’ embrace, let us be sent out to share the news that there is room enough for all.
Offertory Prayer/Prayer of Dedication
Receive these offerings as an expression of our desire to place our lives again in your hands. Multiply these gifts for the expansion of your life saving message to be shared through this community faith, both here and far beyond. In Jesus name and in expectation of his return, we pray. Amen
Gracious God, we praise you for your handiwork in creation, the wonders of the mighty mountains and the stillness of the silent snowfall. We praise you for wooing us into your fold through the life-work and life-saving ministry of Jesus. We are reminded that a mother hen may extend her wings to hold and protect her young. On the cross we remember Jesus’ arms extended, that we might come to him as we come to this table and receive all that is offered. You held nothing back on our behalf, may we hold nothing back as we come. Let us bring our full selves to the table where we receive once again your fullness.
Prayer Station by Rev. Shea Zellweger
1 I was glad because they said to me,
“We will go to the Lord’s temple.”
2 Our feet are standing
inside your gates, O Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem – built as a city bound firmly together.
4 The tribes go up there,
the tribes of the Lord,
where it is required that Israel
give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5 Indeed, the leaders sit there on thrones and make legal decisions,
on the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love her prosper!
7 May there be peace inside your defenses,
and prosperity inside your fortresses!
8 For the sake of my brothers and my neighbors
I will say, “May there be peace in you!”
9 For the sake of the temple of the Lord our God
I will pray for you to prosper.
Read the psalm once, and ponder it for a moment.
Pick up several sticks (at least 3) and hold them.
Read the psalm a second time, this time paying special attention to verse 3.
Using a piece of twine, tie your sticks so that they are “bound firmly together” Place your bound sticks upright in the sand. Remember that God has called the church to be bound together, and that we are the temple of the Lord
Read the psalm a third time as a prayer of thanksgiving.