Narrative Lectionary: Council at Jerusalem Prayers

Acts 15:1-18

Luke 2:29-32

Consider:

Matthew 11:28-30

Psalm 22:25-31

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 22:25-31)

From you comes my praise in the great congregation

The poor shall eat and be satisfied, those who seek shall praise God!

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord

Future generations will be told about God, and proclaim God’s deliverance to all people, even those not yet born, God has already done it. Praise God!

Call to Worship (based on Matthew 11:28-30)

Jesus says, Come

Come to me all you who are weary, for I will give you rest

Come to me all those carrying heavy burdens, for I will give you rest.

Jesus says, take my yoke, for I am gentle

Come to Jesus, for we can learn from him, and Jesus’s yoke is easy and Jesus’s burden is light.

Come, let us find rest in our souls, together, today.

Call to Confession: Come, let us confess ourselves to the Lord, for Jesus promises to alleviate our burden, we do not have to bear the weight alone.

Prayer of Confession: God I confess that we too often separate one another, judging each other and saying your are not like me. Or, sometimes we ignore our unique gifts and experiences and say: I don’t see color, I don’t see disabilities, I just don’t ask about sexualities or gender. Both invalidate the personhood of my neighbor. Help me, to see and name the commonalities and difference we might have. Help me to listen to other’s experiences without dismissing or ignoring them. Give me the ears to hear and the words to acknowledge the personhood and belovedness of my neighbor, without discrimination or judgment, but with grace, validation and love. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: Hear the good news, we are all the children, and nothing we can say or do can change that. Because of this, Jesus will forgive our sins whenever we need God’s grace. Friends proclaim the good news to one another: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication: Lord, let us go into the world with our load slightly lightened. Knowing that God’s yoke is light, and is contained in Jesus Christ’s command to love and serve one another. Let us go and love and serve one another through the power of the Holy Spirit we pray. Amen.

Author: katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant for 7 years, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times. "Hallows, not Horcruxes" Harry Potter

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