Seeds Liturgy Resource: Narrative Lectionary Acts 10 for May 5th

Acts 10:1-17, 34-48

This pericope invites thinking about who is “in” and who is “out” and who decides.

New Yorker cartoon about hate as a family value/holding hate in common

https://www.facebook.com/NewYorkerCartoons/photos/a.237223479636271/2799594813399112/?type=3&eid=ARAq6I6Srdh5YCGnfg_gPAL4b7KV1PbvWonzJ1ouNHcTaTK4dff6ic9y6MrX-o1gzwVVGNYhtUazKeDR&__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARA1NPErUJEjZ5EmnJD6ozFmSm2jLbbFnOR4Wyse7ubonEuXhz9j1VO-N2DT7BThBAbXqtQUwnAjZYQ-RmmdJLN9dX7StuUFEniHyJF0988BCBrT3MNzY9u8m_59FEPWfZQG_z-z12KL58Iqlw6eEcrTvpVzRFdB-aZdxdeKwXcUDMO0_YNeFaAA3QcVwE-kN0d35zcV8jgv6GPy64XzhDZHMZiEOMF7_01kpXr30eGmg4ZUkFMF1o-Sy0DpsLx6rUwuqt1N8tAacL5aLMU2OD2tIKic8VYCzCxPAlvFnD9y4TvqjkI1MQZr5cbhqjPXzt4yz7YxC3tKUErEf-8IzBiTPVP3H3rxX1KvZg3KjQ5o&__tn__=EEHH-R

Fullsome exploration of hospitality, including references to Peter/Cornelius  in six lessons or sections with links to further resources https://www.baylor.edu/ifl/index.php?id=937688                                                                    

Direct links to some of those resources are below.

HYMN Come, Brother, Sit with Me                                                                                     Written music: https://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/53388.pdf

Audio on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLE6LuqBKC0 

WORSHIP SERVICE – https://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/53397.pdf

Discussion of a painting of the Last Supper with odd revelers and the changing of its title to “Feast in the House of Levi” when artist confronted by the  Inquisition about including strange characters in a painting of this holy, solemn occasion https://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/53387.pdf

See also in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Feast_in_the_House_of_Levi

This pericope lends itself to resources dealing with issues of inclusion and exclusion, a topic dealt with in the Belhar Confession of Faith. Link to the Confession as accepted in the PC(USA) Book of Confessions at https://www.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/theologyandworship/pdfs/belhar.pdf

See original liturgical resources inspired by Belhar below.

Call to Worship

Developed from the Belhar Confession  Please include these words if using/adapting:

“By Barbara Hedges-Goettl. 

Permission given to use or adapt for use in faith communities”

Leader: We share one faith. We have one calling. We are of one soul and one mind.

People: We are one people. We have one God and Father.

Leader: We are filled with one Spirit. We are baptized with one baptism. 

People: We eat of one bread and drink of one cup.

Leader:  We are one people. We confess one name. 

People:  We are obedient to one Lord. We work for one cause. 

ALL: Thanks be to God!

Prayers of the People:

Developed from the Belhar Confession  Please include these words if using/adapting:

“By Barbara Hedges-Goettl. 

Permission given to use or adapt for use in faith communities”

All: We share one hope; together coming to know the height and the breadth and the depth of the love of Christ 

[Prayers of thanksgiving and joy/petitions for love and hope] 

All: Together we know and bear one another’s burdens, thereby fulfilling the law of Christ that we need one another and upbuild one another, admonishing and comforting one another; and that we suffer with one another for the sake of righteousness.

[Prayers for those in need]  

All: Together we are built up to the stature of Christ, to the new humanity. We pray together. Together we serve God in this world. Together fight against all which may threaten or hinder this unity. 

[Prayers for the Christian community to live up to its calling] 

Leader: In the name of Christ Jesus, who unites us in the prayer that he taught us….

[The Lord’s Prayer]

Confession of Sin #1

Developed from the Belhar Confession  Please include these words if using/adapting:

“By Barbara Hedges-Goettl. 

Permission given to use or adapt for use in faith communities”

 

Call to Confession: God calls the church to follow him, standing by those who suffer and are in need, so that justice may roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Let us confess the ways in which we do not follow God’s call. 

Prayer: 

One: O God, you bring justice to the oppressed and give bread to the hungry. 

All: Forgive us when we do not follow you. 

One: You free the prisoner and restore sight to the blind. 

All: Forgive us when we do not follow you. 

One: You support the downtrodden and protect the stranger. 

All: Forgive us when we do not follow you. 

One: You block evildoers and help orphans and widows. 

All: Forgive us when we do not follow you. 

One: You stand against injustice. You stand with the wronged. 

All: Forgive us when we do not follow you. 

One: You condemn those who seek their own interests, controlling and harming others. 

All: Forgive us when we do not follow you. 

One: You bring about justice and true peace among people. 

All: God, forgive us when we do not follow you. 

Grant us your grace. Embolden us that, as your people, we may stand where you stand. 

Assurance of Forgiveness 

One: God’s life-giving Word and Spirit enable us to live in a new obedience, opening new possibilities of life for society and the world. Thanks be to God for the Good News: 

All: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven

Prayer of Confession #2

Developed from the Belhar Confession  Please include these words if using/adapting:

“By Barbara Hedges-Goettl. 

Permission given to use or adapt for use in faith communities”

Invitation: 

The gift and obligation of unity is given and commanded by God for the Christian church,  

yet the one worldwide community of believers is not visibly and consistently united. Let us confess our need for God’s grace.

Prayer of Confession: God, forgive us. Our communion is not always visible to the world. We allow threats to unity to enter the church, making it hard to see that we are your community. At times we act as though we do not need each other. We do not always love one another. Sometimes we do not know and bear one another’s burdens. At times we fail build each other up. We do not always give ourselves willingly and joyfully to one another.  Forgive and strengthen us so that we may live in the unity that you grant us.

Assurance of Forgiveness 

One: By Christ’s work, we are reconciled and united with God and with one another. Thanks be to God for the Good News:   All: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. Amen.

Prayer of Confession #3

Developed from the Belhar Confession  Please include these words if using/adapting:

“By Barbara Hedges-Goettl. 

Permission given to use or adapt for use in faith communities”

Call to Confession: 

One: God has given the church the message of reconciliation in and through Jesus Christ, but we fall short of God’s call to be salt of the earth and the light of the world. 

Prayer of Confession: 

All: God, our fears and prejudices run deep. Sometimes we can only see our own point of view. 

We stick with those who are like us, rarely venturing outside our comfort zones. We do not hear 

those crying for justice and true peace. We blame those who are suffering and in need instead of standing by them. We deny the power of your gospel to unite us with those who are different from us. 

Lord, give us eyes to see and ears to hear. Use us to open new possibilities of life for all of your people.

Assurance of Forgiveness

One: We are reconciled with God and with one another through Christ’s work. Thanks be to God 

for the Good News: All:  In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Statements/Confessions of Faith

Confession of Faith #1 from article 1 and the beginning of Article 2 of the Belhar Confession  Please include these words if using/adapting:

“By Barbara Hedges-Goettl. 

Permission given to use or adapt for use in faith communities”

We believe in God–the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, 

who gathers, protects and cares for the church. 

We believe the church is one worldwide communion of saints, 

called from the entire human family. 

We believe the church is the single community of believers, 

reconciled with God and with one another. 

We believe that through the working of God’s Spirit, 

unity is a binding force and also that we must seek this unity, 

which must become visible to the world. We believe that the sin of division, separation and hatred between people and groups has been conquered by Christ. 

We commit ourselves to protecting the unity of the church universal. 

We pledge to make this unity active in all of our words, thoughts and deeds.

Confession of Faith #2 

Developed from the Belhar Confession  Please include these words if using/adapting:

“By Barbara Hedges-Goettl. 

Permission given to use or adapt for use in faith communities”

It is through Christ’s reconciling work that we are the church united to God and to other believes.

As the church, we are the salt of the earth. We are the light of the world.

   We are entrusted with the message of reconciliation in and through Jesus Christ.

As the church, we are witnesses by both word and deed.

    We proclaim the new heaven and the new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

As the church, we proclaim that God’s life-giving Word and Spirit has conquered sin and death.

     God conquers irreconcilation, hatred and bitterness.

As the church, God’s life-giving Word and Spirit enable us to live in a new obedience,

    God opens new possibilities of life for society and the world. 

We declared ourselves ready to venture out on the road of obedience and reconciliation,

     servants of God, who wishes to bring about justice and true peace among people.

  

Confession of Faith #3/Litany

Developed from the Belhar Confession  Please include these words if using/adapting:

“By Barbara Hedges-Goettl. 

Permission given to use or adapt for use in faith communities”

The three parts of this litany may be used separately or in flexible combinations.

a.

One: We believe that unity is both a gift and an obligation for the church of Jesus Christ.

Many: Through the work of God’s Spirit, unity is a binding force.

One: At the same time, unity must also be earnestly pursued and sought.

Many: We must be continually built up to attain this unity.

One: Our unity must become visible to the world.

Many: Separation and hatred between people and groups is sin, already conquered by Christ. 

One: Anything threatening our unity has no place in the church.

Many: We commit ourselves to resisting anything that threatens our unity.

One: The unity of the people of God is active and made manifest. 

All: Thanks be to God.

b. (Here it works well for the two groups to make the proclamations below to each other.)

Group One: The communion of saints called from the entire human family is united by God.

Group Two: As the people of God, we love one another.

Group One: We experience, practice, and pursue community with one another.

Group Two: We give ourselves willingly and joyfully to one another.

Group One: We are a benefit and blessing to one another. 

Group Two: We share one faith and have one calling.

Group One: We are one body, and are of one soul and mind.

Group Two: We have one God and Father. 

Group One: We are filled with one Spirit.

Group Two: We are baptized with one baptism.

Group One: We eat of one bread and drink of one cup.

Group Two: We confess one name and are obedient to one Lord.

Group One: We work for one cause and share one hope.

All: Thanks be to God.

c.

All: Together we confess that God unites us in faith.

Together we come to know the height, and the breadth, and the depth of the love of Christ.

Together we are built up to the full stature of Christ.

Together we know and bear one another’s burdens.

We admonish one another. We comfort one another. We suffer with one another.

We need one another and we build up one another.

Together we pray. Together we serve God in this world.

Together we fight against all which may threaten or hinder this unity.

Thanks be to God for drawing and keeping us together. 

Eucharistic Resources from The Confession of Belhar                                                                           by Catherine J. Purves

Invitation to the Lord’s Table (See Luke 13: 29) 

Friends, this is the joyful feast of the people of God! They will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God.                                                  All will be together there at the table; all will be reconciled.                                                       God’s justice will be established, and we will be at peace in Christ. 

This is the Lord’s table.                                                                                                                        Our Savior invites all those who trust in him to share the feast which he has prepared. 

Invitation to the Lord’s Table (See Ephesians 4: 4-5) 

This is the table of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here the community of faith gathers.                           United in baptism, we eat of one bread and drink of one cup, we confess one name,                    are obedient to one Lord, and share one hope. Come to the table where our unity in Christ becomes visible, and where the triune God gathers, protects, and cares for the church. 

Great Thanksgiving 

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.                                    We praise you O Living God, by whose purpose and will all things came into being.                            In a gracious act of love you formed a people, gathering, protecting and caring for them through Word and Spirit. You called us to be the light of the world, a reflection                                      of your glory and compassion, your justice and your love. When we allowed prejudice, fear, selfishness, and unbelief to lead us from the path of obedient faithfulness, again and again you sent prophets who called for justice and reconciliation. When our need was greatest, you did not abandon us, but sent us your Son,  our Lord and Savior, so that we might be reconciled with you and with one another, one church, united in worship with all the faithful of every time and place singing forever to the glory of your name: 

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. 

We praise you, O God, for your grace embodied in Jesus Christ. In him,                                    humanity has been restored and we are a new community. In him,                                                 the powers of separation and division and hatred have been defeated. In him,                                            the reign of righteousness and truth, freedom and justice has drawn near.                                 

Through his life and ministry, his death and resurrection, his ascension and his lordship, we are now certain of our hope and live in anticipation of his kingdom of peace and justice. Remembering all that you have done for us, and knowing that you are still at work in the world, we take this bread and we share this cup, giving thanks                                       for our redemption and reconciliation now complete in Jesus Christ.                                                And we offer up our lives as a proclamation of his lordship, celebrating his promises                            of unity, reconciliation, justice and peace. Praise to you, Lord Jesus: 

Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life.                                                        Lord Jesus, come in glory. Come, Holy Spirit. 

Let these gifts of bread and wine be for us the body and blood of Christ.                                         In this sharing may we be united with him and with one another.                                         Reconciled, forgiven, united, and fed, send us out to live in obedience and sacrifice,                       until that day when all will gather at your table in glory, proclaiming: Jesus is Lord! Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, in the holy church, all glory and honor are yours, almighty Father, now and forever. Amen. 

Prayer After Communion 

Holy and just God, at this our Lord’s table we have known the power of your promises and the mystery of his presence. We have seen that we are one in him, reconciled with our sisters and brothers, united in praise and in service. Being fed and fortified, lead us now into the world to proclaim your justice and to work for your peace, that all would come to see and know that Jesus is Lord and Savior.                                                  To him be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.

Hymns Related to the Themes of the Belhar Confession

Taken from The Presbyterian Hymnal, Glory to God

Unity 

   “In Christ There Is No East or West”  # 317, # 318

   “The Church’s One Foundation”   # 321

   “What Does the Lord Require of You?”   # 70

   “We Are One in the Spirit”   # 300

   “We Are One in Christ Jesus”   # 322  (Latin American tune) *

   “Help Us Accept Each Other”   # 754

   “Come!  Live in the Light!”   # 749  (Micah 6: 8)

   “Called as Partners in Christ’s Service”   # 761

   “Faith Begins by Letting Go”   # 684  (familiar tune)

   “Let Us Build a House:  All Are Welcome”   # 301 *

   “O Christ, the Great Foundation”   # 361

   “O for a World”   # 372

   “O God, We Bear the Imprint”   # 759

   “We Gather Here in Jesus’ Name”   # 501  (Communion) *

   “We Shall Overcome”   # 379

Reconciliation

   “Come Now, O Prince of Peace”   # 103  (Korean)

   “Dream On, Dream On”   # 383  (Korean – difficult tune, good words)

   “Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive”   # 444 *

   “I Come with Joy”   # 515  (Communion)

   “O Day of Peace”   # 373  (tune:  Jerusalem)

   “When God Restored Our Common Life”   # 74  (not completely sure about this one)   

Justice 

   “For the Healing of the Nations”   # 346

   “Lord, You Give the Great Commission”   # 298

   “My Song Forever Shall Record”   # 67  (Psalm 89, familiar tune)

   “My Soul Cries Out with a Joyful Shout:  Canticle of the Turning”   # 100  

              (Magnificat, Irish Ballad tune)

   “My Soul Gives Glory to My God”   # 99  (Magnificat)

   “Show Us, O Lord, Your Steadfast Love”   # 449  (Psalm 85)

   “Sing Praise to God, Whose Mighty Acts”   # 356  (Psalm 9)

   “The Days Are Surely Coming”   # 357

   “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy”   # 435

The above liturgical resources related to the Belhar, plus others from the PC(USA), may be found at http://oga.pcusa.org/section/mid-council-ministries/constitutional-services/belhar/

Other Belhar resources may be found at https://www.rca.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=4059

Exegetical resources 

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2421

This story is more about the conversion of Peter than about that of Cornelius

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=3219                                         Gives historic background regarding Cornelius as a centurion, and then addresses possible themes of where the spirit is leading us today and how to have genuine dialogue across differences. 

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom36.pdf Calvin’s Commentary on Acts

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/robertson_at/wp_acts.xi.html#xi-p0.1 Detailed analysis of the Greek (1930)

https://cep.calvinseminary.edu/sermon-starters/easter-6b-2/?type=old_testament_lectionary Acts challenges the assumptions of the early Christians regarding who the gospel is for, shocking those who are already in the church 

http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1294                           Examines the story in the context of the larger narrative of Acts and Peter’s ministry overall. 

http://www.rickmorley.com/archives/1585                                                                                                                                    Christians of Jewish descent are “astounded” that the Holy Spirit of God is being given to “even” the Gentiles.

https://politicaltheology.com/the-politics-of-acts-1044-48/                                                        In usual circumstances Peter, as a Jew, would never have gone into Cornelius’ home.

https://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/53391.pdf

The practice of welcoming travelers was a tactic to neutralize potential threats; 

here hospitality changes how Jewish Christians see Gentile converts.

How is Christian community blocked today?

#Abundance of Presence: Seeds of Prayer #Lent Narrative Lectionary

 

Last Supper: Abundance of Presence

Matthew 26: 17-30 and Psalm 116: 12-15

Call to Worship

I love the Lord my God, who has heard my voice and supplications

Because God has inclined an ear to me, I will call out for God as long as I live.

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous, our God is merciful

Come, let us walk before the Lord. 

Call to Worship

Come let us break bread together today

Come Let us drink the fruit of the vine together, on our knees.

Let us do this remembrance of Christ

Come, let us proclaim his death until he comes again. 

 

Confession: Lord I confess sometimes I am Judas ready to betray, sometimes I’m Peter quick to deny what I’m going to do, sometimes I’m the disciples oblivious to the truth though I’ve been told over and over again. Forgive me, help my faith, save me Jesus I pray. 

Confession: Lord I confess I feel the snares of death, O Lord, I pray, save my life. Help me, your servant, loose my bounds to sin I pray. Free me to love you. 

Confession: Lord I confess that I have forgotten that you are present. I have forgotten the miracle of your bread and your cup. Forgive me and breathe life back into me I pray. 

Assurance of Pardon: (Psalm 116: 8-9) Know this: Your soul has been delivered  from death, and now you walk in the land of the living, In Jesus Christ you are forgiven.

Assurance of Pardon: The Lord has dealt bountifully with you, returning your soul to your rest, so know that you are deeply and fully forgiven in Christ. 

Prayer of Dedication/Prayer of the Day: Lord, you poured out your blood for the forgiveness of sins, you have already sealed the new covenant with us. Hold that in our hearts so that we can dedicate all that we do to you. 

Full List of Lenten Resources (Of course some prayers may be appropriate for other weeks)

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Abundance of #Grace : Seeds of #Prayer for #Lent March 17

Laborers in the Vineyard

Abundance of Grace

Matthew 20:1-16 and Psalm 16:5-8

Call to Worship:

Lord it is good when we come to you at the beginning of the day

Whether we come at the beginning, the middle or the end you will be there. 

Lord it is good when we find you at the beginning of the week

But what a blessing when we find God, instead at the end, for still God’s hand will hold us fast.

Help us to find you, Lord!

Help us to find you today, so that we might give you praise.

Call to Worship:

Come let us worship the Lord

God shows us the path of life and invites us to join in the work of the day.

Come let us work together

So we can all share in the fruit of our labors together, with all the saints who participate, come let us do some of that work today!

https://www.strofiliawines.gr/en/wine-in-art/red-vineyard-arles

Prayer of Confession: Lord, I confess that you are my Lord,  I have no good apart from you. So I turn to you to confess my failings, so that you can fill me with your grace and love, so that you can be with me and teach me. Show me the path of life I pray.

Prayer of Confession: Lord I confess aha some days I worry if there is not enough grace for me and my sins. I so often feel so full of holes, that I do not count myself as holy enough for you. Yet, you are ever with me, with your presence there is a fullness of joy, there is enough. Remind me that there is enough, I pray.

Assurance of Pardon: Lord you are the path of life, fullness of joy and pleasure forevermore, so we can be confident of the truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. 

Assurance of Pardon: Lord, it doesn’t matter if we come to you in the beginning, the middle or the end, we are assured of your grace. In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. 

Hymns: Amazing Grace

On Eagles Wings

Jesus, Priceless Treasure

Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me

There is a Wideness in God’s Mercy

Lord I wanna be a Christian in My Heart

 

Full List of Lenten Resources (Of course some prayers may be appropriate for other weeks)

Abundance of Blessings: Seeds of #Prayer for #Lent March 6th #AshWeds

March 6th: Matthew 18:1-9

Psalm 146:7c-10 or 51:1-3

Abundance of Blessings

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10 (Scripture doodle of encouragement)

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/425027283575522346/Call to Worship

Our God is an awesome God!

He made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in it.

God reigns from heaven above with wisdom, power and love

For our God is the one who executes justice for the oppressed, the one who gives food to the hungry.

Who cannot praise our God, Our God is an awesome God!

Our God is an awesome God, let us praise God together. 

Call to Worship

God, you are the God of the hungry, the blind and the oppressed.

We praise you for opening the eyes of the blind, for lifting up those who are bowed down, for upholding the orphan and the widow

Prayer of Confession: Lord we think that blessings are like pie. We confess we want to be the closest to God, because we think those closer to God will get the most blessings. Remind us that blessings are not pie. Remind us that your blessings are enough. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Prayer of Confession: Lord, we admit that we sometimes cause stumbling blocks. We put things in other’s paths so they cannot succeed. Sometimes we even have to get out of our own way to be able to see you. Forgive us when we build walls, remind us to open any and all paths to Shalom, and help us be creators of those paths we pray.

Prayer of Confession: Lord I now my transgressions, my sin is before me and it is against you alone God, I have sinned. I have done what is evil in your sight. I was born imperfect. Remind me that you desire truth in my

Assurance of Pardon: Jesus promises us, that we are forgiven, loved and enough.

Assurance of Pardon: Our God is the God of healing, wholeness and peace. Our God gives us Shalom! Let us share the good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen

Assurance of Pardon: God promises to always execute justice, know that God’s justice includes mercy, hear the good news: In Jesus Christ you are forgiven.

Assurance of Pardon: The Lord will have mercy according to God’s steadfast love, blotting out all trangressions. Know we are loved and forgiven by God.

Prayer of Dedication/Prayer of the Day: God, you are the God of Hope precisely because you are the God of justice. When we forget who you are: open our eyes when we are blind, teach us again to feed the hungry, show to us how uphold the orphan so that we can remember who you are, Lord who will reign forever. Amen.

Hymns:

Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us

Create In Me  Clean Heart

Jesus Thy Boundless Love to Me

 

A Short Order of Worship

Call to Worship: Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,

whose hope is in the Lord their God, 

who made heaven and earth,

 the sea, and all that is in them;

who keeps faith for ever; 

who executes justice for the oppressed;

   who gives food to the hungry. 

The Lord sets the prisoners free; 

the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.

The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;

the Lord loves the righteous. —Psalm 146:5-8

Communion

Oral Story: Matthew 18:1-9 Who is the Greatest? 

Burning of Our Sins: The Lord says, if there’s a piece of you that causes you stumble, cut it off. What do you need to cut off or let go of ? Or what do you need to hang onto and grow so that you can be more joyful and curious like a child? (ceremonially burn our sins written on paper)

Imposition of the Ashes

Closing Prayer: Have mercy on me, O God,

   according to your steadfast love;

according to your abundant mercy

   blot out my transgressions. 

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

 and cleanse me from my sin.—Psalm 51:1-3

 

Full List of Lenten Resources (Of course some prayers may be appropriate for other weeks)

 

 

 

Seeds: NL ideas 10/28

 

1 Kings 3:4-9

Matt 6:9-10

Additional Scripture

Psalm 5

Ecclesiastes 7

Meditative Thought: What is the wisdom of the Saints?

Call to Worship

Lord let us approach you with wisdom

Let us approach you with hope

Let us approach you with love

Come let us approach the Lord

Prayer of Confession Holy God, we confess that we do not always approach you with wisdom. Sometimes we are afraid, that we do not know everything, and we feel foolish to approach you. Yet, you are always inviting, all people of differing ages, faiths, intelligences and abilities. You promise that all can be used to glorify you. Though we may be aware of our limitations, open our eyes to the possibilities we pray. 

 

Assurance of Pardon

God wisely sent his only son to teach us, but also to love us. Remember the truth. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Additional Prayer

Call to Worship (from Psalm 5)

                                     

Give ear to our words, O Lord;
Give heed to our sighing.
Listen to the sound of our cry, O Lord;
We pray to you, our God and our King.

You hear our voice in the morning.
At sunrise we offer our prayer.
O God, we wait for your answer.

*Hymn # 80   I Greet Thee Who My True Redeemer 

*Call to Confession  

*Prayer of Confession (adapted from prayer by Brenda Kuyper)

One: Our Father in who art in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Many:  Forgive us when we act in ways that shame your name;                                                                                                                     empower us to honor and praise you by all we think, say, and do.

One: Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Many: Forgive us when we are so caught up in our own lives                                                                                                                               that we fail to share your love and grace with the world around us.                                                   

One: Give us this day our daily bread.

Many: Forgive us when we trust too much in the things and people

you have given us, forgetting they come from you.

One: Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Many: Forgive us when we harden our hearts toward those who have hurt us,                                                                                        forgetting that, time and again, you forgive us when we have hurt you.

One: Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Many: Show us the ways we hurt you and the work of the Kingdom.                                                                                                     Embolden us to stand firm against temptation..

One: For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Many:  Make us your people, serving your kingdom.

ALL: IN CHRIST’S NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.  

*Assurance of Forgiveness                                                                                                                                                                                            

    One: Christ Jesus came that we might know forgiveness and be renewed,                                                                                                     

    becoming more and more like him. 

    ALL: THANKS BE TO GOD FOR THE GOOD NEWS:  IN JESUS CHRIST,

    WE ARE FORGIVEN.

Hebrew Scripture Lesson:    2 Chronicles 6:18-21

Special Music: Make My Life A Prayer to You           Len & Barb Hedges-Goettl

Gospel Scripture Lesson:   Matthew 6:5-13                    

Epistle Scripture Lesson:   Romans 8:26-27  

                                                           

*Hymn #350  Open My Eyes, That I May See                   

Teach Us to Pray Rev. Dr. Len Hedges-Goettl

*Hymn #435   What a Friend We Have in Jesus            

Prayer of Confession adapted from https://www.reformedworship.org/article/june-2013/lord%E2%80%99s-prayer. Cover image from https://www.puttingonthenew.com/2014/04/01/make-my-life-a-prayer-to-you/

Rev. Dr. Len Hedges-Goettl (GATE-L) is an ordained PC(USA) pastor who became a clinical psychologist after discovering he needed more training to continue and deepen his pastoral work with survivors of abuse. Len (and his wife Barb) returned to the East Coast several years ago to be nearer to their grown children, most of whom settled on the East Coast after living in Jenkintown for ten years as kids. Katy, a pastor in Albany, NY, and her librarian husband Anthony have three boys ages 10, 8 and 6. Bob, an Information Tech guy who lives in Philly, will be married to Brenna next year. Social worker Izzy lives with lawyer husband James in NYC. Their youngest daughter Noelle, a theater person, inexplicably lives in Chicago. 

Possible Lord’s Prayer hymns

Presbyterian Hymnal: 

347: Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive

349: Let All Who Pray the Prayer Christ Taught

358: Help Us Accept Each Other

God’s will

#86 (refrain) When We Are Tempted to Deny Your Son

#178 (verse 1) Lord, to You My Soul  Is Lifted 

#287 (verse 1) God Folds the Mountains Out of Rock

#316 (verse 2) Breathe on Me, Breath of God

#324 (refrain) Open My Eyes That I May See

#387 (verse 3) Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

#391 (verse 5) Take My Life

#409 (verse 1) Wild and Lone the Prophet’s Voice

#553 (verse 2) For the Fruit of All Creation

Hymns for the Living Church (1974)

#370 Teach Me Thy Will, O Lord

#516 Father Eternal, Ruler of Creation

Paraphrase(ish)

#203 (verse 2) God of Mercy, God of Grace 

Lord’s Prayer as service music: 

#571 (John Weaver 1988)

#589 (West Indian Folk Melody transcribed by Olive Pattison) 

#590 (Vater Unser/Schumann’s Gestliche Lieder, harmonized by Bach; Vers. Henry J. deJong, 1982)

When in Doubt: #Prayer Resource #Jesus Condemned

John 19:1-16a and Psalm 146

Call to Worship: Lord we come here for sanctuary Knowing the world is not always safe, we turn to you I will not put my trust in the power of mortals or princes I put my trust in the Lord, who executes justice–the one who gives food to the hungry. Breath departs and plans perish. So My hope is in God who’s promise is peace, that God I will praise all my life long. 

Prayer of Confession: Lord almighty, I confess that I feel the powers that be. I am strained by the systems, by the abuse and violence that is in the world. I am overwhelmed. So help me to turn to you Lord Jesus, let me see your love, so I am not only encouraged but also empowered to love in the midst of hardship I pray.

Assurance of Pardon: Hear this, our God is the one who sets prisoners free, opens the eyes of the blind. Lifting up those who are bowed down and watching over the stranger. This God is the one who proclaims the truth to us: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen

Offering Prayer/Prayer of Dedication: Lord we are here, hoping to give ourselves, not to the powers and principalities of mortals, but instead to you. So that we might love and serve the Lord, so that God’s love can shine through everything we do, we pray in your most holy name. Amen.

 

 

 

Prayers and Liturgy by Pastor Katy Stenta who is the solo pastor at a bigger on the inside church in Albany, NY and enjoys reading fantasy, soaking up sunshine, playing with her three sons and visiting her husband at his work, the library.

When in Doubt: Jesus and Pilate #prayer resource

John 18:28-40 and Psalm 145:10-13

Call to Worship: God, your kingdom is everlasting, and endures throughout all generations,  All  of your works shall give thanks to you. Someday even the rocks will cry out about your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Let all your faithful bless you. The Trinity God is faithful in all of their words, and gracious in all of their deeds. Come let us worship God’s holy name. 

Prayer of Confession: God our creator, we confess that we do not understand your kingdom. We get obsessed with power and status, and forget that yours is a kingdom of grace and love. We see our own truths, and forget that yours is the greater truth of the world. Remind us of who Ruler is, and how he leads us all, we pray. Amen

Assurance of Pardon: Remember God’s love is like God’s Kingdom, from everlasting to everlasting, and that through Jesus Christ, we are forgiven from generation to generation. Amen

Prayer of Dedication/Offering Prayer: Send us into the world, to build your kingdom, working together with all of creation to bring your works to fruition. We pray this is the strength and hope of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayers and Liturgy by Pastor Katy Stenta who is the solo pastor at a bigger on the inside church in Albany, NY and enjoys reading fantasy, soaking up sunshine, playing with her three sons and visiting her husband at his work, the library.

#reLentless #truth

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Truth is my weapon of choice. When meeting with adversity and evil. When facing down the human machinations that we call politics, when dealing with the perniciousness of gossip, when hearing a criticism that burns my soul….I choose truth

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Its a chancy weapon, because its a double edged sword, naming who I am in the situation even as it names others. It becomes confession. When you tell the truth you admit to yourself, and all others, that you are but human.

And I am all too human, horrible at remembering the names of my 40 some congregants who I have known for 6 plus years (and I am young), bad at details, fumbling at asking for help when I need it. I am small and frail. Spending a season admitting that I was, am and will be Ash is hard.

But even as I admit who I am, I also admit who God is.

“You are my God” “To you I cry all day long”

“Be gracious to me” and “Gladden the soul of your servant” for all that I lack, God has, and all that I wish for, God knows and all that I need, God is.

Other gods, do not dirty their hands with humanity. They may bargain or scheme with humans, using them or playing with them. But they do not broker humanity choosing to enflesh themselves through their only son.

I will bow down before the Lord my God, and glorify her Holy name, for God alone does wondrous things, stepping beside us in the daily, dirty, beautiful thing called life.

Only God does it all through truth, revealing to us who we truly are

Revealing to us who God truly is

Because you Lord, “have helped me and comforted me”

Praise Be to God

http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=355488475

Links of Prayer: Narrative Lectionary for Lent

Links of Prayer Resources for Lent.
A broad number of prayers from a variety of pastors/denominations. All variations of theology and kinds of prayers were accepted to show the vast richness of God’s work.
 These prayers are meant for personal spiritual practice or for congregations who follow the narrative lectionary.
They include a Call to Worship/Opening Prayer, Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Pardon, Communion Prayer, Prayer of Dedication/Offering and Some are Paired Psalm-Prayer Station Guide by Rev. Shea Zellweger
Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer written by XXX) appreciated.
March 1st Ash Wednesday by Rev. Mary Austin
March 5th The Good Samaritan by Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis
March 12th The Lament Over Jerusalem by Rev. Courtney D. Arntzen
March 19th Lost Coin, Lost Sheep, Lost Son by Rev. Mike Williams
March 26th Rich Man and Lazarus by Rev. Tracy Spencer-Brown
Apr 2nd Zacchaeus by Rev. Katy Stenta
Apr 11th Triumphal Entry/Palm Sunday by Rev. Jeanne Gay
Apr 13th Last Supper by Rev. Amy Fetterman
Apr 14th Crucifixion by Rev Lee Ann Higgins
      Good Friday Liturgy of the Nails http://wp.me/p2rhxZ-25W
Apr 16th Resurrection/Easter by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl

A Resource:Narrative Lectionary Advent Prayers

Many Thanks to those who have pitched in to write prayers. Page will be edited as more prayers come in.

These are resources, seeds and jumping off points. Hopeful they are useful!

advent-candles-with-messages

 

Advent 1 Nov 27 Daniel 6:6-27 Daniel in the Lions’ Den Luke 23:1-5

Author: Pastor Andrea Allen Advent theme is “God Makes a New Home in Us.”

Advent Wreath: Psalm 62: Hope

v. 5-8 For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from him. 
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken. 
7 On God rests my deliverance and my honour;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.                                                                                               8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.

Call to Worship: (Based on lyrics from hymn “O radiant Christ, incarnate Word” by Ruth Duck 1991 found in Voices United #84)

One: Come, let us prepare ourselves this Advent, our faith and hope renew.

All: God, come, lead the peoples to your peace.

One: We gather for a time of hope found in waiting and preparing for the light to be born within us again.

All: God, come, shine upon our shadowed world.

One: We come into this time to pause, to pray, and to share in our worship.

All: God, come, make your home within our hearts.

Gathering Prayer Gracious God, We give you thanks for today and for the opportunity to prepare and celebrate this Advent season. Be with us as we worship you, reminding us that you are our living God, and that your love endure for ever. Guide us to hear your word to each of us today and be with us as we seek to live out your call. In the name of Jesus the Christ, in whom we await, Amen.

Call to Confession O Holy God Today we come to you asking for your forgiveness for those times when we have not left room for you to build a home within our hearts and our lives; those times when we have pushed you out of our hearts and lives. Advent is a busy time in our world when so many activities, parties, and events pull us away from you, forgive us when we leave you to the last of our lists and help us to put you first in our lives. Forgive us when we forget the importance of the season of advent, when we forget to cherish the time of waiting and preparing, and so we push along with the world to celebrate Christmas before it is time. Daniel prayed to you in a time when doing so was dangerous. He trusted in you and because of that you kept him safe. Forgive us when we do not trust in you but rather put our trust in the world and turn away from you. In the name of Jesus the Christ we pray, Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: Today and every day, God loves us, forgives us, and sets us free. Today and every day we remember that our living God endures forever. God’s kingdom will never be destroyed and we will always have a place in God’s kingdom. Amen.

Communion Prayer (TBD)

Offertory Prayer O living God, we thank you for your constant presence in our lives and in response to the constant blessings you give, we offer you our gifts today. Accept our offerings of time, talents, and treasures that they may further your work here on Earth so that one day all will truly know your Kingdom here on Earth. Amen.

Advent 2 Dec 4th Joel 2:12-13, 28-29 and Luke 4:16-21

Author: Pastor Shea Zellweger

Advent Psalm: Peace Psalm 2

v. 6-8  There are many who say, ‘O that we might see some good!
Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!’ 
7 You have put gladness in my heart
more than when their grain and wine abound.                                                                            8 I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

Lighting of the Advent Wreath

Leaders: Hear our fervent prayer, oh God.

People: Listen to our plea, and grant us your peace.

Leader 1: Our old men have visions of a time when all will be content, for all will have enough, no longer driven to spend and consume.

Leader 2: Our young women dream of nations who wage peace and not war.

People: Listen to our plea, and grant us your peace.

Leaders: We light the second candle, a blue candle, which carries the glow of peace. In the midst of turmoil, its steady glow reminds us that when all seems bleak, even then there is peace to be had.

People: Come, o Prince of Peace, Come.

Song of Response

O Come, O Come, O Adonai, who came to all on Sinai high.

And from its peak a single law, proclaimed in majesty and awe.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel

Call To Worship

One: Sing Praises to God, all you who dwell on Earth!

Many: We sing our praise, echoing the joyous strains of the angels.

One: God gives strength to us, the people of God.

Many: God blesses us with peace.

One: In peace, let us sing praises to God.

Many: In peace, let us worship!

Prayer of Confession

One: We confess our sins before God and one another,

[Pause for silent confession]

God, whose peace surpasses all understanding, we do not always seek peace.

Many: We sow the seeds of strife and division.

One: Nation wars against nation, and our people fight amongst themselves.

Many: Forgive us, o Lord, for we know not what we do.

Assurance of Pardon

One: Our God is a merciful God. Our conflicts have already been forgiven. We receive God’s forgiveness together as we follow the path of peace laid before us.

Many: Thanks be to God

Reading: Joel 2:12-13, 28-29

Prayer of Thanksgiving

We praise and thank you, God, for the visions and dreams you have poured out on your people. As we await your coming, may we prophesy with boldness your lasting call to walk the path of peace together.

Offering Dedication Prayer

Here are our gifts, Lord – the work of our hands. The sweat of our brows. The first fruits of our harvest. We dedicate them to your service. May they help to spread your reign of peace throughout the Earth. Amen.

Advent 3 Dec 11 Isaiah 61:1-11 and Luke 4:16-21

Author: Pastor Katy Stenta

Advent Candle Joy Psalm 98

v. 7-9 7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
   the world and those who live in it. 
8 Let the floods clap their hands;
   let the hills sing together for joy 
9 at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
   to judge the earth.

Call to Worship

God you send the Holy Spirit, clothing us in the good news

You bind up the broken-hearted and comfort those who mourn

We are planted  in God, who loves justice.

Therefore we will rejoice in the Lord! Let us exult the Lord with our entire being!

Prayer of Confession: Lord we confess that joy is difficult. We would rather smile or be nice, than find the joy in our lives. We are too busy, too worried or too polite to embrace the God who cares for the lost, the poor and the forgotten. We long for a connection to this God who knows where to plant us and how to tend to us. Forgive us we pray and teach of the joy of the Lord who repairs the brokenness of the world. 

Assurance of Pardon: The Spirit of the Lord comes upon us, clothing us in salvation. Hear the Good news of the Lord, in Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.

Prayer of Communion: Mighty God, you gave us life, blowing your Holy breath into our lungs. Walking with us through time, you saw that we could only understand your law as a burden. Thus you gave us your very self, so we might feel your joy in the work of love and care, in your son Jesus Christ. Jesus who was born among us, broke bread together with us and died for us. Upon Jesus’s resurrection, all sin became forgiven. It is from this God we receive the invitation to the table today….

Prayer of Dedication: Lord, let us give with joy all that we have to you, so that we might truly build the kingdom of God together.

 

 

 

 Advent 4 Dec 18th Luke 1:26-49 and Psalm 113

Author: Pastor (Dr.) Barb Hedges-Goettl

Advent Candle: Joy Psalm 84

v. 8-108 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
   for he will speak peace to his people,
   to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.* 
9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
   that his glory may dwell in our land.                                                                                              10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
   righteousness and peace will kiss each other. 

One: Hallelujah! You who serve God, praise God!

Many:  Just to speak his name is praise!

One: Just to remember God is a blessing—

Many:  now and tomorrow and always.

One: From east to west,

Many:  from dawn to dusk,

All:  keep lifting all your praises to God!

Call to Worship B Psalm 113 NIV

One: Who is like the Lord our God,

Many: the One who sits enthroned on high?

One: Who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?

Many: God raises the poor from the dust

One: God lifts the needy from the ash heap.)
Many: God seats them with princes,
One: with the princes of his people.

All: Praise the Lord.

Alternative Call to Worship (Luke 1)

One: The Lord is with you.

Many: What kind of greeting is this?

One: Do not be afraid; you have found favor with God.

You are caught up in service to the Kingdom of God.

Many: How can this be?

One: The Holy Spirit will come upon you

and the power of the Most High will overshadow you

for with God nothing is impossible.

All: We are servants of the Lord. 

May God’s word to us be fulfilled. 

Prayer of Confession:

God, we confess that sometimes our plans don’t allow for your plan.                                                                                        We rely only on ourselves, not on you and on one another.

Creator, Spirit, and Lord, forgive us when we do not consult you.

Break through to us with your Advent, your coming, your calling

(Silent Confession)

Assurance of Forgiveness:

One: God looks with favor on the lowliness of God’s servants.                                                  The Mighty One has done great things and holy is his name.                                                                               The Son of the Most High was given the throne of David.                                                             He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of this kingdom there will be no end.             Thanks be to God for the Good News:

All: In Christ Jesus we have eternal and abundant life.

Prayer of Great Thanksgiving/Communion Prayer

We give you thanks, Lord God on high.                                                                                    You are high above all nations.                                                                                                  Your glory is above the heavens.                                                                                               From the rising of the sun to its setting, we praise your name.                                        We thank you for the gift of Jesus Christ, your son and son of Mary.                      Although his greatness overwhelms us, he came to dwell among us.                           You gave to him the throne of his ancestor David, yet he reigns now and he will reign forever. Of his kingdom there will be no end.                                                                          We magnify you, Lord. We rejoice in you, our Savior.                                                           For you have looked with favor on our lowliness, doing great things for us.  Make us a part of your great work.                                                                                                                     As you give the barren one joy and a home, give us joy and a place to be at home.          As Christ Jesus heals and helps those in need, let us lift the needy from the ash heap.   As Christ Jesus the King sits with sinners, may all be welcome at this feast.                   As you raised up Christ Jesus from the cross, let us raise the poor from the dust.      For with you, nothing is impossible.                                                                                             As your Spirit came upon Mary and your power rested on her, shed your Spirit and your power this day.                                                                                                                    Come upon these gifts of bread and cup, that they may be for us the body and blood of Christ Jesus. Embolden us to be the body of Christ Jesus and carry Christ into the world, transforming it by transforming us.

Offering

O God, like Mary, we belong to you, body and soul. Like Elizabeth, when we meet you, we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and leap for joy. How happy we are when we believe in you, for it is then that our gifts, our lives, and our selves find their fulfillment.

 Christmas Dec 25th Luke 2:8-20 and Psalm 123:1-2

Author: Katy Stenta

Advent Candle Psalm 68

v. 19-20 19 Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation.
Selah 
20 Our God is a God of salvation,
and to God, the Lord, belongs escape from death.

Call to Worship

Come to Bethlehem and let us see the one whom angels sing!

Let us sing with the angels: Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and goodwill to all!

Come, let us see God!

Come Let us see the Christ child!

Prayer of Confession: Lord, we confess it is hard to approach you. It is hard to see the Christ child. Forgive us and help us to see you, to know you and to love you we pray.

Assurance of Forgiveness: Christ has come, love incarnate, salvation of the world! Know the Good news, Jesus Christ was born today, and it is in him we are each, and every one of us, forgiven. Thanks be to God.

Prayer of Thanksgiving: Jesus, you are here with us today. Before the world even began, God knows us and loved us into being. Then God translated Godself into human form–so we might see and taste salvation in the feast of love. Providing to us the good news in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let us give thanks to the God who created us, became human with us, and died to save us all. Let us continue to give God praise….

Offering Prayer: Light of the world, you have given us your only son. May we offer our gifts in return from the joy of the birth of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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