Sep 22, 2014

Prayer of Confession: God Forgive

Here’s a confession written by C. Welton Gaddy.

Prayer of Confession

God, forgive my incompleteness:
not growing in Christ,
not expanding my knowledge of the Scriptures,
not developing all my talents.

God, forgive my disinterest:
a lack of concern for needs around me,
apathy regarding the lostness of millions,
blindness to hurts I could help heal.

God, forgive my dishonesty:
taking the easy way rather than the right way,
speaking in one manner while living in another,
silencing truth to preserve tranquility,
settling for less than what is best,
loving tradition more than obeying your pioneering Spirit.

God, forgive my loudness:
talking when I should be listening,
proclaiming when I should be studying,
busying myself with new tasks
when I should be finding a quiet place to rest.

God, forgive my silence:
feeling love and failing to whisper it,
reeling with joy and not shouting hallelujah,
knowing truth and forfeiting an opportunity to share it,
sensing a need to share my faith and squelching the impulse.
God, please forgive me.

~ Written by C. Welton Gaddy, from © 1998-2004, ICBS Inc.  Posted in The Communion of Saints: Resources from the Worldwide Church, by Anne E. Zaki, on the Reformed Worship website.

Sep 21, 2014

Call to Worship Litany: From Everlasting to Everlasting

Here’s a call to worship or litany inspired by Psalm 90:2.  It was written by Rachel Hackenberg.

Call to Worship Litany
(inspired by Psalm 90: 2)

“Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
(Psalm 90:2)

Let the drifting snowflake teach me
its blissful dance of joy:
From everlasting to everlasting!
Let the hibernating oak preach
the depth of its faith:
From everlasting to everlasting!

Let my soul shed its burdens
to join the chorus:
From everlasting to everlasting!
Let my heart be stilled of its racing
to hear the good news:
From everlasting to everlasting!

Come, young and old,
share the comfort:
From everlasting to everlasting!
Come, sisters and brothers,
live in the peace:
From everlasting to everlasting!

~ written by Rachel Hackenberg, and posted on Rachel G Hackenberg.   

Prayer Reflection: Deuteronomy 34

Here’s a thoughtful prayer reflection based on Deuteronomy 34, where God shows Moses the Promised Land.  It was written by Jeff and posted on Philosophy Over Coffee (see below for link).

Prayer Reflection:
To Be What We Have Seen
(based on Deuteronomy 34: 1-12)

    …when we’re paying attention…
    …or when we least expect it…
    …when we’re looking…
    …or when we’re most unassuming…
    …you show us something that we have longed to see.

We may be vigilant seekers,
    reading into the boring and routine or becoming excitable at the exciting;
    wanting to capture with precision and delicacy 
          a moment that we discern is just for us.

We may play the fool,
    backing into a divine embrace;
    stumbling upon a transcendent promise;
    no less moved by what we have witnessed.

Regardless of circumstances, it remains that we’ve seen it,
     and it cannot be unseen.
    You have made it seen.
    You have shown it to us.

You are the one who led us—willing or reluctant climbers—
     up the mountain.
You are the one who says to us,
          “I have let you see it with your eyes,
          “this beloved landscape of mine,
          “this long-sought destination,
          “this craved place of blessing and promise.”

Now that we have seen it, what would you have us do?
    Now that we have caught a slight glimpse
    or been given a lingering vision,
         we wonder how to get to the place you’ve shown us.
         It is too marvelous a place to live without,
too rich a source of life not to be shared,
too wonderful a reality to be forgotten.

You lead us back down the mountain—willing or reluctant rappellers—
     because there is more to see,
     and in one of your more clever twists,
     we have become the guides,
          the ones to show rather than be shown,
          the ones to help make it seen.

How best shall we move on from what you have shown?
    Simply: forward, to be what we have seen
         for others longing to see it.

Reflection: Matthew 22: 15-22

Here’s a brief reflection on Matthew 22: 15-22 from the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand website.

Reflection: Matthew 22: 15-22

For many years
we have had the mistaken notion
that all the problems of the world
can be solved with a few dollar bills.

In Jesus' time
the Pharisees came to ask him if they should
pay taxes,
and Jesus, looking at a silver coin,
asked whose face and name were engraved on it.
"The Emperor's," they said.
"Well then, pay to the Emperor what is his" Jesus replied.

Has God's face
ever been on a coin?
We are the coin
that bears the living likeness of God.
Giving of ourselves
with whatever that may include,
is the only legal currency
of the kingdom of heaven.

Sep 17, 2014

Closing Prayer: May Your Peace Go With Us

Here’s a closing prayer from the Third Space blog.

Closing Prayer

Creator God,
may your peace go with us wherever we will be this day
May you guide us through the challenges,
protect us when in need
and inspire us with your love.

May we acknowledge your presence
in all the human goodness we will see.

May you bring us home rejoicing
to our place of rest this night.

Creator God,
we now go into this day in the name of the Father
and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

~ posted on the Third Space website.