May 18, 2017

Call to Worship for Ascension

Here’s a call to worship for Ascension Day (or Ascension Sunday). It comes from Rev. Mindi’s Rev-o-lution website.

Call to Worship: Ascension
(inspired by Acts 1:6-11)

Why are we looking up to heaven?
Christ has come;
Christ has risen;
Christ will come again.

Why are we looking ahead to the future?
The Holy Spirit is among us now.
In our baptism, we have already died and risen with Christ.

Why are we afraid of death and dying?
God’s love casts out our fear.

Why are we afraid to follow Jesus?
In Christ, we have the promise of new life now,
eternal life to come.
In Christ, we join our hearts to worship God,
who has prepared for us to enter the reign of God.

~ written by Rev. Mindi and posted on Rev-o-lution. http://rev-o-lution.org/

Post-Ascension Prayer

Here’s a post-Ascension prayer from Julie on RevGalBlogPals.

Post-Ascension Prayer
(inspired by the events in Acts 1:6-11)

Where did you go Jesus?
Where did you go?
We stand, necks craning back, looking heavenwards
But we cannot see you
Where did you go?
Did you leave us?

Hush my child,
Listen, listen,
Listen for the breeze
Listen for the breath
Listen for the Holy Wind's whispered promise

You are not alone
You are not alone
You are never alone

My love is yours
My strength is yours
My wisdom... all yours for the taking
Listen, listen, listen....

It comes, a gentle breeze, caressing your spirit
It comes, building, energising, filling the spaces
Until you are full

O Holy Spirit!
Come!

Breath of God
Spirit of God
Our wise counsellor
Our constant companion
Helps us to remember that you are always with us
In persecutions, and turmoil, and dread
In excitements, and joy and love
In the mundane and everyday
You are. Here.

O God
Our God
We praise you
We call on you
We rely on you
As we stand and stare
As we wait again,
for the reminder that Pentecost only needed to happen once
as you promised,
for now the Spirit is always with us

Creator, Brother, Breath
Amen and amen

~ written by Julie, and posted on RevGalBlogPals.  http://revgalblogpals.org/

Pastoral Prayer for Ascension

Here’s a pastoral prayer for Ascension from Rev Bryce Calder on the Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday website.

Ascension Day Prayer
(inspired by the events in Acts 1:6-11)

Almighty God,
We come today reminded of your greatness and glory,
your sovereign power and eternal purpose
all expressed so wonderfully in Jesus Christ, our Lord:

Risen and Ascended.
 We thank you for the wonder of Ascension,
 that marvellous yet mysterious moment
 in the life of the Apostles
 which left them gazing heavenwards in confusion
 yet departing in joy.
 We thank you for the way that it brought the earthly ministry of Jesus
 to a fitting conclusion;
 signifying his oneness with you,
 and demonstrating your final seal of approval
 on all that he had done.
 We thank you that through his Ascension
 Jesus is now set free to be Lord of all:
 no longer bound to a particular place or time,
 but with us always - able to reach even to the ends of the earth.
 We thank you that through his departing
 Jesus prepared for his coming again:
 through his Spirit,
 his Church,
 and his coming again in glory.

Gracious God,
 Forgive us for so often failing
 to grasp the wonder of Ascension,
 for living each day as though it had never been.
 Forgive the smallness of our vision,
 the narrowness of our outlook,
 the weakness of our love,
 the nervousness of our witness,
 our repeated failure to recognize
 the fullness of your revelation in Christ.
 Give us a deeper sense of wonder,
 a stronger faith,
 and a greater understanding of all you have done.

Father God,
Like the Apostles,
 we too will never fully understand
 all Ascension means.
 We accept, but we do not fully understand.
 We believe, yet we have many questions.
 Help us, despite our uncertainty,
 to hold firm to the great truth
 that the wonder of Christ Jesus goes far beyond
 anything we can ever imagine,
 and in that faith may we live each day
 to his glory and honour: Amen.

~ written by Rev Bryce Calder, and posted on the Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday (now Weekly Worship) website.  http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/5981/starters_05_06_11.pdf

Ascension Prayer: Love, lift us up

Here’s a prayer of petition for Ascension Day (or Ascension Sunday). It was written by Rachel Hackenberg, and posted on RevGalBlogPals.

Prayer for Ascension
(inspired by Acts 1:6-11)

Love, lift us up.
Lift us up to be with you,
for we are longing for the reassurance
of your presence in our lives.

Lift us up to be with you,
because we need the courage
to live boldly as your witnesses.

Love, lift us up to be with you,
because the world is dying for your wisdom
to bring about reconciliation in the world.

Lift us up to be with you,
for the markets claw at our souls
and the powers-that-be threaten us into despair.

Lift us up to be with you,
where fire and lightening burst with praise
and Light chases the shadows into submission.

Holy Love, lift us up!

~ written by Rachel Hackenberg, and posted on RevGalBlogPals. http://revgalblogpals.org/author/rachelhackenberg/

May 15, 2017

Opening Invocation for an Ordinary Congregation

Here’s an opening invocation from Katie Cook.

Invocation for an Ordinary Congregation

Holy God, we come together to worship,
a people who would like to think that we love you
with all our hearts and souls,
with all our might,                                             

but there are so many other things in our lives   
that clamor for our attention
that we often relegate you to Sundays
and Wednesdays,
and times when we want you to rescue us.

Most of us really do want you to be the one
in whom we live and move and have our being.
We really do want to hear your voice
above all of the other voices in our lives.
But we get bogged down in the daily routine.
We forget who we are.
We forget who you are.
We forget what the church is supposed to be.

So here we are, standing before you today,
with our human foibles
and our short attention spans,
asking that you would make yourself known to us,
that you would help us to recognize
the presence of the Holy,
that you would continue to challenge us,
inspire us,
and make us into the people you want us to be.

Amen. 

~ written by Katie Cook, in Sacred Seasons, Pentecost/Ordinary Time 2000. Posted on Simple Living Works. http://simpleliving.startlogic.com/indexoth.php?place=archives/Articles/WorshipAltItems3.php