May 8, 2011

Liturgy Reflection & Benediction 05.08.11

Liturgy

Christ is risen: The world below lies desolate
Christ is risen: The spirits of evil are fallen

Christ is risen: The angels of God are rejoicing
Christ is risen indeed from the dead,
the first of the sleepers,
Glory and power are his forever and ever.

In God’s greatest sacrifice,
we are given a new birth and inheritance through Christ.
An inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading.

We hold to this promise, giving glory to the Father,
to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
now and forever more. Amen.

Congregational Prayer

In prayer, let us confess to God as a community.

Come with what you have.
For you who grieve this day, know that you are invited
to bring the broken pieces of your heart.
Loving one another, we will discover God’s love for us all.

Come with what you have.
For you who come with gladness, know that your joy will bring peace.
Accepting God’s love, we are called to love one another.

Come with what you have.
For you who are weighed down by too many ‘shoulds’ and ‘what-ifs’,
know that here you may lay down the burdens of guilt and shame.

Loving one another, we will discover God’s grace for us.

Come with what you have.
For you who have the answers, know that new questions await you.
Accepting God’s love, we are called to love one another.

Come with what you have.
For you who come seeking, know your questions are safe
in the presence of God.

Loved by one another, we will discover God’s love for us.

Come and know our Father hears us,
come and find refuge in our Redeemer. Our Creator.

Glory to the Father, to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Reflection

How can boundaries be a pleasant thing in our lives?
How can we rest and practice Sabbath in our lives individually and as a community?

Benediction

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words can not express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with God’s will.” (Romans 8:26-27)

There are times in our lives when even the simplest of prayers seem to be beyond us. We are confused or distressed. We are ashamed or guilty. We are angry with God. Life is too full of other priorities. We are too exhausted to be able to face God or even go through the effort.

These may be the times when God is most able to bless us with his presence. This is the time for the prayer of rest. There is perhaps no more appealing invitation in the Bible than Jesus’ gracious words,

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

— Michael L. Clarkson

So go, take refuge in the mercy of our Father.
Go with God’s peace and live the church
in the name of the Father, of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.

[Photo by jennaaaye @ Flickr]

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