This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies. If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call to Worship
We have gathered to worship the Creator
The One who made us
and sustains us
And to be formed in the Way of Christ
The One who holds us together
And shows us how to live
As we are meant to
By the power of the Holy Spirit
The One who is among us
and is making us new
Let me sing for my beloved
my love-song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.
He dug it and cleared it of stones,
and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
and hewed out a wine vat in it;
he expected it to yield grapes,
but it yielded wild grapes.
And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem
and people of Judah,
judge between me
and my vineyard.
What more was there to do for my vineyard
that I have not done in it?
When I expected it to yield grapes,
why did it yield wild grapes?
And now I will tell you
what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge,
and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall,
and it shall be trampled down.
I will make it a waste;
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns;
I will also command the clouds
that they rain no rain upon it.
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah
are his pleasant planting;
he expected justice,
but saw bloodshed;
but heard a cry!
Jesus said, "I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided:
father against son
and son against father,
mother against daughter
and daughter against mother,
mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."
He also said to the crowds, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, `It is going to rain'; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, `There will be scorching heat'; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?"
This week's prayer was written by Josh Ritter:
All Vulnerable God of Mystery and Grace,
Thank you for the Divine Trinitarian Dance you invite us into each day.
Forgive us when we forget that this is your infinite gift of Beauty and Grace to us.
Forgive us for not recognizing our true self that is in you and in Christ, and forgive us for pretending to be who we think we are and for believing these masks are real.
We know that we are called by you to live as Christ and in Christ and to become the Divine Spark that is buried in each of our hearts. We are called, just as Jesus was, to let that spark – that divinity – burn as a wildfire and consume us. We know that we are called to open our hearts so that we may be healed and in turn offer healing to this world that has also forgotten the Divinity that resides within all of Creation, within all things, within all people.
You call us to More…You call us to embrace abundance, love, grace, beauty, forgiveness, hope, joy, and belonging. But, often, we doubt…our humanity doubts and overwhelms our calling to become one with Christ…and we believe lies as truth…and we turn those lies into idols and worship those idols as gods.
We believe scarcity rather than abundance,
We believe apathy and indifference rather than love,
We believe strength rather than vulnerability,
We believe fear rather than hope and belonging,
We believe perfection and control rather than acceptance and forgiveness,
We believe achievements and temporary distractions rather than true joy,
We believe uniqueness and individualism rather than friendship and community,
We believe consumerism and greed rather than charity and hospitality...
Forgive us for worshiping these idols…because when we do this our hearts close down, our ego self and small self become larger than life, brokenness grows, the potential to give and to receive healing stops, our connection to you as the Vine and Divine Source of love and grace is cut off and we wither…and then we project our fear, pain, hurt, and smallness out onto others…
So help us to stop being idol worshippers, because we become like the gods that we worship…and help us to remember the divine nature, our true self, that you have called us to be and to become…we recognize that Jesus never actually really had that many problems with sinners, but he did have much to say about those who offer cheap religion and arrogant judgment towards others.
Help us not to practice what culture teaches us, which is to love the sinner and hate the sin, and instead help us to remember the consistent biblical teaching to just love our neighbor…come what may…love our neighbor…
Help us to remember that you call us to More…to expansiveness, to abundance…to Love and Justice…to transform our hearts and lives and to become displaced from the norms of our culture…You call us to be refugees in this world because residents of the Kingdom of God claim no other citizenship than to Christ the Redeemer, the one who disrupts hierarchies of power and kingdoms of control and heals them through his redemption and Resurrection.
Help us this day to remember that we are created in and for You and that we are called to be witnesses for the Love and Grace that is the Divine miracle of the universe that we call Christ.