Worship Resources by Gary Lake DillensnyderCall to WorshipLeader: It takes an unique ear to hear the grace in an apocolytic word. It takes a special mind to know the love in an apocolyptic word. It take a peculiar heart to sense the hope in an apocolptic word. People: The message of chaotic change, a cataclysmic destroying of the world as we know it, sounds more like gloom and doom to those without the ear, and mind, and heart that can find in the core a word of good news. Leader: How do we find grace and love and hope is such a message? Perhaps it is intended for the ears of the oppressed? Might it be meant for the mind of the exploited? Could it be spoken for the heart of the have-nots? People: Or, a better question just may be: How empty does one need to be to sustain a hope that awaits tomorrow? How hungry must one be to endure in a love that reaches into the future? How "without" would a person have to be to be caught up in a grace that in vigil is attentive to the possibilities of God? Leader: Is this the reality that such a word seems more threatening than of comfort? Do we have enough to want the world to go on the way it is? Are we more able to count what we would lose than what would be gained? People: This Advent stuff really challenges us. How, other than the grace of God, are we to be ready and willing to celebrate the end of all in which we claim our security, to rejoice in the revolutionary change that would rob us of our privilege, and pilfer our entitlement? Leader: Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One; People: Have mercy upon us.Collect For the DayO God, the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the author and perfecter of all: Help us to be found in the place where the inbreaking of your realm is cause for hope. Move us from our status quo of seeking comfort and finding security in the amassing of things. Bring us to the cutting edge of your reign where who we are is judged by our love of one another and the justice with peace that we are able to build in this world. For we wish to long for the day when it is on earth as it is in heaven; through Christ our Redeemer. Amen.Prayer of ConfessionAlmighty God, whose holiness is tempered with compassion and mercy. We have perceived things quite differently than the teachings of Jesus. We have come to equate being a goodcitizen of America with being a good servant-disciple of your Christ. We see ourselves as being better and more favored by you than those of other nations. We confuse democracy with your realm, and your realm with our way of life. We are more concerned about our own level of safety and happiness than the plight of those in need. Yes, we give an occasional token gift of charity to ease our guilty conscience. But when it comes to the big stuff...health care reform...medical care for all... medications for third world and developing people we take for granted...sufficient food and shelter for the downtrodden and homeless... jobs for all who are able to work...equality and justice for all, including GBLT persons...we tow the party line and pat ourselves on the back for the watered-down, compromise of legislation which finally gets passed as a burden of state rather than a step forward in doing the right thing. And, the reality that these are things that even in this prayer we have difficulty acknowledging as being the way it plays on both Wall Street and Main Street, convicts us beyond measure.~A Silence Is Kept~Forgive us, O God, our doing of harm and being harmful, our failure to do what is right, weighs heavily upon our hearts and minds. Our sins and broken ways are a source of grief in our days. Free us, once again, from the shackles of evil that we might be joyfully obedient to your will and your ways. For deep inside, beyond all the layers of ego and self-interest, there is a hurting soul that longs to know your unconditional love, and to share the same with others. May it be. May it be.Words of Assuring PardonLeader: Dear Friends, Beloved of God; hear the good news: "The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: 'The Lord is our righteousness.'" In God's promise you are forigven. People: Thanks be to God!
(Comments to Gary at gdillensnyder@COMCAST.NET.)