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A Liturgy from November 6

November 9th, 2016 | John Chandler

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Call to Worship

Welcome to the Liturgy of Austin Mustard Seed.
The word “liturgy” means “The Work of the People.”

Whether friend or stranger,
Passionate believer or Hopeful skeptic,
We gather today as participants and hosts.

Stand with me for a moment of silence to still ourselves,
And be reminded that we are always in God’s presence.

(Wait for a short moment of silence)

Tuesday, the 8th of November.
Our minds may be worried, Our hearts may be apathetic.

Lord God, Creator of Heaven and Earth,
in a week defined by division and animosity,
may we with one voice ask you for your shalom
to cover all the peoples of your world.

We pray in particular for your protection
and encouragement for your church,
our sisters and brothers scattered among the nations.

We remember today members of your kingdom
serving in other lands.
May you strengthen them today for your work.

We also remember many of our friends
here and throughout the world,
working to build your kingdom.

Bless them for their sacrifice,
and increase in us a desire to live in a world
restored to your perfect pattern.

Prayer of Confession

Confession allows us a moment to honestly reveal our hopes and pains.

Let us cry out to God as a community.

Our response will bolded:

Jesus, You did everything to show us both your love and your Father’s love.

You became a small dependent child to show us your kingdom wrapped in human weakness and fragility.

You became a refugee in Egypt to show us your solidarity with all who are driven from their homes.

You grew up in obedience to your parents to show us your adherence to the commandments.

You worked for many years as a simple carpenter to show us that you wanted to be with us in our daily work.

You were tempted in the desert to show us how to resist the forces of evil around us.

You surrounded yourself with disciples to show us how to share our vision with others and to work together in ministry.

You preached the word of God to show us truth and how to become, ourselves, ambassadors of truth.

You healed the sick and raised the dead to show us that you have power over death.

You were transfigured to show us your divine splendor.

You went the long road of suffering and death to show us your paths of love and reconciliation.

Lord, bring us closer to You. Reveal to us the boundless love that is in your heart.  Our methods of love are cold unless kindled by your fervent devotion. 

Amen.

Eucharist

(We now come to the center of our Liturgy, the Eucharist.

So please examine your hearts and pray this prayer with me.  

Your response will be highlighted in yellow.)

God be with you.

And also with you. 

Let us give thanks to our loving God!

It is right to give thanks and praise!

You made us in your image

and taught us to walk in your ways.

 

But we rebelled against you and wandered 

far away; and yet, as a loving Father, 

you would not forget us.  

Time and again you call us to live 

in the fullness of your love.

 

Living among us, Jesus loved us.

He broke bread with outcasts and sinners,

healed the sick,

and proclaimed good news to the poor.

He yearned to draw the whole world to himself, yet we were heedless of his call to walk in love.

 

And so it was that Jesus was nailed to a cross

by those who feared both him and you.

On the night Jesus was betrayed, the nation of Israel was celebrating their deliverance from slavery in Egypt.  In the midst of the meal, Jesus took the symbols of this feast and gave them new meaning.  

He looked at His followers and said, “When you celebrate your freedom from slavery, celebrate the ultimate deliverance that I will bring.”  

He took the bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you.  Do this for the remembrance of Me.”  

Later, Jesus took the wine.  Again, He gave thanks, gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you. This is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for you.  Do this for the remembrance of Me.”

Now come together to the table, passionate believers and hopeful skeptics alike.  Come because the Lord invites us to this remembrance of Jesus’ death, broken sinners in a disrupted world made right through the cross.

Come as a people who expect that the Spirit who raised Jesus from that death is bringing new life.

Come and proclaim together that God’s work is not done.

The elements are gluten and alcohol free so that all may participate. The table is now open.

After Eucharist

Let us finish our time of communion together

by reading aloud this prayer.

Gracious and loving God, 

make us one in the Body of Christ, and nourish us at your table with the bread and the wine.

Send us forth to be your people in the world.

Grant us strength to persevere in resisting sin and injustice and courage to proclaim your love, justice, and compassion

throughout all of our lives.

We pray in the name of the Father, 

of the risen Son 

and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Benediction

Austin Mustard Seed, as we leave today:

You are not a nation,

an ideology, or a party platform

You, brothers and sisters in Christ,

are a kingdom people,

constantly being made new

by the blood of the Lamb.

Go forth to love and serve this broken place,

your hearts fixed upon the mission of endless love,

and the restoration of all things.

From what we know, to what we have yet to discover.

Out of the places from which we’ve come,

to where we have been vitally called.

From comfort into blessed peril.

From certainty into joyful obedience.

We follow in faith, the destination veiled,

but knowing that the road ahead will transform us.

Go in Peace,

Live the Church,

See you throughout the week.

Liturgy