Backyard Liturgy, Sunday, Jan 31, 2021

January 30th, 2021 | April Karli

Call to Worship

Welcome to a Backyard Liturgy of Austin Mustard Seed. The word liturgy means the work of the people. We welcome you to be a full participant or a thoughtful observer. 

Whether friend or stranger, Passionate believer or Hopeful skeptic, we gather today as participants and hosts to celebrate the light of Christ among us.  Let’s pause together for a moment of silence to still ourselves, and be reminded that we are always in God’s presence (pause)

Let’s read the Call to Worship together. Our response will be in bold.

God comes into a world filled with uncertainties and darkness.
God seeks out the voids of belief and conviction.
God embraces the wounded and broken.
God knocks down the walls of division and strife.
God is the candle shining in the darkness of our days.
God is the light of our lives.
God is the one who makes all things new.
Praise be to God, now and forevermore!

Loving God,
whose touch can heal the broken places of life,
touch us today… 

God of peace,
whose spirit of peace can quiet our spirits
of confusion and despair,
reassure us today…  

Forgiving God,
whose call to repentance promises grace upon grace,
place your mercy in our souls today… 

You who heal the sick and liberate the imprisoned,
who bring justice in the midst of oppression
and strength in the midst of weakness,
pour out your spirit of power upon us today.

Open our hearts to new faithfulness,
redirect our waywardness,
and hold us gently in your goodness. 

We confess our need to you,
and we turn to you with hearts filled with hope,
remembering the promises you have made to us. 

May your name be glorified in us and through us.
We ask it through Christ Jesus,
your only begotten son,
he who is our Lord and our Saviour,
our brother and our friend.  

Psalm 111

Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.

Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them.

Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.

He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; the LORD is gracious and merciful.

He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.

He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.

The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.

They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.

He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.

Prayer of Confession

Confession allows us to honestly reveal our hopes and pain. Let us cry out to God as a community. Our response will highlighted in bold:

Holy God, we confess that we are an arrogant people – so full of “knowledge” that we hardly have any room for love.

We confess that we too often judge when we really need to listen. 
We confess that we push people away when you call us to welcome them into our communities. 
We confess that we think only about protecting ourselves when we are challenged to risk everything for others. 

Lord, forgive us for being more concerned with “being right” than we are with “showing love”. 
Forgive us for demanding uniformity when you call us to celebrate diversity.
Guide us, Great God, to live according to your unconditional love. 
Teach us to see one another as family, that we may learn to live together as your children.

Scripture says that those who are in Christ are a new creation;
everything old has passed away;
see, the new has come!
Hear then Christ’s word of grace to us:
‘Your sins are forgiven.’
Thanks be to God.

Kids’ Time

If children are present follow instructions provided in your Liturgy Kit.

Scripture Reading

Mark 1:21-28

They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!”

And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching–with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

Prayers of the People

We now invite you into a time of prayer. This is an opportunity for us to support one another and participate by sharing our prayer requests. 

If you have something you’re thankful for, end your prayer with…
Let us bless the Lord” 

If you have something you’d like prayer for, end your prayer with…
Let us pray to the Lord”  

(Then start off with a brief prayer of your own as an example out loud.)

“With the prayers that have been spoken, and those that are unspoken, let us finish by praying the Lord’s prayer together…”

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For yours is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.


(We now come to the center of our Liturgy, the Eucharist.
So please examine your hearts and pray this prayer with me.
Our responses will be highlighted in bold.)

The Lord be with you.  
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.   

We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our Lord thanks and praise.

Everlasting God, the radiance of faithful souls:
We celebrate your gift of creation. We rejoice that you have formed us in your image and called us to dwell in your infinite love.

You brought the nations into your light and kings to the brightness of your rising.
You sent your Son, the bright morning star, to illuminate our darkness and to lead us into harmony and peace. Through the Holy Spirit, you have brought good news into our hearts. Day by day you call us to feed the hungry, heal the sick, deliver the oppressed, and to wait and watch for your kingdom.

For this, we give you thanks.

Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who forever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name: 

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest. 

(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 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.

 –(Communion is served)–

After Eucharist

Let us finish our time of communion together by reading aloud this prayer. 

Generous God,
in word and eucharist we have proclaimed
the mystery of your love:
help us so to live out our days
that we may be signs of your wonders in the world;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour

Together let us proclaim the Great mystery of faith:
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching–with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.


Austin Mustard Seed:

Go now, and heed God’s message.
Never forget God’s wonderful mercy and kindness.
Welcome the freedom that is won in truth,
See that your words and actions are worthy of praise.

And may God uphold you in a lasting covenant.
May Christ Jesus free you from all that would harm you.
And may the Holy Spirit nourish you in wisdom and faithfulness.

Go in Peace,
Live the Church,
See you throughout the week.
Remember that we will gather for liturgy next Sunday on YouTube. 

As we close we will take a few moments to share the Passing of the Peace with one another:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you!