Liturgy for September 19

Welcome to the liturgy of The Table. The word liturgy means the work of the people. You are welcome to be a full participant or a thoughtful observer. 

Call to Worship

Compassionate God, the wind of your Spirit is the very sign of life for all who long for you.

One breath from you and we are rescued from the arid valley of dry bones,

given muscles and sinews and joy with which to praise you, and filled with the holy hope you grant to all your faithful children.

Let our whole lives be filled with the life-breath of the Spirit, that what has lain dormant may burst into bloom, and what looks to us to be death may be revealed as but sleep before the emergence of new life.   Amen.

All Who Are Thirsty

All who are thirsty

All who are weak

Come to the fountain

Dip your heart in the stream of life

Let the pain and the sorrow

Be washed away

In the waves of His mercy

As deep cries out to deep

Come Lord Jesus come, Come Lord Jesus come

Holy Spirit come, Holy Spirit come

Prayer of Confession 

Confession allows us a moment to honestly reveal our hopes and pains. Let us cry out to God as a community.

Lord Jesus Christ, sometimes we are so busy talking with each other that we fail to find you beside us. We walk on, so focused on our questions that we do not create the silent spaces which would allow you to speak with us and enlighten our journeying.

Stay with us, Jesus Christ. Reach out towards us and invite us to pause and meet with you, we pray.

As we look at our lives and that of the world around us, we are sometimes too anxious to share our real questions or our doubts and fears. We keep them within us in troubled silence.

Stay with us, Jesus Christ. Reach out towards us and invite us to pause and meet with you, we pray.

We call your name, O Christ, and hope to discover you here in our community of vulnerable faith.  Whether we believe it, or not, Jesus Christ never leaves us nor forsakes us. Let us open our hearts to receive the grace which Christ brings to us in faithfulness.

We are forgiven! Thanks be to God.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a

The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.

The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away. I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.

Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.

He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me!

It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me. Who will condemn me?

Psalm 116:1-9: Responsive Reading

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.

Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow.

Then I called on the name of the Lord: ‘Lord, save me!’

The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.

The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

Gospel Reading :: Mark 8:27-38

Jesus and his disciples came to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who are people saying that I am?’

‘John the Baptist,’ they said, ‘or, some say, Elijah. Or, others say, one of the prophets.’

What about you?’ asked Jesus. ‘Who do you say I am?’

Peter spoke up. ‘You’re the Messiah,’ he said.

He gave them strict orders not to tell anyone about him.

 Jesus now began to teach them something new.

‘There’s big trouble in store for the son of man,’ he said. ‘The elders, the chief priests and the scribes are going to reject him. He will be killed – and after three days he’ll be raised.’ He said all this quite explicitly.

At this, Peter took him aside and started to scold him. But he turned round, saw the disciples, and scolded Peter.

‘Get behind me, Accuser!’ he said. ‘You’re thinking human thoughts, not God’s thoughts.’

He called the crowd to him, with his disciples. ‘If any of you want to come the way I’m going,’ he said, ‘you must say “no” to your own selves, pick up your cross, and follow me. Yes: if you want to save your life, you’ll lose it; but if you lose your life because of me and the Message you’ll save it. After all, what use is it to win the world and lose your life? What can you give in exchange for your life? If you’re ashamed of me and my words in this cheating and sinning generation, the son of man will be ashamed of you when he “comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels”.

Reflection on passage

The Lord is gracious and compassionate

The Lord is gracious and compassionate

Slow to anger and rich in love (repeat)

And the Lord is good to all

He has compassion in all that He has made

As far as the east is from the west, that’s how far

He has removed our transgressions from us (repeat)

Praise the Lord, O my soul

Praise the Lord (repeat)

The Lord’s Supper

Prayers of the People

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”  

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven, 

hallowed be your name, 

your kingdom come, your will be done, 

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever.

Amen.

Doxology

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him, all creatures here below;

Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Benediction

As we leave today, Let’s go encouraging one another to carry on in this somber season:  

Go out into the world, and labor to bring forth new lives of humility, of peace and of grace. 

Dream dreams, pursue visions and speak of God’s goodness and generosity

in the words of those who would hear.

And may our God who breathed life into creation be your delight.

May Christ Jesus give hope to your dreaming, and may the Holy Spirit, your advocate and guide, set your hearts ablaze with a passion for peace.

We pray these things by the grace of God, the empathy of the Son,

and the sustaining breath of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

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