Liturgy / Nov 19, 2017

CALL TO WORSHIP

Church of God, Christ is ours today.
May we be a people full of goodness.
Christ’s life is manifest in us, let us be awakened to live by his Spirit. 

May we be a body filled with knowledge and truth.
Christ’s mind has been given to us, let us instruct one another in love.

May we be the fullness of the blessing of Christ to one another.
Christ is in us, we are his very hands and feet, let us be of service to the needs we see with joy.

Church of God, Christ is here among us; come and know him.

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PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Father thank you that you are a God who invites his children to speak. We pray for the whole people of God hidden in Jesus and for all people according to their needs.

For believers throughout the world who endure physical harm because they follow our Lord Jesus, shelter them this week; God of all mercy... hear our prayer.

For the thousands of people suffering the aftermath of the Iran-Iraq earthquake; bring help and healing; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.

For our state and local leaders; would they shun political expediency and work with humility and prudence; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.

For the many children drifting through the foster care system; grant them homes and show them your love; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.

For the Church in Chicago; would we live generously with one another; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.

For the people of Immanuel Anglican Church as they gather in Uptown this morning; would they seek charity and unity; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.

For The Painted Door; would we rest in all your provision this week; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.

And for all who come to the feast of Jesus this morning, for the hearing of our ears, rejoicing of our minds, and stillness of our souls; God of all mercy... hear our prayer.

Gracious Father, these are our requests. We trust in your mercy made known through your Son, Jesus, Christ our Lord. Amen.


To make bread or love, to dig in the earth, to feed an animal or cook for a stranger—these activities require no extensive commentary, no lucid theology. All they require is someone willing to bend, reach, chop, stir. Most of these tasks are so full of pleasure that there is no need to complicate things by calling them holy. And yet these are the same activities that change lives, sometimes all at once and sometimes more slowly, the way dripping water changes stone. In a world where faith is often construed as a way of thinking, bodily practices remind the willing that faith is a way of life.
— Barbara Brown Taylor

We are all born into a broken state of personhood, one bent toward self-preservation to the detriment of others. But this way of being is death. Jesus offers a new way, one bent toward the good of the whole, consumed with sacrifice and love. To receive Jesus is to receive his way, to walk in his steps, to think his thoughts, to feel his heart. Sacrifice and love are the shape of divine life. And as we live in Christ, they are the shape of us. We belong in this divine life. It's who we now are. So then, let's live it out. Let's pour ourselves out in sacrifice and love, laying down our preferences and comforts for the sake of one another. Let's submit to one another, bear the burdens of one another, honor the authorities God has placed over us, and in all these things rejoice in the hope of deliverance from our broken state. God is shaping us to run with him.


PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Lord God, we have thought selfishness and independence valuable for our preservation and joy.
Show us the magnitude of your care for us, Heavenly Father, that we would lay down our lives and find that you have provided life and joy in abundance.

We have catered to the flesh, deciding that its pleasures are worth most of our time, energy, and resources.
Show us the depths of the riches of your love, Christ Jesus, that we may gratify the flesh no more, but find ourselves more satisfied than ever.

We have deemed you mistaken in your acceptance of our brothers and sisters, and have approved or despised others according to our own standards.
Show us the extent of your love and sacrifice, Lord Jesus, that we would be sobered in our judgments and abounding in love.

We have clung tightly to our rights, avoiding injury and insult and pretending our bodies, time, and energies are our own.
Show us that we belong to one another as we belong to you, that we may find joy in submission to each other.

We have depended on rules and regulations instead of learning your law of love.
Show us that your righteousness, peace, and joy are in endless supply, that we would rely on you in every circumstance.