Liturgy / Jan 14, 2018

CALL TO WORSHIP

Out of silence, we listen for the voice of the Lord.
He has brought good news to the poor, and has bound up the broken-hearted.

He proclaims liberty to the captives.
He sets prisoners free.

It is the age of the Lord’s favor, the day of righteousness of our God.
To comfort those who mourn, and to repair the ruined cities.

Let us greatly rejoice in the Lord, let our souls exult in God.
For as the Lord causes the earth and the garden grow,
so will he cause righteousness and praise to grow among all the nations.
Amen.

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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 families of those killed in California mudslides this week, and for the many who have lost homes and businesses; provide for and comfort them; God of all mercy… hear our prayer. 

For the people of Puerto Rico, as many continue to live without power and other necessities; God of all mercy... hear our prayer. 

For those in our city who are lonely and discouraged; would we have your eyes of compassion and friendship; God of all mercy... hear our prayer. 

For the Church in Chicago; grant our many diverse congregations love and generosity toward one another; God of all mercy... hear our prayer. 

For the people of Christ Church; would they learn to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with you; God of all mercy... hear our prayer. 

For students in our city; keep them safe as they traverse their neighborhoods; God of all mercy… hear our prayer. 

For the people of The Painted Door; may we be witnesses to the hope we have in you; God of all mercy… hear our prayer. 

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


Grace is not grace, if he that receives it is not under judgment. Righteousness is not righteousness, if it be not reckoned to the sinner. Life is not life, if it be not life from death. And God is not God, if he be not the End of men.
— Karl Barth

God created humanity to flourish in his life. But from the beginning, we went looking for life on our own, life apart from our Maker. There is no such life, only death. And all who walk in that way of Adam are perishing. But God has forged a way out for us in Christ. Jesus is a new Adam, who entered into the path of the perishing and through obedience re-created the way of being human that God had always intended for us. Jesus flourished in the life of his Father. And this finished work of obedience is ours to trust, ours to learn, ours to live out. God has given us the flourishing human life of Christ. No longer seek life anywhere else.


PRAYERS OF CONFESSION

Merciful God, search our hearts. Reveal to us our iniquities, that we may lay them before you.
We have departed from your presence. Lead us back to your light.
Hear us, Lord, for your mercy is great.

We are trapped by our comforts. Tear us away from them so that we may be free.
Hear us, Lord, for your mercy is great.

We are stuck in our ways. Move us into new life by your Spirit.
Hear us, Lord, for your mercy is great.

We are blinded by our wealth. Give us new eyes to see those in need.
Hear us, Lord, for your mercy is great.

How can it be that you hear us, Lord? How is it that we are united to you, even now?
It is something too good to be true, too preposterous to believe.
And yet we do believe, Lord. We are one with you, one with Christ.
As you raised Christ from the dead, raise us also from death to new life with you.
Amen.