Call to Worship: Choose Life

Our scripture readings for this coming Sunday come from the Revised Common Lectionary: Deuteronomy 30:15-20 and Luke 14:25-33. Here is the call to worship I wrote–which is actually a mash-up of two previous calls to worship.

God sets before us life and death.
We long to choose life.

God sets before us blessings and curses.
We long to choose blessings.
And so we seek the path of Jesus.
Unsure of the terrain.
And so we try to follow Jesus.
Even though we don’t quite understand him.
And so we gather this morning for worship,
Offering this small piece of our time, our talents, ourselves.
Holy One, by your grace,
Meet us where we are.
Lead us to where you long for us to be.

A Prayer for Palm Sunday

God of the cross, tottering down the streets of Jerusalem on a donkey,
You are not the savior we expect.
Your power doesn’t look like the power we want our God to have.
Your wisdom makes no sense to us.
We are happy to join the crowd, waving branches,
But not so sure we want to follow you through this Holy Week:
into the temple courts
into the upper room
into the Garden of Gethsemane
to the high priest’s house,
to the assembly of elders,
to Pilate,
to Herod,
to the place of The Skull,
to the foot of the cross.
We need you to go with us on this journey.
Grant us clear vision,
Courageous hearts,
Persistent steps.
Even though we know what this week will bring, we sing:
Hosanna, hosanna.
Save us, we beseech you! Amen.

palm leaf
Paper and ink collage by Joanna Harader

Worship Pieces for Lent 1C

A call to worship based on Psalm 91:

Even as we enter the wilderness of Lent,
We rest in the shelter of the Most High;
We abide in the shadow of the Almighty;
We find refuge under the wings of our Holy Parent.
We trust that the angels of God
the words of God
the people of God
the hands of God
Will somehow bear us up.
And so we come to call on God
who has promised to answer.


And an offertory prayer that we will use throughout Lent:

God of the Cross, Pictures 2010 339in losing our lives, we find them in you. In sharing our resources, we enter more fully into your kingdom. May our offerings be part of your redeeming work of love and justice in our world. Amen.


Here is a poem/call to worship for Transfiguration Sunday:

The mountain top
the shining face
the glowing clothes
the voice of God speaking from the cloud
the commandments etched in stone
Sometimes God shows up
in ways we cannot deny
in a place we can go
a light we can see
a voice we can hear
a stone we can touch
there is the veil
the overshadowing, terrifying cloud
the questions
the appearing and disappearing
the excitement
the wondering
the silence
Sometimes God shows up
in ways we cannot deny.
Always God shows up
So we have shown up
here, now
May God give us eyes to see.

And a Benediction:

In the coming week, may you experience the presence of God with joy.
May the holy cloud comfort you.
May the divine voice encourage you.
May the power of the Spirit transform you, transform us, transform our world. Amen.

Wednesday Worship Piece: Micah 6:6-8

Here is a call to Worship based on Micah 6:6-8

With what shall we come before our God?
Shall we come with lots of money for the offering basket?
Shall we bring our carefully scripted words?
Shall we sing on-key in perfect four-part harmony?
With what shall we come before our God?
With minds set on justice.
With hearts open to loving kindness.
With feet striving to walk the path of Jesus.

Call to Worship: Advent Peace

In these darkening days,
we come seeking peace.
We seek serenity within ourselves.
We seek harmony within our families.
We seek goodwill among our neighbors.
We seek a ceasefire among all nations.
We seek not just the absence of conflict,
But the presence of shalom–
the abiding peace
the healing life
the unrelenting justice
that God calls us to in Christ.
Let us worship with Divine hope.