Invitation Build the Kin(g)dom to Rev. Jeanne Gay
Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev. Jeanne Gay) appreciated.
Call to Worship/Opening Prayer
Two voices & Bold for Congregation
“As you enter the village you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here.”
We come following directions that we don’t always understand.
We come to welcome the Messiah.
As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road.
We come as part of a parade, along with the rest of the motley crew.
We come to celebrate the Messiah.
The days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and they will hem you in on every side.
We come to be with Jesus in Jerusalem, all week long.
We come to walk with the Messiah.
Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!
We come trusting that the end of this week will bring resurrection!
We come to worship the Messiah!
Call to Confession
O Lord our God, we love the part about the parade. What fun that would have been, throwing palm branches and cloaks on the road to ease your way! But the reality is that our lives often don’t welcome you so well. Let us confess together …\
Prayer of Confession
We’d like to be the ones tossing the palm branches ahead of you to make ease your way, Jesus, but it feels like often we’re tossing obstacles instead: spiteful speech, angry actions, bitter thoughts. We’d like to think of ourselves as loving and peaceful, but too often we’re people who do not recognize the things that make for peace.
Help us join the parade, O Lord, even those of us who have been sitting like stones alongside the road. Help us be open to loving, eager to bring peace, excited to spread your joy.
Assurance of Pardon
O give thanks to the LORD, for God is good; God’s steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say, “God’s steadfast love endures forever.”
The Lord’s steadfast love endures forever.
Thanks be to God, we are forgiven!
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right for us to give thanks and praise.
We give thanks to you and for you, O God,
you who opened the gates of creation,
treating us all to mountains and streams, flowers and fishes,
relatives and rhinoceroses, lilacs and loved ones.
You called us to sing your praises,
but too often we were like stubborn stones on the side of the road,
held captive by our worship of Sin and Death.
You sent prophets to beseech us to return to you,
but we preferred to follow our own inclinations
and satisfy the desires that the world told us were important.
And so you sent Jesus, your beloved son, to be one of us,
birthed into humanity in a corner stall,
paraded into town on a donkey.
You sent Jesus to teach us about the ways that lead to peace:
about the joy of loving our neighbor,
about the blessings of following you.
And so with those who cry hosanna
and those who cry mercy,
we sing our praises to you.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of thy glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes
in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest,
hosanna in the highest.
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name
in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!
We give you thanks for Jesus’ birth and life
and for his undeserved gift of ever-lasting love.
We thank you that he defeated Sin and Death on our behalf,
so that we can live with the assurance that our sins are forgiven,
and with sure hope in the life eternal.
We would turn our hearts to you, O Lord,
rejoicing in the good times, the bad times—
all the times of our lives—
as we come to you with our thanks and praise.
Dying, you destroyed our death;
rising, you restored our life.
Lord Jesus, come in glory.
Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, we pray,
that we may come to this Table with open hearts,
eager to receive your gifts of bread and cup—
the bread of heaven, the cup of salvation—
for our nourishment in your glory.
May we experience the gifts of this Table
as a foretaste of the heavenly banquet,
where all of your children—
praise singers and late-comers,
the overlooked, the underserved,
the too proud and the too humble—
where all your children
will join in crying Hosanna to you,
our God and our King.
Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor are yours, almighty God,
now and forever.
Offering Prayer/Prayer of Dedication
You are the Great Giver, O Lord, and—created in your image—
we give with joy to you and to your church.
We give knowing that our gifts will not be as stones rejected
but cornerstones of your kingdom (kin-dom) on earth.
Thanks be to God. Amen.