Invitation to Your House by Katy Stenta
Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev Katy Stenta) appreciated.
Call to Worship
Happy is your dwelling place, Oh Lord, Happy are those who live in your house.
Lord Jesus have mercy! My soul longs and faints for the courts of the Lord. I need to see Jesus.
You are the Lord Jesus, sees us, loves us, calls us by name. Meeting us wherever we are whether it is on the road, by a well or up a tree.
Even the sparrow finds a home, for God seeks out and saves the lost. So I will praise God today, for my heart and my flesh sing for joy of the living God.
Prayer of Confession: Lord we confess that we hush the crying out for mercy. It is our job to build a kin(g)dom with the ignored one, the incomplete, imperfect one, the no-doubt-annoying-one. The fussy child who can’t sit still, the family that can never get to church on time, the elder who has a lot of trouble hearing, the one in pain, the one alone, the one who for whatever reason cannot see Jesus today. In a time where still people are ignored, erased or shunted to the side, in an age of constant chatter, still so many need to try out to be heard. Lord Jesus have mercy, forgive our sins, and show us how to see and welcome Jesus today, so that we can fully participate in God’s kin(g)dom with God’s people. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon Hear the Good news: ‘Today salvation has come to this house, for through Jesus, you too are a child of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.’ Let us proclaim the truth to one another In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.
Communion Prayer: Lord God, you do so much more than see us. You see us, love us and call us each into being, by calling us by name. Since the beginning of time, you have called us to you. And when we don’t come to you, for whatever reason, you come to us instead.
God you translated yourself into human, so that we might hear aright the truth of love in a language that we can comprehend. You gave us your son in a stable, who defined ministry and love and gave himself over to death to defeat sin. Then that son rose again from the dead, showing that nothing can separate us from God.
Then you sent an advocate, so that we might practice tasting and seeing your kin(g)dom here on earth. Send your Holy Spirit now, upon these elements, that we have a foretaste of the feast of Love, so that we can experience communion with you and one another. Nourish us with this bread and this cup, so we go forth in your name doing your work here and in the world. Teach us to be your people we pray. Amen
Offering Prayer/Prayer of Dedication
Lord, let us go forth as saved Zacchaeuses, sharing our homes with Christ Jesus, sharing half of our wealth to the poor and repaying all those whom we have done wrong. For truly, if we do this, we know that the world will be changed. Bless us as we go into the world so your will may be truly done we pray. Amen.
Prayer Station by Shea Zellweger
Psalm 84:1-4, 10-12
1 How lovely is the place where you live,
O Lord who rules over all!
2 I desperately want to be
in the courts of the Lord’s temple.
My heart and my entire being shout for joy
to the living God.
3 Even the birds find a home there,
and the swallow builds a nest,
where she can protect her young
near your altars, O Lord who rules over all,
my king and my God.
4 How blessed are those who live in your temple
and praise you continually! (Selah)
10 Certainly spending just one day in your temple courts is better
than spending a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather stand at the entrance to the temple of my God
than live in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is our sovereign protector.
The Lord bestows favor and honor;
he withholds no good thing from those who have integrity.
12 O Lord who rules over all,
how blessed are those who trust in you!
Read the psalm once, and ponder it for a moment.
Select a twig (or several twigs, if you like).
Read the psalm a second time, this time paying special attention to verse 3.
If you are the first person to use this prayer station, use your twigs to begin constructing a nest. If you are not first, continue building the nest which has already been started. As you do so, consider the boundless hospitality of God, which offers space to all who live.
Read the psalm a third time as a song of joy.