If you are looking for liturgical language that can work for virtual worship as well as in-person, that holds the realities of our socio-political moment and our climate crisis and the sacred text together, here is some for you. Feel free to use or adapt. Verbal attribution is not necessary. If you have print materials or videos available, please note the author and revgalblogpals.org in the video description. Thanks!
Call to Worship by Teri Peterson — for NL3-2
Can be responsive by line, read by two voices alternating sections, or spoken by one voice
Look to the stars—filling the sky with light!
God’s word is a light, shining bright in the shadows.
Look to the stars—spread across the universe, farther than any eye has seen.
God is everywhere present, whether we go to the ends of the earth or depths of the sea.
Look to the stars—more than we even have numbers to count.
God’s grace is beyond imagining, beyond language, beyond counting.
Look to the stars—signs of God’s promise, shining through all generations.
We come to worship God, in whom we trust.
Prayer of Confession by Kathy Swaar, alludes to Exodus 16:2-15
Like our fathers and mothers of faith,
we complain, Holy One.
In this wilderness that is 2020,
this year, this time, this place,
filled with pestilence and disaster,
upheaval and discord,
In traffic. At the store. On social media.
In the umpteenth Zoom meeting this week, or day.
Out loud, to our spouses and kids,
to our family and friends, our colleagues and coworkers,
in our heart of hearts,
to ourselves, and to you, Sacred Presence,
We complain about how much we miss
the way things used to be,
about how much we hate the way things are,
and about our concern for what unspeakable horrors
may be coming next.
And then we complain about complaining.
More than a little worried
you are complaining about us, too,
we hide our faces, and our hearts.
But your Word tells us differently.
Even as they voiced their complaints,
Moses tells Aaron to tell the people,
Draw near to the Lord, for [God] has heard.”
You do not abandon or ignore, Creator God,
you draw near. You listen. You hear.
You hear the fear, the concern, the anger, the frustration,
the embarrassment, the grief, the yearning for connection
that is underneath and within our complaints.
You hear. You listen. You draw near.
Forgive us, Author of Life, for our complaints,
and for pulling away from your compassion and care.
Tune our hearts to your Presence,
that we may draw near to you,
and in turn, with open ears and listening spirits,
draw near and be present to others.
Prayer for the Waiting, by Elsa Cook (more of Elsa’s prayers here)
Wait with us, O God,
in the wilderness
where it feels like we have been separated
from every one and every thing we ever loved
only to be told to wait. We don’t trust it.
We can’t and maybe that is why depression
and suicidal thoughts feel so familiar here.
We have complained
and we have felt like nothing matters
even if we wish that everything did.
Wait with us, O God,
in this wilderness
because it is familiar
and we haven’t yet given up.
We are still waiting.
Wait with us, O God,
wait with all of us
who struggle with futility
and suicidal thoughts in this coronatide.
We pray in your holy name, Amen.
Prayer by Teri Peterson
First and last…last and first…
Remind us, God who is the beginning and the end, that there is enough.
Our worth is not determined by where we find ourselves in the pecking order.
We do not need to jockey for first position, nor to hustle to the bottom when you say “the last shall be first.”
You are generous, seeking us out in the marketplace
and teaching us that the marketplace is not our saviour.
You offer dignity as you care for our needs,
and promised life abundant, even here and now.
When we have valued ourselves or others only for what they can do,
You have looked at us and loved us for who you created us to be.
When we have grumbled with resentment,
You have given even more of yourself.
When we have trusted the economy we have built,
You have shown us a still more excellent way.
We praise you for your goodness,
and we pray for the grace to reflect your love in our lives.
musical ideas are provided for inspiration…we don’t own the rights to these videos or songs, if you want to use them you’ll need to contact the relevant copyright holders and determine that your license covers them, etc.
Thinking a bit about the criteria God uses compared to that which we use to judge ourselves and others…
Church of Scotland minister Scott Rennie reflects on the text of “For Your Generous Providing” and then the hymn itself comes at the end of the video:
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If you have written words for worship in this strange new world that you are willing to share, please send us an email: revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.