Are you in need of some inspiration for worship? Many of us are in a hybrid worship situation now, with both in-person and online worship happening in one form or another. That can make liturgy an extra challenge as we seek things that can work both for one voice and responsively, as well as meeting the realities of the world we live in just now. Here are some things that you can use for inspiration or just copy-and-paste, or adapt, or whatever is helpful to you. No verbal attribution is necessary but if you can give it in print/video description/etc that would be great.
Call to Worship by Teri Peterson, based on Acts 8.26-40
Come to the waters, all.
There is nothing to prevent you, for God has overcome all barriers.
To those who are uncertain, anxious, feeling like you don’t fit in,
the Spirit says: Come.
To those who think you have it all figured out,
the Spirit says: Come.
To you who know better, and you who know nothing,
the Spirit says: Come.
There is a place for you here, just as you are.
Confession by Teri Peterson based on 1 John 4
God, you are Love, and those who know Love know you.
We confess that we do not always proclaim your love with our words and deeds.
We are quick to say that we love you, but we are not quick to love our neighbours…
especially if they are out of sight and out of mind,
especially if they are different,
especially if it would be inconvenient for us.
We confess that our midweek actions often prove our Sunday words to be less than the truth.
Yet you command us to love one another as you have loved us,
and that is how we will show our love for you.
Forgive us for the mismatch between our words and our lives.
Help us to love, that you may live in us — you, God, who loved us first.
We ask in the name of the One who live among us revealing your love for all, Jesus the Christ. Amen.
Prayer of Commitment by Teri Peterson based on Acts 15
We like to teach the children: I am the Church, you are the Church, we are the Church together…
The question remains:
is our greatest desire as the Church that people will become like us,
or that all of us together will become like Christ?
The Holy Spirit has overcome distinctions, and through faith we are one in Christ Jesus.
When we hear each other’s stories, from near and far,
may we believe their truth, and rejoice in God’s work.
When we meet together to discern the Spirit’s movement,
may we have courage to follow Christ’s call to break down hostility and create justice.
When we read the word together,
may we allow it to speak to our time and place in new ways.
When we find that God is ahead of us, in welcome and in mission,
may we refrain from limiting God to our comfort zones.
And when we are walking this journey of life
may we joyfully share the good news at every step of the way.
For on Sunday and on Monday and on Friday night,
at church and at home and at work and in the streets,
alone and in community,
our way of life must proclaim:
I am the Church, you are the Church, we are the Church together.
The promise is for me, and for you, for our children, and all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Closing Prayer by Teri Peterson based on John 15.1-8
You, Lord, are the vine-grower, and we trust your loving care.
You tend your creation that we may bear fruit for your kingdom.
Though we admit we often do not want to be pruned,
for we grieve the things we must let go,
you promise good and your word is our hope.
So we pray for the grace to abide,
to hold fast to the Vine and be strengthened by your faithful hand,
to live for your glory in all we say and do.
Teri Peterson is a Church of Scotland minister in the west of Scotland, where she lives with a cat who is the pickiest eater on the planet and a beautiful view to inspire liturgising.
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2 thoughts on “Worship Words for 2 May, Easter 5”
I’m preaching on Acts 8 and love Mark Davis’ translation of “gospel” as “Good Jesus News”, so here’s the Benediction I just wrote for this Sunday:
Go now and love extravagantly, for love is from God. Proclaim the ‘Good Jesus News’ that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again. And when the Holy Spirit nudges you toward a chariot you don’t know, on a road you don’t know, toward a person you don’t know, let that nudge propel you into a future you can’t know, but which God invites you to accept with the joy of an Ethiopian eunuch who has just been baptized. Amen.