How are you holding up through the bread weeks of year B? Whether you’re in need of a little sustenance for yet another John 6 week, or something a little different, here are a few pieces for worship you are welcome to use, adapt, or simply be inspired by. If you use them, please credit the author in print materials or video descriptions. If you are inspired to write something yourself, please share it for your colleagues to be inspired too! You can put it in the comments, or email us at revgalblogpals (at) gmail dot com. (that goes for this week and every week — we’d love to share your contributions to the worshipping life of the church worldwide!)
Call to Worship by Melodie Long (based on John 6)
One: Life! God calls us to life!
Many: Life in its fulness, life in its beauty, life!
One: For the bread that fills our hearts and souls
Many: We praise you, O God!
One: For the love that gives life beyond this day
Many: We praise you, O God!
Together: Life! God calls us to life! Alleluia!
Prayer for Reconciliation by Melodie Long (based on Psalm 130 and John 6)
Out of the depths we cry to you, O Lord. The load we are carrying is very heavy, threatening to crush our souls. Though you have told us over and over again of the life you offer, though your story is one of faithfulness and grace, we get lost in our despair. We turn on one another in our anger and frustration, hurting your precious people, the very ones we have been called to love. Instead of living into your hope, we find ourselves being led by fear. Desperate for an immediate solution, we forget your vision and demand our own way. Stop us, Holy God, stop our incessant insanity, and help us find our way back to you. Hear the prayers of our hearts……. Amen.
Prayer of Confession by Teri Peterson
Holy God, your power is displayed throughout the universe,
right down to our own everyday lives.
For you, all things are possible.
And we know that with you, all things are possible.
You are our refuge and our strength.
We confess, though, that sometimes we prefer refuge to strength.
Our spirits are willing, at least mostly willing —
we know what you call us to do, and we really want to want to do it.
But the flesh is weak.
So we come to you for refuge, but we confess that we’re hiding.
Hiding from the hard path,
hoping you will reveal a different one if we wait long enough.
Forgive us, O God, and fill us again with your strength.
Make us strong and courageous, ready to do your will,
trusting that the words we say about you are actually true:
that you will never leave us nor forsake us,
that with you all things are possible,
that your grace is enough,
that you will lead us into abundant life for all,
if only we will follow you out of the safe place
and into the streets of this world you so love.
May your forgiveness fuel our faith,
and make us anew into your Body on earth.
We ask in the name of Jesus the Christ,
who was obedient even to death on a cross,
and beyond to the empty tomb.
Prayers of the People by Melodie Long (based John 6: 41-51 and Psalm 130)
Holy One, we have indeed been waiting for a very long time it seems. We wait for this pandemic to ease, only to be confronted by yet another wave, by divisions that seem cruel and incomprehensible, by our deep soul weariness as we struggle to adapt to it all. Yet you remind us of the overarching story that swaddles us in comfort and hope. You call to us in our despair and whisper to us that we are loved and cherished. Then you pull us out of ourselves so that we can become your loving and graceful presence even in this chaotic world – especially in this chaotic world.
As we breathe in your peace that settles in our bones, we become aware of the world around us. There is much hurt, much anger, much confusion, and we feel powerless to address it all. This gift of prayer opens a door of hope, an awareness of the people in our lives who are hungry for healing and wholeness, of the restlessness of our own hearts, of who you are and who we are called to be. When are overwhelmed, feeling that this is an impossible task, that our emotions are too raw, help us to wait in a sacred pause, trusting in your faithfulness. Sing to us in our hearts of the bread that gives life to us all. Renewed by your love, grant us courage, wisdom, and grace to live in this time, knowing that we are never alone.
In the silence we open our hearts, we lift our prayers to you…….
As many in North America are again considering adjustments to in-person gatherings, and many of us in the UK are adjusting to easing restrictions, I’d remind us all of this beautiful piece of music:
Teri Peterson is a minister in the Church of Scotland, where she ministers to a fantastic congregation in the most beautiful place, and lives in perhaps the nation’s best manse with the best view. She is the liturgy writer for the BibleWorm podcast, blogs (very) occasionally at CleverTitleHere, co-authored the book Who’s Got Time: Spirituality for a Busy Generation, and serves on the RevGalBlogPals board.
Image is a photo of a portion of a carving on a standing cross in the Iona Abbey Museum, taken by Teri.
RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back to the specific post. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com. For Worship Words, you may use or adapt what you find here, but please credit the author in printed orders of service/web publications and in public video descriptions if possible.