Invitation TO and BY Wisdom — by Dawn Roucka
I’ve been watching hummingbirds all this summer. Birds fascinate me. Sometimes they flock together to the feeder. I have learned that these are the females. Their wings beating furiously and so gracefully. Images of birds invoke the presence of the Holy Spirit for me.
In that spirit, I recently, made myself a quilted wise owl t-shirt. I never attempted something exactly like this before. It came out almost what I was imagining. I gave myself a pat on the back and felt a bit sassy and smart. It was in this shirt I began to contemplate these Worship Words and realized that for all my stocked-up sass I do not feel too clever or wise most days lately. To quote an old favorite song “Grand Canyon” by Susan Ashton, “I’ve had the bread of idleness while drinking from a well of doubt. And it shakes the core of all I believe.”
All one needs do today is take a look around at this topsy-turvy spinning world and one sees doubt, idleness, confusion, intoxicated foolishness and lack of proper praise, fear and awe of God. A vast tipsy mob of self-centered lost souls gadding about like berry drunken Cedar Waxwings. Often, myself included in the flock.
~The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a
good understanding. His praise endures forever. Ps 111:10
~“Be careful how you live. not as unwise people but as wise.” Ephesians 5:20
This week as we prepare for worship, may the flights of fascist fantasy and competitive consumerism give way to ethereal wisdom and grace. As I spin round, I long to meet Lady Wisdom in any form. Being careful to be schooled by her wings of sheltering wisdom and shaped by her nested nourishment.
Dance with the Wise Woman Holy Spirit and these texts this week. I hope they are a feast for your soul. I became sated with the idea of you accepting her invitation, sheltering under her wide wise wings, and feasting at her sumptuous table. May Lady Wisdom open your hearts and minds to send you away with gliding grace, heaps of delight, and loads of your own wise ideas for worship words. Hope you will share what you are inspired to write. If you use these attached ideas, please give credit in print and video descriptions, but verbal attribution is not necessary.
Further inspiration for the weekend:
Create your own bird/ Holy Spirit/ Wise Woman art
Listen to Susan Ashton’s “Grand Canyon” or play as a Confession song.
Listen to U2’s “Mysterious Ways” Who does not hear/ see that Wise Woman?
Perhaps wear red this week or when you preach choose the color to represent your gifted wisdom!
Opening Prayer by Dawn Roucka
God of all, Wise and Holy, we long for wisdom and truth, but are often seduced by the clamor of the world and its foolishness. Help us hear your clarion call to wise and righteous living. Move the Spirit boldly through our lives so we live as children of truth with hearts and minds set on the things above. Feed us with the bread of compassion and the wine of joy so we dance through your world with hope, honesty, and love and for all, in the name of the One Living Bread who gives life for the life of the world. Amen.
Call to Worship by Sarah Flynn Erickson
One: We are invited to walk in God’s ways, to keep God’s commandments,
ALL: To practice understanding and discernment, between the ways of good and evil.
One: Grant us wisdom as we seek to know God’s will
ALL: And may all that we do be done in love.
Call to Worship/ Opening Litany (based on Psalm 111) by Dawn Roucka
Leader: Praise the Lord! Let us gather in God’s holy name.
People: With our whole heart we praise and thank you Almighty One!
Your great grace is all around us and you are faithful until the end.
L: God is trustworthy, faithful and true. God welcomes and redeems.
P: With our whole heart we praise and thank you Almighty One! We put our trust and hope in you!
L: God’s wisdom and power is everlasting, and provided to all who hunger for God’s word and ways.
P: With our whole heart we praise and thank you Almighty One! Guide us in your wisdom and knowing.
Call to confession by Sarah Flynn Erickson
We come before God and one another to confess that we often forget to follow the lessons of Scripture: to practice understanding and seek wisdom, to walk in God’s ways. Hear our confession, and by your steadfast love and mercy, forgive us and renew our commitment to follow you.
Confession and Forgiveness by Dawn Roucka
Leader: Precious people of God, so often we have dined at the table of Folly, breaking God’s heart with our foolish and death-dealing ways. Come now, let us live as wise people feasting on the promises of life and redemption, grace and truth.
Please join me as we layout our foolishness before God and others.
(brief time of silence for confession)
L: O Lord, you know, we have lived as unwise people.
People: God, forgive us for wasting time, dining with folly and not being filled with you.
We have often forsaken all that is good and right for that quick and easy snack.
We have shunned and turn away from your table all who seem different.
We have spoken bitter words or stayed silent poisoning relationships.
We have feasted on the lies of the world and are starved for the wholeness that comes from You.
Give again the bread of compassion and forgive our sins – fill us and help us live wisely and walk with you.
L: Taste again, the bread of life.
Christ, the Living Bread from Heaven, came that you will have life forever.
Your sins are forgiven; you are made new.
Live as wise people, singing songs of forgiveness.
P: We are the body of Christ. Amen
Communion Prayer preface by Dawn Roucka
L: May the Living Bread of Heaven be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Come to the One who welcomes you with open arms.
P: We bring our Spirit-filled hearts to the One who is our bread of hope
L: Children of God, hope in the Lord always!
P: We will sing glad songs to the One who listens to our hearts and loves us.
Sending by Dawn Roucka
Go, stuffed full with the blessings and grace of God our Provider
Nourished by the Bread of Life, Jesus our brother
And guided by the power of the Spirit, Lady Wisdom
Go now in peace to nourish the world with God’s Grace.
Live wisely in God’s name, now and always.
Pastor Dawn D. Roucka’s 30-year professional experience spans topics many will not talk about in polite company – politics and religion. She served at the US Senate, is an ordained ELCA pastor and has traveled widely as an advocate and speaker sharing development work with people in vulnerable situations, such as in Serbia, Moldova, former East Germany, and Africa. Dawn currently writes a blog at www.SpiritPartnerships.com which includes ideas and prayers for worship. She keeps flexible herself by dabbling in the art of improvisation as both performance and a teaching technique, and dancing with her beloved husband and ballroom dance partner. Dawn and her husband, Ken, live in Illinois with their tuxedoed cats, Theo and Vincent.
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.