What Are You Doing Here?
Updated: Aug 15, 2020
Call to Worship Psalm 100
One: Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. All: Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.
One: Know that the Lord is God. All: It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
One: Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. All: Give thanks to him, bless his name.
One: For the Lord is good.
All: His steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
One: So it is as we proclaim in greeting one another,
“The peace of the Lord be with you.”
All: And also with you.
One: Please be seated. Let us pray.
Prayer of Invocation and Confession
Living God, bless our worship with your presence and our living with your faithfulness. We gather as a small group, though hopeful that our witness might be powerful beyond what we can measure, that by our gathering your life-giving love might be manifest.
We pray this amidst a culture that often denies you, that seeks spectacle more than calm and excitement more than truth, and that governs less for the sake of love and more for the sake of the accumulation of power.
We pray this as your people when many other gods might entice us or lay claim to us—gods of commerce and the marketplace, gods of accomplishment and self-aggrandizement, gods of personal fulfillment at the cost of others’ wellbeing. There are many altars at which we might offer sacrifice. Help us most truly to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to you who is love, who commands justice, who calls to us in truth.
We pray this often suspecting that we alone are the ones who care. Like Elijah, we often suspect that we are alone in our stand that you are real and alive and at work in the world, and that this demands something of us—that we are to enact justice, that we are as of old to see to the wellbeing of the poor, the orphan and the widow, the unwell and the downtrodden, among whom we might well be, if not now then one day.
Free us from the bitterness that such a suspicion might give rise to. Forgive us this spirit of grievance that such grief might have given way to. Forgive us that this remnant of which we are each but one thread might not be the glory we seek or the reward we feel we deserve. The church, once so respectable in our culture, has become an odd outpost, old fashioned, easily dismissed.
We pray that the beauty of your presence might sustain us nonetheless, the assurance of your silent Word might speak to us and encourage us. We pray that the justice we seek might be more glorious than any social standing we might once have sought to enjoy.
We pray all this in the faith of Christ, whose abiding in you was so full and true he calmed storms, assuaged fear, and strengthened for the long journey from life to Life. Amen.