It Takes Fire: A 21st Century Worship Resource for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year A
Gathering Meditation: "It Takes Fire"
(Based on Exodus 3:1-15)
It took a miraculous fire to get my attention. No loss of life. No burned-out homes.
No crowds to gawk and gaze. It was a private fire meant only for me.
"Here I am."
"Not too close. Remove your shoes. This place is holy."
God puts holy fire into our mouths to speak truth to power.
How long will bullies frighten children?
How long "higher-ups" oppress the rank and file?
How long will drug dealers hook innocents?
How long will companies lose workers' pensions?
How long will people die in senseless conflict?
As long as fire in holy places goes unnoticed…
And cool smoke rises where Christian passion once burned.
Follow by singing: "This is Holy Ground"
Call to Confession
(Based on Romans 12:9-21)
Precious Lord, strip away the mask I wear during the week to "get by." Lay my soul bare before you today. Help me to recognize genuine love. Teach me the love that shuns evil and holds on to what is good. Strip away the mask that holds my emotions in check when I should share your love with someone. Let me see the joy of giving to others. Show me the power of blessing those who persecute me. Strip away "the mask that grins and lies and lets the world think otherwise"* about this child of God.
Words of Assurance
An altar, a pew, a seat on the bus, a kitchen table -- all become holy places when we confess our sins to God. Today, in this holy place, God meets us, hears us and forgives us. In this holy place, God empowers us with genuine love to be shared with a hurting world. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.