We’ve started another calendar year. Now it is time to declare what light we follow. Now is a good time to recommit ourselves to the discipleship path. The “Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition” in the United Methodist Hymnal (607) is one way of reaffirming that commitment to be followers of Jesus Christ. Even though the liturgical year has already started with the season of Advent, many folks see the turning of the calendar as the more significant starting point. So, why not restart there.
When Advent began, we declared that it was time to go home, time to remind ourselves that we are a pilgrim people and that we are headed someplace. We called that place “home” in this series. But in reality, our true home is the kin-dom of God. And we don’t see that as simple place we will go to after this life is over. No, we are longing for the breaking in of the kin-dom in this world where we live now. We are longing for justice and peace, for equality and an end to oppression. We are longing for the home where love wins out over hate.
This is the light we live by and the light we shine out into this world. As we head into Epiphany, we declare that we are committed to living by the light of home.
Call to Worship
(inspired by Jeremiah 31:7-9)
One: Sing aloud with gladness:
Many: God is gathering the people!
One: From the farthest parts of the earth we come:
Many: All who struggle; all who labor with new life!
One: Those who are weeping, God will console;
Many: Those who get lost find a clear path home.
One: Let us worship the God who gathers us!
Prayer of Invocation
We give thanks that you have gathered us into your church
and graced us with your faithful presence.
We ponder our history, ancient and still developing,
and marvel at the many expressions of your church.
Grant us the vision to be a part of a new reformation for the church
that will bring ever more joy and justice to the world.
Continue to gather us, the diverse lot of us,
into Jesus’ vision and dream
that your faithful people may be one in you. Amen
Written by the Rev. Bonnie Tarwater and posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways website, http://www.ucc.org/worship/worship-ways. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/10/call-to-worship-prayer-jeremiah-31.html.
swirling, formless one,
hovering over creation and bringing new things to life
you speak new worlds into being with language that creates and liberates
living, limitless one
inhabiting the vast universe with the rich complexity of your being
you reveal yourself to your creatures and invite us to know you
nurturing, welcoming one
opening yourself wide to the joy and pain of loving your people
you place us in communities and families that echo your true nature
(pause to think about the language we instinctively use for God)
We thank you for the ways in which
we have known and understood you;
We thank you for the metaphors
that have opened our eyes to more of who you are;
We thank you for the language that has brought
the transcendent, timeless, mysterious God within our grasp.
We are hungry for more of you
We ask you to reveal more of yourself to us
to take us beyond the confines of familiar habits
to free us from the restrictions and distortions of our language
to expand our understanding of you
so that we can love you whole heartedly
we can communicate you faithfully
and we can reflect your full image to a world that needs you
Posted on the Fresh Worship website of Grace Church, an alternative congregation in London, England, http://www.freshworship.org. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/10/opening-prayer-reveal-yourself.html.
(inspired by John 1:1-5)
Jesus Christ, brother of Light,
that in the beginning was the Promise
and the Promise was with God
and the Promise was God.
in the infinite, nurturing creativity of God,
in the incarnate, crucified humility of God,
in the intimate, inspiring liberality of God.
Jesus Christ, brother of Light,
Written by Bruce Prewer and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Homepage, http://www.bruceprewer.com. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/06/affirmation-of-faith-john-1.html.
Come and see!
The light of God has come into our world
to proclaim God’s justice and love;
It has overcome the darkness and brought new life.
Come and follow!
Christ our companion has redeemed our world
He draws us into a loving family
From every tribe and family and culture.
Go and tell!
The Spirit has equipped us for service
To love our neighbours as we do ourselves
To bring God’s salvation to the ends of the earth.
Come and see, come and follow, go and tell!
In God’s Love the nations of the earth will put their hope.
Adapted from a prayer by Christine Sine on Godspace, http://godspace-msa.com. Reposted https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2014/01/litany-light-of-god-has-come.html.