Category Archives: Lectionary Resources

Come Closer

Come Closer

 

Do you smell the delicious fragrance of forgiveness

Emanating from my pores?

 

A thousand moons or more ago I awakened to the stench of bitterness,

No longer willing for another person’s actions

To imprison my soul.

I departed from that place called Poison

Where I feasted on anger, plotted revenge.

I prayed for the brokenness … both yours and mine.

I prayed for release and reconciliation.

 

Come closer – where nothing can stand between us.

Come closer – taste my tears of joy.

Discover Freedom.

 

©August 11, 2014 Cynthia Langston Kirk

Based, in part, on Genesis 45:1 -15

 

To use this or any liturgy written by Cynthia Langston Kirk please include the copyright in your bulletin and/or on your screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one time worship use, please contact Cynthia at: cynthia@piecingstories.com.

Miraculous Engagement

Miraculous Engagement

 

Open your heart to miracles.

Not rabbits in hats,

Scarves up a practiced sleeve,

Or a quarter from your ear,

But God’s transforming touch,

Amazing grace that surprises lives

Connecting people because of who they are

And in spite of who they are.

Spirit whose breath stirs us

Into beauty and compassion.

Open your heart to miracles

That manifest in 100,000 ways:

A memory-filled, fractured relationship – mended,

Unexpected smiling face at an open door,

Sharing that offers food enough for everyone.

No competition this.

No my miracle is better than yours

Or my encounter of the Holy outshines yours.

It is in the sharing of our daily lives

And the sharing of our experiences with the Divine

That love is multiplied,

Our lives enriched beyond price.

Take care, remembering that extravagant, often sacrificial sharing

Is nothing shy of miraculous.

 

©July 29, 2014 Cynthia Langston Kirk

To use this or any liturgy written by Cynthia Langston Kirk please include the copyright in your bulletin and/or on your screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one time worship use, please contact Cynthia at: cynthia@piecingstories.com

Kin_dom of God

Kin_dom of God

 

 

Leave your zigzag frenzy

Ransacking the gift of time in search of a quick fix,

Striving to decipher all that bombards our senses.

Yearning for monumental answers

That are permanent and impermeable,

Set aside naysaying dispatches

That play in continuous loop.

 

Be still.

Be quiet.

Hear the Holy One’s song,

Marvel at creation.

Listen to your heart.

Look deep within.

Discover the transforming speck of yeast

That expands an idea into loving action.

See of your soul, the pearl that is precious.

Behold that same yeast within our community and world.

Behold that same precious pearl within all.

Witness compassion no larger than a mustard seed

That becomes canopied grace.

©July 22, 2014   Cynthia Langston Kirk

Worship Liturgy for August 7, 2011 ~ Lectionary Readings: Genesis 37:1-4,12-28,; Psalm 105: 1-6,16-22,45b;Romans 10:5-15; Matthew 14:22-33

August 7, 2011  Proper 14A, Ordinary 19A, Pentecost + 8

 

 CALL TO WORSHIP

 Leader: A life full of gifts

People: A lifetime of giving

Leader: A mind full of dreams

People: Passion and trust to make the dreams come true

Leader: Betrayal and broken relationships

People: Redeemed and reconciled by the grace of God

Leader: Let us worship God who forgives, even us,

People: And frees us to serve joyfully

 

OPENING PRAYER

God who transforms lives, open us to wonder and to the gifts in others. As we worship you today expand our hearts and minds to what is possible through your grace and power. In Christ we pray. Amen.

 

PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION

Loving God, we read of Joseph’s brothers and seldom ponder who we have betrayed or sold out in some fashion or another. We read of Peter walking on the water and often critique him as seeking attention or lacking faith. We forget the times we have jostled for position or attention and the times our wavering faith caused us to be overcome by waves of doubt and despair. Help us be who you created us to be, not at the expense of others. Forgive our speech that betrays and belittles. Forgive us when we seek to be first and forget those who are lost. We pray grateful for the dreams and gifts you have instilled within each of us. Amen.

 

 

©August 2011 Cynthia Langston Kirk

Call to Worship ~ Pentecost

CALL TO WORSHIP

 

Leader: Today we celebrate Pentecost

People: A surprise, a mystery, a spark, a fire,

Leader: A fresh beginning for extravagant sharing

People: A model of barrier breaking beyond culture and language

Leader: An electrifying movement of the Spirit

People: That warms our hearts and challenges our set notions

Leader: A moving of the Spirit

People: That inspires life in community

All:  Today we celebrate Pentecost!

 

Liturgy for Maundy Thursday

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: We join together to praise God who

People: Offers us bread and leads us into communion.

Leader: We desperately need to quiet our minds and bodies

People: That we might look fully into our shortcomings, our beauty and God’s unending grace.

Leader: We come to experience the Word

People: To face our temptations and be reconciled to our brothers and sisters.

Leader:  Thanks be to the Bread of Life

People: Who can feed our souls and transform any life.

  

CALL TO CONFESSION

 Let us confess our personal and corporate sins: the ways we have brought brokenness and hurt into this world and the times we have not shown God’s love.

  

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Merciful God, we come with pockets, bags and hearts filled with stones of arrogance, grief, anger, disbelief and more. We beg you to alter our lives to suit our desires and, when an outcome is not to our liking, we often turn our backs. We live as if worldly power can create the paradise and security so often advertised, not fully trusting in your faithfulness. We are tempted to believe we know best, even better than you, and often fail to worship you with our whole lives. Take the rocks that burden us. Take our stones of apathy and disrespect that hurt others. Help us know that we can be fed by your word and live confident that your grace is sufficient. In the name of the One who faced temptation and chose the way of Love we pray, Amen.

 

©April 2011  Cynthia Langston Kirk

 

Visit http://alivenow.upperroom.org/2011/03/01/praying-through-lent/  for Holy Week prayers.

To use this or any writings by Cynthia Langston Kirk please include her name in your bulletin and/or on your screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one time worship use, please contact Cynthia at: cynthia@piecingstories.com

Liturgy for September 12, 2010 ~ Lectionary Readings: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28; Psalm 14; I Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-1-

Ordinary 24, Pentecost + 16

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: If you had fifty trusted and capable employees, who would not leave the forty-nine

People: To help the one who became sick?

Leader: If you were part of a church family with five hundred members who knew God’s love

People: Who would not turn their focus to the ones who had never heard of God’s grace and Christ’s forgiveness?

Leader: If you had five children, who would not leave the four in trusted care

People: To search for the one who has lost their way?

Leader: So it is a thousand times over with the Holy One

People: To God be the glory!

 

© September 2010  Cynthia Langston Kirk

 

PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION

O God, in this fast-paced, disposable world, it often seems that everything and everyone is dispensable. It is easier to care for the ones before us than to spend time, money and effort on those who are more fragile or needy. We often feel the entitlement of the older brother even though we have fumbled choices and lost our way as well. Give us the tenacity and the hope of a father or mother who will not give up until they see their children coming home. May we be filled with such Christ-like love for our family, our friends and even for those who are strangers or foreigners.  Be with people who are searching in destructive places. Be with those who have never been shown kindness or a life-giving vision for the future. Lead them home. Help us to help them find their way home. And may we all feast together in joy at your celebration table. Amen.

 © September 2010  Cynthia Langston Kirk

 

Worship Liturgy for August 22, 2010 ~ Lectionary Readings: Jeremiah 1:4-10, Psalm 71:1-6, Hebrews 12:18-29, Luke 13:10-17

Ordinary 21 ~ Pentecost + 13 ~ Year C

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Leader: All praise to God

People: Who formed us in Holy image

Leader: All praise to the Lover of our Souls

People: Who equips us with gifts and anoints us with purpose

Leader: All praise to the Spirit

People: Who calls us to risk and sustains our every step

Leader: All praise to Holy Mystery

People: Whose fire refines us with courage and peace

Leader: All praise to the Prince of Peace

People: Who breaks tradition for the sake of hope and healing

                                                                        ©Cynthia Langston Kirk

OPENING PRAYER

Indwelling Love, You Who are Beyond Our Reach and Control, we come to worship eager to praise you, to be inspired, comforted and challenged by you. Thank you for the freedom to worship as we choose and for the beauty of this day. Heal our crippled spirits and free us to follow Christ in whose name we pray. Amen.

                                                                        ©Cynthia Langston Kirk

PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION

Merciful God, often we do not speak up because we are afraid or we feel we are not capable of the task. Forgive us when we do not trust your leading. Often we do not reach out to a person or a group because we fear the unknown or because we are more concerned with cultural taboos than brokenness. Forgive us when we are more concerned with what others think than how to express compassion. Be with those whose grief overwhelms every breath and thought. Be with those who face devastating disease and debilitating addictions. And, God, be with children who are abandoned, who know nothing but war and who have no one to bring hope into their lives. We pray grateful that you know us, love us and give us second chances. Amen.

                                                                        ©Cynthia Langston Kirk

Worship Liturgy for September 5, 2010 ~ Philemon 1-21, Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18, Labor Day

 

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: No longer slave, but free

People: No longer servant, but friend         

Leader: No longer foreigner, but family

People: No longer bound by the law, but by Love       

Leader: Come worship the One

People: Who unlocks the shackles      

Leader: Dismantles boundaries and barriers

People: Freeing us each to be more fully who God imagines        

All: Guiding us closer to Shalom      

 

© Cynthia Langston Kirk  

 

 

 Psalm 139 Litany

O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away.

May my thoughts be compassionate.

You search my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.

May my language be Love.

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Before me, below me, behind me, and above me is your grace. Keep me on the path of grace.

For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

I praise you for life: my life, the lives of my loved ones, the lives of those with whom I disagree and the lives of people I do not know for we are each fearfully and wonderfully made by you.

Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.

Lead me in ways of wonder. Lead me to be awe-struck by life.

In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed. How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! I try to count them – they are more than the sand; I come to the end – and I am with you.

How often I strive to put you in a box, O God, because you are beyond my comprehension. Stretch me to love beyond what I imagine, to share beyond my quest for security, and to show hospitality beyond human barriers. Stretch me to your ways.

                                                            NRSV and © Cynthia Langston Kirk  

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

For the opportunities and abilities to work, we give you thanks, O God. For mentors who have encouraged our gifts and exuded patience as we learn, we give you thanks. Be with those who are without a job, without the means to care for basic needs. Be with those who are depressed and deflated, with those who are scratching a way in the wilderness, with those whose bodies suffer from disease, and with disillusioned young adults striving to enter the workforce.  Be with those whose work we deem menial. Help us understand and appreciate their labors and contribution. Thank you for those who are retired who continue to give in meaningful ways. Bless parents and caregivers who earn no money, but do holy work. Help us be wise mentors and bold advocates teaching the Church and the world that, as we share our resources and our abilities to problem solve, there is more than enough for everyone.  In deep gratitude we pray. Amen.

 

                                                                        © Cynthia Langston Kirk  

 To use this or any writings by Cynthia Langston Kirk please include the copyright in your bulletin and/or on your screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one time worship use, please contact Cynthia at: cynthia@piecingstories.com

 

 

Worship Liturgy for August 1, 2010 ~ Lectionary Readings: Hosea 11:1-11; Psalm 107:1-9,43; Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21

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Ordinary 18, Pentecost + 10, Year C

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: What has captured my heart?

People: Who can teach me a love song?

Leader: Wherein do my loyalties lie?

People: In what do I invest my time and energy?

Leader: How do I use my resources?

People: How do I share my gifts and wisdom?

Leader: All these matters are of critical importance

People: And God listens for the answer.

 

OPENING PRAYER

Holy God, open our hearts to understand the way of Love. Open or hearts to try the way of Peace. Open our hearts to live the way of Generosity. We pray in the name of Christ, Lover of us All, Prince of Peace, Generosity Incarnate. Amen.

 

PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION

God of Love, when we are fearful or greedy, when we are more focused on tomorrow than today, draw us back to your purpose. When material wealth becomes more important than relationships, awaken us to that which matters most. Forgive us, O God, when we allow things of this world to pit brother against brother, friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor. Forgive us when we choose foolishly and free us to follow Christ in whose name we pray. Amen.

 ©July 2010   Cynthia Langston Kirk

To use this or any writings by Cynthia Langston Kirk please include the copyright in your bulletin and/or on your screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one time worship use, please contact Cynthia at: cynthia@piecingstories.com