Reflection and Liturgy for Sunday, July 21, 2013

On Mondays I am sharing liturgical writing focused on the Luke passages for each Sunday in the Revised Common Lectionary. This week’s first contributor is Luz Berrios-Taveras of Manchester, Connecticut, who has written a wonderful poem, ” A Message for the Worriers.” This can be a part of a sermon or appear on a worship bulletin for reflection. Another suggestion is to read it at the beginning of worship and then use many of the words in a Call to Worship. I give an example at the end. Elizabeth Barnum from Barrington, Rhode Island is the second contributor this week and her Invocation follows Luz’ poem. I celebrate these women’s beautiful words. I have added some confessional liturgy for those who wish that for their weekly worship service.

Gift of Luz Berrios-Taveras

A message for the worriers

Always prepared for the unknown
At the speed of a cyclone
Moments purposeful for inhaling and exhaling are
Excluded from the plan; intentionality out of control
No interval of moderation; never noticing the rainbow
Despite the persuasion

Another is critiqued for her restraint
Although purposeful in action
Noticing the song of a bird at sunrise that
Enchants those who hear the
Winds of change while acknowledging
Peace beyond all understanding
The howling wind, raindrops, or the voice of a child
Extraordinary moments
Captured only in the serene

Can the sound of change be heard?
Or is the worrier consumed over what is left to do?
Still speaking……can the whisper be heard?
Or is the worrier spent?

A neurotic pace is not for those who
Are chosen uniquely for the call
Picked to commune spiritually
Abreast of the magic moments
Truly taking our breath away.

Gift of Elizabeth Barnum

Prayer of Invocation

God, our guest and our host, as we gather for worship
teach us how to welcome rather than turn away.
Show us how to not only set and serve the tables of your love,
but to also share in the company of one another.
Call us out from our worries and into the peace of your presence.
Distract us from mindless doing and center us into mindful being.
Be the balance-keeper in our days of work and rest, of labor and Sabbath.
When it is time for action, help us rise up.
When it is time to sit alongside one another, as we do now,
remind us of your model of companionship.
May we be with one another in this hour of worship
as you are with us in all hours. Amen.

Call to Worship (based on Luz Berrios-Taveras, MCT))

Come worriers — always prepared at the speed of a cyclone.
We come to pause.

Come to the birdsong of sunrise,
wind and raindrops and the voice of a child.
We come to listen.

Come from the distraction of what is left to do,
the plans where inhale and exhale are not on the agenda.
We come to let go; we come to breathe.

A neurotic pace is not for those who are called.
We are called, we come, we are quiet.

Prayer of Confession: Christ of the gentle life, we do not always sit still long enough to listen to you. We don’t set aside the distractions that keep us from noticing the beauty of creation. We sometimes miss the better part of companionship while making plans to get together. Center restless minds; soothe anxious hearts; rest sleepless bodies; release bound spirits. amen

Words of Assurance  God who notices every sparrow, can keep us from pecking away our lives. The tweet of good news:We are forgiven.

Luke for Sharing – A Community Resource
A Collaboration of Forty-four Writers on the Scriptures from Luke
June – November, 2013

edited by Maren C. Tirabassi

All of these resources were given freely and they may be used in worship contexts. They may be adapted to fit your context. Please cite the original author when you reprint them or share them orally. For any other use please contact me so that I can put you directly in touch with that particular author.

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