Liturgy for Sunday, September 22, 2013

On Mondays I share liturgical writing focused on the Luke passages for each Sunday in the Revised Common Lectionary. This week’s scripture is Luke 16:1-13, which includes the parable of the dishonest manager. This week’s contributor is Larry Brickner-Wood, of Durham, New Hampshire, Chaplain for United Campus Ministries at the University of New Hampshire.

Gift of Larry Brickner-Wood

Call for Meditation
What is it that you treasure, dear one?  What is it that you value?  You say that you love God with all of your heart.  You may write it, sing it and utter it in prayer.  But what matters is how you live into it.  What matters is what is in your heart, and how that translates to a way of life that has God at your center.  A way of being that has Love at its center.  A life that has generosity and kindness at its center.  A practice that has abundance as a guiding value, that understands that riches are measured in love, not dollars or things.  Live this life, and that is how you may love God.

Call to Worship
One:  We are the children of light, heirs to a new day of seeing and believing.
All:    The debts we owe are not to the powers of this world.
One:   We are the children of light, believers in a love that is fearless and true.
All:     Entrust our lives with your true riches, your boundless mercy.
One:   We are the children of Light, ready to serve a God of grace and compassion.
All:     Faithful and honest in our journey, ready to claim your legacy of love.

Go now, my beloved, into this new day.  Go forth and own that treasure that Jesus reveals to us.  Go from this house, on this morning, and share your true riches, the wealth that God promises for each of us.  Go in peace, you children of light, and let Love be your guiding force in every step, every moment, every day.  Amen.

Sometimes liturgy just begs to be adapted to what is acceptable in your situation. Always feel free to keep liturgy alive. For example — you might want to change “dollar bill” to currency in your country, or there might be other changes in this prayer that tries to be as problematic as the scripture from which it emerges.

Prayer of Confession
God, forgive us when we let money use us, instead of using money. Forgive our not talking about money and preferring distant donations to awkward, grudgey assistance for family and friends. Forgive us when we just pee ourselves to please people with money, taste, or power, and when we actually worship the almighty goddamn dollar bill. Amen

Assurance of Grace
God knows how confusing and worthless money makes us feel and keeps giving us chances to demote it to useful tool. We are forgiven our mammon-mistakes.

or this:  Assurance of Grace
We confess and God gives us back a blank check. Don’t know what that is? Hear it this way – God’s love is never password-protected.

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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