Some liturgy for public worship, or perhaps simply for your personal prayers. First is a call to worship “for communion as a picnic” by Dee Ledger. Following are two prayers by Todd Jenkins … an invocation and a prayer for illumination. May you be blessed by them
Call to Worship
Around the picnic tables we gather to share a feast and a fellowship.
And someone spreads the blanket.
And someone opens the basket of rolls and honey, the culinary delights of heaven,
And someone calls and gathers the children.
And someone places a stone on the blanket edges so the strong wind won’t have its way.
And someone plucks the dandelions to weave into garlands.
And someone places a brave hand into the ice cooler
to pour ice and lemonade and cool, clear water.
And someone sings off key and it doesn’t matter.
And someone starts the conversation with a story of what happened this week or last year.
And someone redirects the ants and the bees with sugar water.
And someone tosses a Frisbee, pokes a friend, and laughs outloud.
And someone says thank you for this moment.
How is this coming together not worship?
We know, O God, that a prayer of invocation is not a talisman or spell to conjure you into the sanctuary. We understand that we don’t need to do that, because you are not only already here, you are always everywhere.
Let this prayer of invocation, then, be an invitation for us to settle ourselves and focus our attention on all of the ways your presence transforms our circumstances in, through, and beyond worship. Let us be aware of your presence, both in this hour and in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
It seems strange to pray for light, O Lord, in a room that is already full of light from multiple sources. It may even seem silly to light candles in the presence of so many lumens. But we do it anyway, recognizing that it is our hearts and our spirits that need to be able to see; and you, O God, are the only one who can light those candles. Open our hearts and minds to the light of your promise, as we read and participate in your story today. Let us find our own story in yours and in each other’s, so we may find hope and be lifted above our distress, into the peace of your presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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