Sunday, January 15, 2012

Life as Liturgy: A Pastoral Prayer for Worship

The Westminster community has begun a series on the vision and mission of our congregation.  This week we engaged, "Worship as Our First Calling."  Below is the pastoral prayer that some have asked to be posted or sent as we continue to contemplate what it looks like to not "go" to worship, rather to live into worship.  Said best, life is liturgy.

God of creation, we are reminded that from the very beginning you have had a vision for your people.  You have called us your image bearers, made out of dust to radiate and reflect your goodness in the world. You have invited us to be story tellers and story dwellers, not only proclaiming with our lips but also living into with our very lives how you have worked in and through your people throughout history.  You have dreamed for us to be peacemakers, justice seekers, care givers, resource sharers, and hope instillers.  You have provoked us to have the ears to hear the cries of the oppressed, the yearnings of the broken, the struggles of the wounded, and the pleas of the long forsaken, marginalized, and ignored.  Still more, you have nudged us to have the eyes to see where we can be a people of liberation, agents of healing, and incarnations of your radical hospitality.

Yet above all, you have fashioned us to be worshipers.  All that we say and do as individuals and a community of faith is wrapped up as a living sacrifice to you who molded and shaped us to be your people in the world.  While we may gather for worship in this place, may we also see every waking moment as an opportunity to live into the liturgy of the gospel beyond the four walls of this building..

May we wake as a call to worship.

May our daily interactions with neighbors, co-workers, family, friends, and the kid who sits alone at lunch be bold moments to affirm our faith.

May our encounters with those who have offended us and those we have offended be real moments to confess our need for forgiveness.  Strengthen us so we may offer such forgiveness to another.  Humble us so we can receive it when forgiveness is offered to us.

Make us a Eucharistic people, your body and blood in the world, who enter into the broken places.  Make us willing and able to vision together where we can incarnate the love of Christ to the poor from High Street to Honduras.  Lead us to pursue generosity from Market Street to Mexico.  Guide us as we extend the table of compassion from the borough to Broad Street.  We also ask that we would be able to enter into communion with those in this congregation who long for your help and peace:

Father, Son, Holy Spirit, we worship you as the one who created us, sustains us, and moves us all the more closer to the final day when all will worship you in spirit and in truth. Until that day, we give you thanks that you have enabled us to be a people who sing into the world this good news found in and through the person and work of Jesus, our Lord.  And may the prayer Jesus taught us be the song that gives rhythm to all that we are and all that we strive to become as we say this prayer together:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, butdeliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the powerand the glory, forever. Amen