After Pentecost C — September 11

The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost – Proper 19
September 11, 2022
“A Blistering Wind”

Call to Worship
One: Come, Beloved of God, the blistering wind of life is not the end.
Many: May the eye of the storm still us into wholeness and hope.
One: May the wind of God, turn us around toward trust in Holy promises.
Many: May our promises to God be pressed anew into our hearts and minds.
One: May everything of excess be released and refined for Love’s good work.
Many: May God’s vision of a world made new arise from God’s wind in and through us.

Invocation (Remembering 9/11)
O Holy Wind of God, sweep through our lives. Pause us into your presence, slowing our breathless pace. Refine in us a renewed willingness to bear gracious goodness into the chaos of the world. Let our memories on this day, call forth an alternative to the easy response of violence for violence. Form instead a steady commitment to return love in the face of fear, hope in the midst of despair, and mercy for every brokenness of the world’s design. By this, form anew the heart and mind of Christ in us, here, now, today.

Prayer for Transformation and New Life (Based on Psalm 51)
O God, have mercy on me because transgressions and wrong turns have too often been my daily detour. Wash me inside and out with the shower of Your love because my life carries a residue of regret I cannot shake loose on my own. I know myself too well, rehearsing littleness of spirit with a frequency surprising even to me. Now take every burden that crushes and form in me a new creation. Take every iniquity and instill your sweet song of forgiveness. Let your wisdom rise in my mind and your mercy in my heart that I may offer the same grace to others whom you also love. By this grace you give, mend not only me but the world. And may Your loving truth form a new creation in us all.

Words of Grace
Hear this good news: God’s memory of our misdeeds and misdirection is short. But God’s loving grace is long and stretches over our whole lives. In Christ Jesus, God has let loose a stream of love that perpetually flows as a patient, persistent, power. By this, God has forgiven us and invites you and me to join in the journey of justice and joy. May this blessed forgiveness multiply itself in our life with others. Thanks be to God!

Invitation to Generosity
Our lives are gifts not of our making. But by our consent to Love’s deep desire we are indeed remade. God is generous in this way, searching out every lost sheep or coin or beloved child until the fullness of joy rises in celebration. So we are invited to share in the sacred savoring that comes with self-giving that begins and ends in God. May our yes of giving grow Love’s delight in us.

Prayer of Dedication and Thanksgiving
O Love, stretch wide my heart, open my mind, saturate my soul
and form me anew in the gift of this day.
Let thanksgivings rise for miracles you place in my path at every turn.
Call forth awe at the miracle of life stirring all around
and within this body not of my making,
but given by You to steward Your love for a season short or long.

”Yes…thank you…Love,” let this be my prayer, even as words fail
to capture You in me and in all creation
seen and unseen and beyond what eye can see
But which soul can sense in silences beyond words.

Yes, Love, stretch wide my heart for this. And thank-you.

May the wind of God be strong in you. May it be neither too little nor too much for the gift of each day that is your life. May it be strong enough to deepen your root in God. May it be gentle enough for you to catch the breath of life. May it teach you how to breathe the grace and peace of Christ into the life of the world, multiplying this blessing over and over again. Blessings on you, beloved of God!

A Blistering Wind: Service Prayers for the 14th Sunday after Pentecost – Proper 19 were written by Rev. Dr. David Long-Higgins, Conference Minister of the Heartland Conference, United Church of Christ.