Friday, September 13, 2013

Service of the Word, September 12, 2013

I had the opportunity to assist for Dr. Skinner, professor of New Testament, in chapel this week.  This is the order of service, with the prayers of intercession I wrote.

Service of the Word

Opening Hymn:  Open Your Ears, O Faithful People  - ELW #519

Prayer to Receive the Word
Gracious God, we ask your blessing as we listen to the words of the scriptures. May they touch our hearts and lead us to a life of love, mercy and service, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Scripture:  Luke 15:1-10

Sermon by Professor Matt Skinner

Prayers of Intercession

With the whole world that longs for the sight of God, let us pray.

We pray for the church, for all people and places who turn to You for comfort.  Give us strength to take seriously this mission to which we are called:  to the proclamation of good news to your people who are lost.

We pray for your creation, beautiful and broken.  Give us grace to be servants and co-creators with you, to live lives worthy of the world you have made.

We remember all those around the world who suffer because of injustice, war, and the sinfulness of others.  We pray for all of us who seek power, not to serve you or care for others but to glorify ourselves, that your grace and mercy might find us and turn our hearts.  We pray for our soldiers, for our veterans, for all those who have protected us.  Especially we pray for those who have lost something in combat:  their health, their strength, their family, their fellow servants, their hope, their heart, their lives.  We turn to you in the hope of their restoration, and we hold out our hands that you might make us a home for those who are lost.

We pray for our own tax collectors and sinners:  for all those pushed to the edges of society, rejected by their people and their church, and reviled by those in power.  We remember how you came to seek the lost, how your diligence and compassion led you time and time again into the midst of the unwanted, and how such love led you to the cross.  Give us that same love, that we might care not for ourselves but for the rescue of the lost in our midst.

We remember all those who suffer in body, in mind, and in spirit; for those who struggle with mental illness and addiction; for those who linger in hospitals and waiting rooms, hoping for good news or clear results.  We pray especially for Rebecca Mehl Gamble, journeying in Malaysia, as she recovers from illness, and for Jennifer Anderson Koenig, alumna and former campus pastor at Saint Olaf College, as she faces a continuing struggle with brain cancer.  Give them strength, and surround them with our love and prayer.

Holy God, you are beautiful.  You are grace.  You are love.  You are compassion.  You are a woman of patient commitment and hard work, seeking out the lost and setting us free.  In our joy at seeing you, we lift up our prayers and hopes, and we trust in your love.
Amen.
Amen.

Benediction

Sending Hymn:  "The Lord Now Sends Us Forth"  (ELW #538)

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