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Call to worship
Let us come to the river and be like trees planted by streams of water,
putting our roots down deep into God’s word,
bearing good fruit that will last not withering from fatigue,
stretching out to receive and be a source of healing. Amen.
Song All creatures of our God and King
A gathering prayer
Creator, Son and Spirit, we gather together, online or in-person to seek Your presence in our time of worship.
WE ARE HUNGRY FOR YOU
Meet us at our point of deepest need. Connect us with the needs of others. Equip us to join in your creative work. Transform us more into your likeness.
WE ARE HUNGRY FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS
We gather with Janet, Jessica and Jerina and their communities in Zimbabwe May their stories make us hungry for justice and even more impatient for change.
WE ARE HUNGRY FOR YOUR JUSTICE
We gather with all of creation; with the mountains and the hills. We shall burst into song, with the trees of the field we will clap our hands.
WE ARE HUNGRY TO PRAISE YOU
New International Version
Praise the Lord from the heavens;(B)
praise him in the heights above.
2 Praise him, all his angels;(C)
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.(D)
3 Praise him, sun(E) and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars.
4 Praise him, you highest heavens(F)
and you waters above the skies.(G)
7 Praise the Lord(K) from the earth,
you great sea creatures(L) and all ocean depths,(M)
8 lightning and hail,(N) snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,(O)
9 you mountains and all hills,(P)
fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals(Q) and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings(R) of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and women,
old men and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,(S)
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor(T) is above the earth and the heavens.(U)
14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,[b](V)
the praise(W) of all his faithful servants,(X)
of Israel, the people close to his heart.(Y)
Praise the Lord.
Prayer of confession
Good God of creation, we sing praise to you. But even as we raise our voices we know we have faltered and failed. Walking on paths that turned our hearts inward, sitting with those who scoffed at the cries of the poor, mocking those on the margins, denying the earth in her distress. Too often our leaves have withered our branches are barren. We have failed to be pruned and the axe is now poised. Poised to cut down the excesses that crucify all creation, the systems that impoverish all people, the privileges that diminish our faith. But even now it is not too late. For in the face of judgment comes the offer of grace and the hope that deadwood can spring to life Where we have failed to bear good fruit and share your abundance for the earth
GOD HAVE MERCY
When our actions and intentions have been as chaff for the winds of heaven
GOD HAVE MERCY
Forgive us. Restore us. Inspire us now to delight in your purposes, to embrace your possibilities, to inhabit your promises, to flourish as fruit for the world you so love and bring healing for all the nations. AMEN.
Prayer of lamentation
Establish the work of our hands, O God.
WE CALL TO YOU, GOD OF CREATION
faithful to us by the trees of Eden;
WE CALL TO YOU, GOD OF REDEMPTION
faithful to us on the tree of Calvary;
WE CALL TO YOU, GOD OF FULFILMENT
faithful to us from the tree of life’s healing. We are your people so answer us, O God, from the streets of your city, from your river of life, from your throne in heaven.
ANSWER US NOW
in words of power and mighty deeds. Speak to our cries of ‘how long.’ How long will the bellies of children lie empty? How long will their mothers pray in vain? How long will temperatures rise beyond record? How long will the clouds fail to give rain? How long will the crop fields turn into dust? How long will the floods cover the plain? How long will so few live with far too much? How long will so many be denied what they need? How long before the healing of nations? How long will injustice and suffering remain? But heaven, we know, this is much of our making; our scapegoats, our alibis, they all know the truth: Our pointing the finger and prayers of ‘how long’ echo back on our piety and demand us to answer
HOW LONG, HOW LONG?
How long will indifference, inequality and injustice deny compassion, healing and fullness of life? Come and come soon Lord. Let the peoples rejoice, from Eden to Calvary, from heaven to earth. Lift every voice to sing, ‘Amen!’ Establish the work of our hands.
Song When I needed a neighbour
In the name of God who plants the seed of justice: Be hungry. In the name of Christ who hangs on the tree of love: Be fruitful. And in the name of the Spirit who inspires God’s will in our hearts and our lives: Be celebrated. You are Christ’s people, here and throughout the world now and forever. Amen.