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Asking for It

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

This is a liturgy for the 6th Sunday after Pentecost. Click here for a podcast version of this to join in with in the recitation.

Jesus with Sword, 13th c. Germany

Call to Worship Psalm 100 Adapted

One: Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer us, for we are poor and needy.

All: Preserve our lives, and the life of this congregation, for we are devoted to you.

One: Save us, your servants, who trust in you, for you are our God!

All: Be gracious to us, O Lord!

One: Gladden the souls of your servants, for to you, O Lord, we lift up our hearts.

All: Give ear, O Lord, to our worship and prayer.

One: Listen to our calls of supplication.

All: Teach us your ways, O Lord, that we may walk in your truth;

One: Give us an undivided heart to revere your name.

All: For you are great and do wondrous things;

One: you alone are God, in whose name we greet one another,

“The peace of the Lord be with you.”

All: And also with you.

One: Let us pray.

Holy Wounds of Christ, Arms of Christ, 15th c.

Prayer of Invocation (in unison)

Gracious God, as we embark on the long season ahead of ordinary time, we recognize that this is a journey which leads to the cross. As you call us to be disciples, you call us to the cross. As you send us out to serve as apostles, you do so warning that this might be a way of suffering. The cost of discipleship can be high indeed; the cost of apostleship might be our own lives.

And it might not be. Though this way in which you lead might lead us into suffering, it also might not. We might instead find ourselves serving for your sake amidst gracious circumstances; we might find that we land in history at a moment of conviction though not crucifixion.

The call to a willingness to suffer, though, is not simply a call to suffer. It is rather a call not to live in avoidance of suffering—and this makes all the difference.

Help us, then, to live in such a way that eases suffering wherever we find it, that approaches those who do suffer in generosity and compassion. Help us to give of what magnanimous circumstance we might enjoy that others might enjoy such things as well.

Loosen our grip on the pleasures and privileges we have struck upon or stumbled into, that all the world might know your grace, that all with whom we share in the living of our days might know abundant life.

Bamberger Psalter, 13th c.

Free us of selfishness, and all self-serving.

Grant that what sacrifice we offer of our treasure or ourselves might not be performative but might true, that by it your grace might abound.

In Jesus Christ, your son and our savior in his submission to the cross, we pray. Amen.

This is kitsch, a photo by "Pearl" who is "tired of the worn our stereotypes often found in Christian imagery."
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