Peace United Church of Christ St. Cloud, MN
Hymn: Come, Thou Font of Every Blessing
Reading: Psalm 139: 1-18
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand--
when I awake, I am still with you.
I've tried to hide from your searching gaze,
I've climbed mountains,
and burrowed deep into earth's caverns;
I've fled to the farthest edges of my soul,
and longed to sail in my fears to the dark side of the moon.
And wherever I go -
you are waiting for me!
Even in the dimmest corners of my heart,
your light is able to find me.
I am found;
afraid to speak of my sinfulness -
you hear my stumbling words
before I shape them in my mind;
unable to help myself -
you redeem me through the gracious love
of Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Savior.
Silence is kept
Assurance of Pardon
In sorrow so deep we cannot find our way out,
God cradles us in comfort;
in moments so dark, we stumble over ourselves,
God lights the way;
in joy which cascades into our souls,
God fills us with healing.
Even when we cannot see it, God's hope is all around us, surrounding us with peace and healing. Thanks be to God, we are forgiven. Amen.
— © Thom M. Shuman 2011. Posted on his Lectionary Liturgies blog.
Homily: Mothering God
Hymn: Mothering God, You Gave Me Birth
Prayers of the People:
Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit,
the psalmist declares,
“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’”
Today our hearts long to join with your people,
to share our burdens,
to see friends,
to care for the lonely,
to join our voices in praise,
to remember together this weekly reminder of your resurrection,
to hear together the amazing echoes of your Word proclaimed,
to touch the bread and taste the cup, looking at faces gathered around the table,
to be sent on mission into every sphere of human endeavor.
Today the longing of our hearts cannot be filled.
We lament our separation one from another.
We lament that we can’t join our voices in one place to bring glory to you.
We lament our lack of love of worship in the past.
We lament for sisters and brothers who are sick.
We lament a broken world that carries viruses.
We lament for those for whom this virus means dire social isolation.
We cry out to you, redeemer of all things,
for our leaders, who bear a deep burden for your people,
for our leaders, who are struggling and striving to build community in this time of pandemic,
for grace and healing and hope, first for those deeply struggling, and then for us all,
for you to reconcile all things to yourself through the blood of Jesus Christ,
for the day to come soon when we can have our hopes fulfilled
and join together with the community of faith
in the glad weekly remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus.
We pray this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
With Permission Larry Doornbos, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
Hymn: Great is Your Faithfulness
Go into your week,
knowing that you are embraced by the love of God;
a love that is sweeter and more tender
than any you have ever known.