Category Archives: Composite

Who am I? – A Responsive Reading


Who Am I?
If you read through the Bible and try to answer that question, you will find the following (put into the form of a responsive reading):
M: You are all children of God:
C: The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. – Romans 8:16 
M: You are all God’s handiwork:
C: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10 
M: You are all forgiven:
C: In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. – Ephesians 1:7 
M: You are all a new creation:
C: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Corinthians 5:17 
M:  You all have been reconciled:
C:  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. – 2 Corinthians 5:18 
M:  You are all heirs of eternal life:
C:  And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. – 1 John 5:11
M:  You All live by faith:
C:  For we live by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7 
M:  You are all co-heirs with Christ:
C:  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.  – Romans 8:17 
M:  You are all blessed in the heavenly realms:
C:  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. – Ephesians 1:3 
M:  You are healed:
C:  “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24 
M: You are all strong:
C:  I can do all this through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13 

“You may not have ever realized this before, but your story is written somewhere in the Bible.” – Cherrie Hill
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He Makes All Things New


He Makes All Things New

A Responsive Reading for the New Year

M: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead – 1 Peter 1:3

C: Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people. – Ps 149:1

M: See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. – Isa 65:17

C: In keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. – 2 Peter 3:13

M: You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. – Eph 4:22-24

C: For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – Romans 6:6

M: A new command I give you: Love one another. As Jesus has loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are His disciples, if you love one another. – John 13:34-35

C: Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. – Psalm 71:3

M: See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isa 43:19

C: Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. – Ps 96:1

A Gathering Litany


A Gathering Litany

P:         God is uniquely present as we gather to worship Him this morning.
C:        He is present in His sanctuary.
P:         He is present where two or more have gathered in His name.
C:        He is present to edify.
P:         He is present to save the lost.
C:        He is present to restore.
P:         He is present to open blind eyes.
C:        He is present to make friends from enemies.
P:         He is present to soften the hard-hearted.
C:        He is present to give life to the soul that is dead.
P:         He is present to welcome the prodigal and the lost back home.
C:        He is present to bless the poor in spirit.
P:         He is present to bless those who mourn.
C:        He is present to bless the meek.
P:         He is present to bless the merciful.
C:        He is present to bless the persecuted.
P:         He is present to feed those who hunger and give living water to all who thirst.
C:        He is present to forgive.
P:         He is present to love.
C:        He is present to build us up

John the Baptist’s Cry


John the Baptist baptizing Christ
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John the Baptist’s Cry

About 2,000 years ago, John the Baptist broke a biblical silence of over 400 years to express this inspired message: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” (Mt 3:1-3)

If the Kingdom of Heaven was near back when he said it, then it’s even closer now and his message is critically important to us.  Here’s a responsive reading based on his message to teach your people the meaning of repentance.

P:         Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is near.  (Mt 3:1-3)
P:        Part of being repentant is acknowledging that we are all sinners.
C:         for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)

P:        Another part of being repentant is to realize that someone had to pay the price for our sin; this person was Jesus Christ, God’s only Son who suffered and died for the sins of all.
C:         But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.  (Isa 53:5

P:        A repentant sinner should also feel sorrow over their sins.
C:         yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance (2 Cor 7:9)
P:        A repentant sinner also needs to confess their sins and ask for forgiveness.
C:         For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.  (Ps 25:11)

P:        A repentant sinner should know beyond a shadow of a doubt that their sins are forgiven and that this is a free gift from God and not a result of any of our doing.
C:         For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 6:23)

P:        The final step of repentance is to turn our lives around and make every effort to avoid sinning in the future.
C:         if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

A blessed Thanksgiving to all!

PS – Looking for an Advent Wreath Candle Lighting Ceremony?  Check here:

https://sjbrown58.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/advent-candle-lighting-ceremony/

Responsive Luther Prayer


A statue of Martin Luther on the market place ...
Image via Wikipedia

Responsive Luther Prayer

P:         Behold, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled.
C:        My Lord, fill it.

P:         I am weak in the faith; strengthen me.
C:        I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent that my love may go out to my neighbor.

P:         I do not have a strong or firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust you altogether.
C:        O Lord, help me and strengthen my faith and trust in you.

– Martin Luther

 

A responsive prayer for a Vacation Bible School Service


A responsive prayer for a Vacation Bible School Service:

Pastor:     Our Father, may we all have the hope and energy and strength of our youth,
All:    strengthened by You to run and not grow weary.
Pastor:    From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.
All:    You use the “weak” to lead the strong.
Pastor:    You used a little child to lead a wolf, a lamb, a leopard, a goat a calf and a lion to live together in harmony.
All:    You ask the little children to come, you do not hinder them, you tell us that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these!
Pastor:    May it be so today; we pray this in Jesus’ name.
All:    Amen.

Source unknown.   This has been in my files for a while.   I may have added or modified it somewhere along the way.

Prayer – Show Us


Prayer – Show Us

P:         Jesus, You did everything to show us both your love and your Father’s love.
C:        You became a small dependent child to show us yourself in your weakness

P:         You became a refugee in Egypt to show us your solidarity with all who are driven from their homes
C:        You grew up in obedience to your parents to show us your adherence to the commandments

P:         You worked for many years as a simple carpenter to show us that you wanted to be with us in our daily work
C:        You were tempted in the desert to show us how to resist the forces of evil around us

P:         You surrounded yourself with disciples to show us how to share our vision with others and to work together in ministry
C:        You preached the word of God to show us truth and how to become, ourselves, witnesses to truth

P:         You healed the sick and raised the dead to show us that you have power over death
C:        You were transfigured to show us your divine splendor

P:         You went the long road of suffering and death to show us that you love us and that you have redeemed us
C:        Lord, bring us closer to You and reveal to us, the boundless love that is in your heart.  Amen. 

– based on the prayers of Henri Nouwen

(Slightly reworded and put into a responsive format)

Birth and Death Mash-Up


Birth and Death Mash-Up

Psalm 22 (selected verses) and the Birth Account (from Luke 2:1-20)

The following is a combination of the anguish of death and separation from God stated in Psalm 22 and the birth account from Luke 2.  My thought was to bring together Jesus’ birth and the reason behind his coming to earth in one reading.

P: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?  Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
C:  In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

P: O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.
C:  And everyone went to his own town to register. 

P: But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.
C:  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

P: All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
C:  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

P: “He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him.  Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
C:  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.

P: Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
C:  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

P: Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
C:  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

P: Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.
C:  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 

P: I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.  My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.
C:  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”

P: My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
C:  “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

P: Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
C:  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

P: I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
C:  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

P: They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
C:  So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 

P: But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
C:  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

P: Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.
C:  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 

P: Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
C: The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

P: I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society