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Sunday
Nov032013

Call to Worship – November 3, 2013

Today in our service we are going to be thinking about Jerusalem: the historical city, the contemporary city, the reality, the concept, the idea, the ideal, the idyll.  Jerusalem is built as a city which is bound firmly together.  There thrones of judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David.  We give thanks to God for all Jerusalem has meant in the past, what it means in the present, what it can portend for the future, and what the City of God means for all of eternity.  Therefore let us, with confidence, worship the God of the Holy City.

 

Pastoral Prayer

 

            We call Thee a God of grace, Lord God, and so Thou art.  By Thy grace does the world exist, and we in it.  By Thy grace alone is life possible, and particularly life filled with goodness and hope and love.  We are residents in a community and nation and planet of great promise and potential, and it all exists because of Thy grace.  Teach us daily never to take Thy grace for granted, but instead to live in gratitude for it and to luxuriate in its countless blessings.

 

            We thank Thee for the gift of prayer, whereby we may bring our cares and concerns to Thee, knowing that not only dost Thou hear them, but that in Thine own often inscrutable way, Thou dost respond and answer every petition and intercession.

We pray first for others in their needs, and then for ourselves, especially for those whose situations are very familiar to us, and who cry out to Thee for relief and support.  Uphold the heartbroken, the sick, the grieving, the spiritually or physically hungry, the put-upon, the overworked and underpaid, the unemployed, and the unemployable.  Help us to help them in whatever ways we can, O loving Father.

 

            On this day we pray for a particular city, Jerusalem, the City of Peace.  We pray for the people living in the capital of the Holy Land, both Jews and Arabs, for the people living beyond the borders of Jerusalem in the Holy Land, both Jews and Arabs, for all the peoples of the world for whom Jerusalem is a spiritual or religious capital, and for the City of God which Jerusalem has represented in some hopeful fashion for three millennia.

We pray for the peace of Jerusalem, a city which has known far too little peace in its glorious, tortured history.  We pray for that unique metropolis, as we sing in a hymn, “Till glorious from Thy heaven above shall come the City of our God.”  This prayer we offer in the name of one who came to Jerusalem in peace, and lost his life there is a tragic triumph.  Now we join together in prayer as Jesus taught us, saying, Our Father….

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