Independence Day Prayer for Unity (Psalm 133)

Psalm 133 Ben Shahn

Psalm 133 by Ben Shahn

Psalm 133
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore.

On this Independence Day, I long for our neighborhoods and nation to experience the freedom of this psalm- the freedom of true unity. I long for the dividing walls to come crashing down. I long for an end to destructive division.

In this Psalm, the goodness of God-breathed unity is compared to the anointing of Aaron as high priest and dew on the mountains of Hermon and Zion in Israel.

True unity is precious, like sacred, costly oil or a trusted source of water in the wilderness.

True unity brings abundant blessing to an entire community. It is generous and lavish. There is so much oil it runs down Aaron’s beard and on to his robe. There is so much dew it can sustain plants, animals, and people on a rugged mountainside.

True unity means goodness for all. It is pervasive, crossing unjust boundaries. The anointing oil is mixed with spices so the aroma pervades the gathering. The dew makes way for fragrant flowers, fruits, and crops which are enjoyed by the whole community.

True unity is holy and unique. The oil is set apart for the ritual anointing of a priest or king. It is used for no other purpose. Mount Hermon is set apart for its height and snow, the highest point in the region at over 9,000 feet. Mount Zion in Jerusalem is set apart for the worship of God. True unity sets a group of people apart, a rare and beautiful light in our world.

Holy God
One yet Three
Reach into the abundance of your companionship
Bring forth unity and healing in our land
Pour out peace on violent homes and hearts
Shower compassion on selfish and short-sighted motives
Rain down justice, generosity, and goodness
so all are covered in blessing and harmony and life
Forevermore
Forevermore
Amen

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Independence Day Prayer for Unity © 2021 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Seeds Harvest Growth- Worship Resources based on Mark 4.26-34

open to growth

Open to Growth by Carly Swenson

1. PRAYER: Prayer to the Welcoming One by Lisa Degrenia
He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed… – Mark 4:30-31a

Welcoming One,
Your mercy knows no limit
Your grace knows no margin

You reach out

Like a tree full of branches
Satisfied with the song of unnumbered birds

Like a hen collecting her newborns
Sheltering them beneath healing wings

Like a surprised fisherman
Taking up a bursting, sweeping catch

Like a good shepherd
Extending the flock in every direction

Open us, as you continue to open yourself
So all may come within the reach
Of your saving embrace

2. QUOTE: by Wendell Berry
Sowing the seed, my hand is one with the earth.
Wanting the seed to grow, my mind is one with the light.
Hoeing the crop, my hands are one with the rain.
Having cared for the plants, my mind is one with the air.
Hungry and trusting, my mind is one with the earth.
Eating the fruit, my body is one with the earth

3. PRAYER: Prayer for Growth by Lisa Degrenia
He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. – Mark 4:26-27

Sew your seed, Good Gardner
Root us in your steadfast love
Plant your faithful promises deep within
Shelter and sustain us with your healing and hope
Your strength and light
Your good and lasting fruit is coming
It is here
The glory of the harvest is yours
For you alone bring the growth

4. RESOURCE: Natural Church Development, 6 Growth Forces by Christian A. Schwarz

  1. Interdependence- individual beings are connected to each other in a larger system
  2. Multiplication- healthy beings reproduce
  3. Energy Transformation- energy already flowing can be redirected
  4. Sustainability- healthy processes are cyclical, contributing to the next part of the cycle
  5. Symbiosis- cooperation for mutual benefit
  6. Fruitfulness- healthy things bear fruit (results)

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© 2021 You are welcome to use the original portions of this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. (by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, http://www.revlisad.com) Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

A prayer for moving (Genesis 12)

Snoopy-movingOur family will be moving later this month. June and July are often months of moving, especially for United Methodist pastors who are appointed to new congregations. I’ve been appointed to New Smyrna Beach and the good folks at Coronado Community UMC. This prayer is for all who find themselves heading to new places. It’s based on Genesis 12:1-9.

The Lord God calls Abram (and Sarai)
Pack your things
Move your family
Travel far, to a place yet to be known

He/She/They obey
They leave all that’s established.
It is difficult. It is no small thing.

He/She/They trust
They keep listening
They keep praising the Lord God
as they move farther and farther into the unfamiliar

Help me to trust you as well
You do not call and abandon
You are ahead of us on the journey
You are the journey- the way, the truth, the life

You guide and guard
You encourage and reassure and show signs
You and your way brings blessing for me
for my family
for the world

Deepen my trust
that I may be faithful in all things
and a blessing for the generations
Amen

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A Prayer for Moving © 2017, updated 2021 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Jesus is Misunderstood- Worship Resources based on Mark 3.20-35

the savior by henry ossawa tanner

The Savior by Henry Ossawa Tanner

1. PRAYER: Make Us One by Lisa Degrenia
And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. – Mark 3:23-25

Make us
One with you and each other
One in your great work of peace
One in your words and ways
One in commitment to reconciliation and righteousness
One in facing falsehood
One in the bloody bonds of persecution
One in your joy
One in your promises
One on earth and one in heaven
Amen

2. PRAYER: Belonging and Home by Lisa Degrenia
And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” – Mark 3:34-34

Jesus, you pour out your unbroken spirit
You shower down unending blessing
Belonging and Home

Your family is fruitful and multiplying
Like the stars in the sky
Like the sand on the shore

Your promise is real
Even when some try to label and divide
Even when our hearts are too heavy to perceive it

You pour out your unbroken spirit
Calling to the east and west
New siblings shout, “I am the Lord’s!”
From the north and the south
New kin claim your unfailing name

Hallelujah! Glory, Hallelujah!
To the reach of your saving embrace

3. REFLECTION AND PRAYER: Grace Under Pressure by Lisa Degrenia

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© 2021 You are welcome to use the original portions of this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. (by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, http://www.revlisad.com) Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Worship and Sermon Resources for Trinity Sunday

trinity window

1. PRAYER: Holy Trinity, Community of Love by Lisa Degrenia
Holy Trinity, Community of Love,
Draw us together in your creative light

Root us in the ground of your being,
Vulnerable before one another,
Unashamed in your presence and each other’s

Make us joyful in the ways you gift each of us:
Quick to celebrate, serve, and share
Quick to live your love
Amen.

This prayer was inspired by the story of the creation of humanity found at the end of Genesis 1 and the beginning of Genesis 2.

2. PRAYER: Prayer to the Holy Trinity by Lisa Degrenia
Holy Trinity:
Creating Love
Saving Love
Sanctifying Love

You welcome us to your unity
Your community
You do not condemn
but make the way to new life, eternal life, with you through Christ
Hallelujah!

Grant us grace to receive the fullness of your mercy and healing and transformation.
Free us from all things that block living your love fully,
so we may be joyful and faithful in all things,
so we may speak your words with truth and fruitfulness,
so we may live and lead wisely,
so we may be your instruments of peace and hope,
so we may love as you love.

Glory to you, forever!
Honor to you, forever!
Praise and blessing to you, forever!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen!

3. PRAYER AND HYMN: Joyful Praise
Great for opening a worship service. Combines verses of the hymn Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee with a prayer from I, Francis by Carlo Carretto

4. CALL TO WORSHIP: Receive and Rejoice by Lisa Degrenia
Receive and Rejoice!
Rejoice with an indescribable joy
Inexpressible
Unspeakable
A joy greater than words
A great and glorious joy
Loose
Liberated
Boundless

Receive and Rejoice!
A joy worthy of new birth
Of a living hope
A joy anchored in the imperishable
The Eternal
Undefiled and Unfading

Receive and Rejoice!
This joy was chosen for you
Destined for you
Sanctified, sprinkled and saved for you
By the Merciful One
God… Father of grace and glory
God… Son and Savior
God… Spirit and Sustainer

Receive and Rejoice!

Based on 1 Peter 1:1-9 (NRSV)

5. RESOURCES: Trinity, Community, and Love
Quotes, an original prayer, plus an original poem/song lyric

6. REFLECTION: Holy Trinity by Steve Garnaas Holmes

7. PRAYER: a prayer from the Eastern Church

Glory to the Father, our true and only hope
Glory to the Son, our true and only refuge
Glory to the Holy Spirit, our true and only protection
Glory to the Holy Trinity, our true and only light
Now and to the ages of ages, Amen

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© 2021 You are welcome to use the original portions of this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. (by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, http://www.revlisad.com) Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.