This morning we celebrated the accomplishments of our recent high school and college graduates. This is a significant time of transition and change for both students and family members and to frame our celebration, we began with a prayer liturgy based upon Ecclesiastes 3 and Psalm 31:15, taken from Walter Brueggemann’s collections of prayers, Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth. At the conclusion of this time of prayer we sang together Chris McClarney’s, “God of Our Yesterdays.”
Here is Brueggemann’s prayer:
There is a time to be born and a time to die.
And this is a time to be born.
So we turn to you, God of our life,
God of all our years,
God of our beginning.
Our times are in your hand.
Hear us as we pray:
- For those of us too much into obedience, birth us to the freedom of the gospel.
- For those of us too much into self-indulgence, birth us to discipleship in your ministry.
- For those too much into cynicism, birth us to the innocence of the Christ child.
- For those of us too much into cowardice, birth us to the courage to stand before principalities and powers.
- For those of us too much into guilt, birth us into forgiveness worked in your generosity.
- For those of us too much into despair, birth us into the promises you make to your people.
- For those of us too much into control, birth us into the vulnerability of the cross.
- For those of us too much into victimization, birth us into the power of Easter.
- For those of us too much into fatigue, birth us into the energy of Pentecost.
- We dare pray that you will do for us and among us and through us what is needful for newness.
Give us the power to be receptive,
to take the newness you give,
to move from womb warmth to real life.
We make this prayer not only for ourselves, but
for our community at the brink of birth,
for the church at the edge of life,
for our nation waiting for newness,
for your whole creation, with which we yearn in eager longing.
There is a time to be born, and it is now.
We sense the pangs and groans of your newness.
Come here now in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Question: How do you celebrate transitions in your community of faith?
Here is our complete worship flow:
- Come to the Water (Brett Younker)
- Forever Reign (One Sonic Society)
- Love Came Down (Matt Cantelon)
- Time of Prayer
- God of Our Yesterdays (Chris McClarney and Matt Redman)
- Recognition of Graduates
- Announcements and Offering
- The Word Became Flesh
- Message: Flesh and Glory (Nate Wigfield)
- Light of the World (Matt Redman)
You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.