The Narrative Lectionary on May 10, 2015 is Romans 5:1-11. Of this passage, Karl Barth claims in his great work The Epistle to the Romans:
Love is what endures of our endurance, which is proved in our probation; it is the hope in our hope. By its power, hope is not put to shame; by its power, we glory in hope, glory even in tribulation; by its power we have peace with God; and by it we are what we are not — new [humanity]. ‘After such occurrence, such an encounter, how can we for one moment imagine that the hope of the glory of God putteth us to shame?’
God comes to be what we cannot. That is the hope and it is this hope that does more than justify but moves our worship and praise. So it is this possibility — this concept of hope — that stirs these prayers today. Not a hope soaked in blood or weighed down in suffering but a hope that was born on Christmas, a hope that lived and breathed, that dined with sinners and cried with mourners — a hope that continues to be created over and over again.
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Here is a place to raise our hopes.
Here is a place to boast in what God can do.
Here, we come to find our strength every morning.
God will show us the way
so that we might run and not be tired
so that we might walk and not be weary
so that we might even soar on eagle’s wings.
Here, in this place, God will raise us from death to life.
Affirmation of Hope (Unison)
Inspired by Romans 8:24-25
We were saved in hope.
We are saved by the love God proves for us.
We are saved by the peace God gives to us in Jesus Christ.
This is the hope that saves us
though we can’t see it
and can barely describe it.
For, if we see what we hope for, that isn’t hope.
Who hopes for what they already see?
We hope for what we cannot see
like the child who charts Santa’s route
like the child who never grew up claps wildly when it seems that
Tinkerbell is dying and
like those who have still have a dream.
We wait in patience because we know that God hasn’t given up.
God is always resurrecting hope.
And it is this hope that saves us.
Thanks be to God.
If you use the prayers I’ve written in your worship, and I hope you will, please do offer me credit with as follows:
The prayers in our worship this morning were written by/adapted from Liturgical Lights for Sunday May 10, 2015 by the Rev. Elsa Anders Peters. Elsa is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who blogs at revelsaanderspeters.com.