WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY 2019

PRAYER / WORSHIP: An Ecumenical Celebration of the Word of God
Justice, Only Justice, You Shall Pursue
(Deuteronomy 16:20)

2019 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

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“L” refers to the leader(s) of worship and is chosen from those churches present at worship.
“A” refers to the assembly gathered for worship..

PROCESSIONAL HYMN

OPENING

L: Let us worship the Triune God.
God, our Father, you crown your creation with justice and mercy.
A: We come to worship you.

L: Jesus Christ, your cross brings new life and justice.
A: We come to worship you.

L: Holy Spirit, you inspire our hearts to act justly
A: We come to worship you.

L: May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
A: And also with you.

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

The response to the invocation may be sung.

L: As Christians from separated communities, we gather here to pray for unity. This year, the theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity chosen by the churches in Indonesia is “Justice, Only Justice, You Shall Pursue.” (Deuteronomy 16:20) This theme is imperative due to the recurring situations that bring divisions and conflicts. As we pray together, we are reminded that our calling as members of the body of Christ is to pursue and embody justice. Our unity in Christ empowers us to take part in the wider struggle for justice and to promote the dignity of life.

HYMN OF PRAISE

PRAYERS OF REPENTANCE

L: Beloved sisters and brothers let us confess before the Lord that we have sinned and ask for forgiveness so that our worship will be pleasing to God.

Reader 1: Compassionate God, you have chosen us to shepherd your flock. Jesus, your Son, taught us to act justly. We are aware that in our ministry, we sometimes behave unjustly towards the people whom you have entrusted to us by: prioritizing those who are close to us or those who have higher social status; ignoring strangers, the poor and the least in society; fearing to defend the oppressed; misusing church resources. These deeds have caused some people to turn away from your church.

L: Lord, have mercy.
A: Lord, have mercy.

Reader 2: Loving God, you have gathered us as members of your flock. Jesus, your Son, taught us to love one another as a sign of being his disciples. We confess that we have failed to live his commandment of love by: regarding those of other churches as rivals; being hostile to each other and slow to forgive; focusing only on our personal interest; ignoring the needs of sisters and brothers; excluding those who do not share our point of view. In these ways, our attitudes strengthen the dividing walls between us.

L: Lord, have mercy.
A: Lord, have mercy.

Reader 1: Gracious God, You have commissioned us to make our common home a place of justice for all. In your generous love, you send rain on the righteous and the unrighteous and, in Jesus, teach us to love without discrimination. We confess that we have failed to follow this teaching by: disrespecting our neighbors; spreading falsehoods through various social media; participating in the disruption of social harmony. Our conduct risks making the world a barren field that no longer brings forth your justice for all of creation.

L: Lord, have mercy.
A: Lord, have mercy.

L: May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive our sins and lead us to eternal life.
A: Amen

HYMN/SONG/MEDITATIVE MUSIC

PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD OF GOD

FIRST READING: Deuteronomy 16:11-20
RESPONSORIAL: PSALM: 82:1-8 (read or sung)
RESPONSE: RISE UP, O GOD, JUDGE THE EARTH.
God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
"How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked?"
RESPONSE: RISE UP, O GOD, JUDGE THE EARTH.

Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
RESPONSE: RISE UP, O GOD, JUDGE THE EARTH.

They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk around in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
RESPONSE: RISE UP, O GOD, JUDGE THE EARTH.

I say, “You are God’s,
children of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
and fall like any prince.”
Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
for all the nations belong to you!
RESPONSE: RISE UP, O GOD, JUDGE THE EARTH.

SECOND READING: Romans 12:1-13

ALLELUIA

GOSPEL READING Luke 4:14-21

SERMON

COMMITMENT TO JUSTICE, MERCY AND UNITY

L: Jesus Christ prays for the unity of his disciples.
The gift of his life is justice for the world.

Reader 1: As members of the body of Christ, we are called to walk together in his path.
Reader 2: Let us hear his calling.
A: O God, hear our prayer and grant us your peace.

Reader 1: As members of the body of Christ, we are called to keep our lives free from the love of money, and be content with what we have.
Reader 2: Let us break the cycle of greed and live in simplicity.
A: Holy Spirit, unite us in action.

Reader 1: As members of the body of Christ, we are called to proclaim release to captives and victims of all forms of violence.
Reader 2: Let us help them to live in dignity.
A: Holy Spirit, unite us in action.

Reader 1: As members of the body of Christ, we are called to extend hospitality to strangers.
Reader 2: Let us outdo one another in showing honor.
A: Holy Spirit, unite us in action.

Reader 1: As members of the body of Christ, we are called to proclaim the good news to the whole creation.
Reader 2: Let us protect the life and beauty of God’s creation.
A: Holy Spirit, unite us in action.

COMMITMENT TO WORK TOGETHER

L: To make concrete our individual commitment to work together for justice, you are invited to write your commitment on two separate cards. We invite you to keep one of these cards close to your heart. The second one will be collected and brought forward as an offering.

(A song for unity and/or justice may be sung as the congregants write their commitments.)

OFFERING

L: What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8) We commit ourselves to acts of justice.
(At this point the ushers collect the second card and bring them forward to be put at the foot of the cross.)

L: Gracious God, you have shown us your compassion and care for all creation. Your love inspires us to offer these commitments to act justly by loving others wholeheartedly regardless of their cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Accept now our offerings and transform them into action for the unity of your church. We ask this through your Son Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, who live with you as one God forever and ever.
A: Amen.

SHARING PEACE

(The leader invites the assembly to exchange a sign of peace, so that together we can proclaim our faith.)

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

L: Let us raise to the Lord our common prayer for the Church and for the needs of all humanity.

Reader 1: From the islands and the oceans, we worship you, O God, the Creator of life. Throughout the mountains and the valleys, we praise you, O God, the Savior of the world. With the tongues of all nations, we thank you, O God, the Comforter of bodies and souls. We come before you bearing our burdens and hopes. Today we ask you:
A: O God, hear our prayer and grant us your love.

Reader 2: We pray for those who live in the midst of injustice. Encourage us to lift up their voices and strengthen their hope. We pray for those who continue to perpetuate injustice. May your kindness fill our hearts and make us agents of freedom and peace. We pray for every institution and person who stands for justice. Let us act justly according to your words. Today we ask you:
A: O God, hear our prayer and grant us your justice.

Reader 1: We pray for the visible unity of the Church. Lead us to fulfill Jesus’ prayer that we may be one and work together to manifest your Kingdom. Today we ask you:
A: O God, hear our prayer and grant us passion for unity.

Reader 2: We thank you for the many colors, cultures, and customs that we share in this world. In our differences, unite us by your love. Enable us to act together to uphold life and to make this world a just and peaceful household for all humanity. Today we ask you:
A: O God, hear our prayer and grant us your peace.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

HYMN/SONG

DISMISSAL

L: As you leave this gathering you will be given one of the commitment cards. We invite you to pray for the commitment written on the card.

BLESSING

L: May God embrace you with love and make kindness flow out from you.
May God ignite courage within you and transform you into agents of his justice and peace.
May God grant you humility and give you perseverance to nurture unity.
A: Amen!

(As the congregants leave, the ministers distribute the commitment cards)