Caim Prayer this Sunday

In Celtic Spirituality a “Caim” (“Encircling”) Prayer is a good one for when you are not sure what to pray for yourself or another person. Draw a circle clockwise around yourself as you say the prayer: this symbolizes the encircling love of God. For more on this and other forms of Celtic prayer, visit the Northumbria Community.

This Sunday we will use the following Caim Prayer as our prayer for illumination, which emphasizes our need to be encircled with God’s inspiration in order to receive God’s peace and security:

Circle us, Holy Spirit.

Keep truth within and ignorance out.

Keep peace within and turmoil out. Amen.

 

 

Trinitarian Flow?

Have you ever noticed the order of the words when we invoke the Trinity in worship? Usually, it is Father—Son—Spirit. That sequence expresses that God the Father gives entirely of himself in sending the Son and then in sending the Spirit. Sometimes, this leads to the mistaken idea that there is a hierarchy in the godhead with big Daddy god on top.

But in this Sunday’s call to worship I am mixing the sequence on purpose. The flow will be: Spirit—Creator—Christ. Why? On our (human) end, we experience the Spirit first as that desire that we cannot always name. Then, we see God in and through creation, or what some might call ‘natural revelation.’ All this leads us to Christ, as the culmination of God’s revelation and the confirmation of our experiences of the Spirit and Creator.

According to ancient understandings of the Trinity, there is perfect harmony and equality in God as Father—Son—Spirit (in spite of the ways we might read into it). And so, it works to celebrate the Trinity with a different flow.

–Darren

Education Sunday Inclusio

This Sunday I thought I would wrap the service with the same words–wisdom, wonder, works/will–to illustrate how God takes us in and then propels us for further learning. The service begins with a call to worship that expresses our desire and concludes, using the same language, with a prayer of consecration expressing our commitment:

Call to Worship:

Leader: We are seekers of the Spirit,

People: opening our hearts to the wisdom of God.

Leader: We are learners of the Creator,

People: opening our minds to the wonders of God.

Leader: We are followers of the Christ,

People: opening our hands to the work of God.

 

Consecration of Teachers (at the end of the service):

Pastor: God of light and love,

you have entrusted us with your message.

Give the fresh anointing of your Spirit

to those who will serve in our Sunday school.

Fill them with knowledge and joy, patience and insight,

enabling them to create an environment of grace in this place, that together….

Teachers: we will seek the wisdom of the Spirit,

People: we will explore the wonders of the Creator,

All: and we will follow the ways of Christ. Amen.

 

A Call to Worship for “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”

This Sunday our opening hymn will be “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” by Charles Wesley. It was written early in the Methodist movement (1747) and expresses how love is the defining characteristic of the Trinity. Love is more than an action or attribute of God; love is the very essence of God as Trinity (I John 4:7-16). Here is the call to worship based on the hymn:

Leader: Come, Love Divine, and dwell in our hearts.

People: Breathe, O breathe your loving Spirit in us.

Leader: Come, Almighty One, and deliver us.

People: Breathe, O breathe your loving Spirit in us.

Leader: Come, Joy of Heaven,

and finish your new creation in us.