Belhar Confession: Calls to Worship

Created by E.J. Emerson, pastor of Reformed Church of Keyport in Keyport, New Jersey

A Unity-Oriented Call to Worship

Leader: Come, Lord God, to receive our worship. Come, Lord Jesus, to receive our praise. Come, Holy Spirit, to receive our thanks. Come, eternal three-in-one God, come where we are gathered to celebrate our unity as your body, the church.

People: We share one faith and are of one soul and one mind, which belong solely and wholly to you.

Leader: We are baptized with one baptism, eat of one bread and drink of one cup.

People: We confess one name above all other names; we are obedient to one Lord, who frees us from the tyranny and hatefulness of the world.

Leader: We share one hope, one comfort, one goal.

People: We are one people, united--despite any noticeable differences--by our faith in you, Lord Jesus.

Leader: We are one people, united by your love and mercy to stand against any power that would try to tear us apart.

People: We are one people, united in blessing and in suffering, united in joy and in sorrow, united in strength and in weakness. Receive our praise!

© 2008 E.J. Emerson

 

A Reconciliation-Oriented Call to Worship

Leader: Come, Lord God, to receive our worship. Come, Lord Jesus, to receive our praise. Come, Holy Spirit, to receive our thanks. Come, eternal God, come where we are gathered to celebrate reconciliation: yours with us, and ours with each other.

People: Your lifegiving Word and Spirit have conquered the powers of sin and death, which try to separate us from you. They have also conquered the powers of hatred, hostility, and bitterness, which try to separate your people from each other.

Leader: You have called us to be the salt of the earth--to preserve and enhance what is good.

People: You have called us to be the light of the world, to be beacons of your saving grace and your love.

Leader: You have called us to be peacemakers, and in so doing to be blessed and to bless many others.

People: Even as we bring our sacrifice of praise to you, help us to bring the peacemaking ceasefire of resolution, understanding, loving acceptance, and reconciliation to our neighbors everywhere.

© 2008 E.J. Emerson

 

A Justice-Oriented Call to Worship

Leader: Come, LORD God, to receive our worship. Come, Lord Jesus, to receive our praise. Come, Holy Spirit, to receive our thanks. Come, eternal God, come where we are gathered to celebrate the justice and peace you enable us to achieve.

People: Lord, you love all people, but you have a special concern for widows, orphans and the oppressed--all who are needy and poor, and all who have been wronged by others.

Leader: Help us to feed the hungry, to protect the unprotected, to speak out against wrongs and injustices.

People: Lord, we want to be your hands, feet and voice in the world. Make us bold to insist on justice for the oppressed; empower us to risk our own well- being in order to stop our neighbors' suffering.

ALL: Come, eternal God, come where we are gathered to celebrate the justice and peace you enable us to achieve. Receive our worship and our praise!

© 2008 Rev. E.J. Emerson