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Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):
Click on Scripture Lessons below for
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
91 – All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
683 – O for a world
187 – Blessed are the persecuted
661 – What does the Lord require of you
659 – What does the Lord require for praise and offering
526 – Though I May Speak
395 – Seed, scattered and sown
404 – A hymn of joy we sing
429 – You satisfy the hungry heart
The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates). Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available. Visit the Oremus Hymnal.
More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Mathew 5:1-12
Reality is seething here
where blessing overflows.
Beatitude is everything
we turn to God, adore.
Unusual, these blessed ones
are meek, make peace and yearn;
they suffer persecution’s rule
and learn the sting of hate.
Yet in this hardly kindred state
the urgency of God
becomes the overflowing grace
that bathes the soul with love.
By Spirit of the Living God
we savor how life’s rise
becomes the blessing in God’s eyes
transfiguring our hearts.
CM Suggested tune: Contemplation
Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:
Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://lectionarypsalms.org/
This week: Psalm 15 is on p. 729
Concerning the Following Items: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor. If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention. No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.
Call to Worship (from the United Church of Christ)
L: Be still and know that God is.
P: God was, also, in the beginning.
L: And when all human striving has ceased, God will still be.
P: From everlasting to everlasting, God is God, and alone is worthy to be worshiped.
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
O God, source of all beauty and goodness, your grace comes fresh every morning. In each new day you give us light. We praise your for your never‑failing love that satisfies our needs and shows us the way to follow. We rejoice in your constant care, for you are faithful in love for all people, offering the world salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
Lord God, we give you thanks for all your gifts to us—for daily food, for health, for each breath we take, for freedom to choose, and for the gifts of your word, your power and your love. Our hearts are truly overwhelmed, O God, when we consider how you have entrusted so much to us. May we be worthy of that trust—may we be a people who are unafraid to live as fully and as richly as you want us to live.
Help us, O God, as followers of Jesus, to multiply all that you have given us, to risk spreading your word and perhaps see it misunderstood, to gamble by loving those whom others think worthy only of hate, to take chances by doing good to those who have not done good to us. Help us be faith filled and desire to increase your glory and your goodness in this world. Make us people who share in both word and deed that which you have given to us.
We pray for the church gathered today, both here and around the world, that it may encourage all of its members to discover, develop and use all their gifts, those of nature and those of grace.
We pray for those who are poor in body or in spirit, for those oppressed and heavy laden, for those sick or in despair. Minister by your Spirit and by us, to all those for whom we have prayed, and help us walk faithfully in the path of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayers from Common Worship*
Collect God our creator, who in the beginning commanded the light to shine out of darkness: we pray that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ may dispel the darkness of ignorance and unbelief, shine into the hearts of all your people, and reveal the knowledge of your glory in the face of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Post Communion Generous Lord, in word and eucharist we have proclaimed the mystery of your love: help us so to live out our days that we may be signs of your wonders in the world; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Additional Collect God of heaven, you send the gospel to the ends of the earth and your messengers to every nation: send your Holy Spirit to transform us by the good news of everlasting life in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Almighty and everliving God, we humbly beseech thy Majesty, that, as thy only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in substance of our flesh, so we may be presented unto thee with pure and clean hearts, by the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
In unexpected ways, O God,
your promised blessing comes –
anoints the poor, the meek,
the mourning, merciful,
the pure in heart, the peacemakers,
longing for righteousness –
lets blessing soak, drip down in peace.
Become in us the occasion for blessing
in the Lord Jesus.
Service of Table
Offertory / Invitation to Give
As Christ calls for us to see the blessedness of life lived in simplicity, we are also called to serve those who are most vulnerable in this world. A feast has been prepared for those who need it most. Let us rejoice in the opportunity to participate in that feast by sharing from the wealth of God’s provisions with thanksgiving and hope.
O God, through the offering of these gifts, we become a more open people—open-minded in hearing your word and wisdom, open-hearted in healing a broken world, open-handed in heeding your call to charity and enacted love. With thanks for all good gifts, we present a portion of our substance and the whole of ourselves.
Invitation to the Table
Friends, God prepares a feast for all people; a feast of good things, a feast of peace. It is the longing of God expressed fully when we gather here, for while all of us in this room receive that open invitation of Christ, there are many who are not among us, whose places are set and who have not heard or have not answered “Yes” to God’s call to eat and drink with Jesus. So, we come and taste. We eat and are filled. We drink deeply, and yet we thirst for others to come join us. And we are nourished in Christ’s spirit to go forth to embrace them, to welcome them, and sit and dine with them at the feast of God which is intended not only for us, but for all.
Prayer of Thanksgiving (Prayers for Bread and Cup)
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
Holy God, loving Creator, close to us as breath and distant as the farthest star, we thank you for your constant love for all you have made. We thank you for all that sustains life, for all people of faith in every generation who have given themselves to your will, and especially for Jesus Christ, whom you have sent from your own being to be our Savior. Gifted by the presence of your Holy Spirit, we offer ourselves to you as we unite our hearts with the entire family of your faithful people everywhere.
Come, Holy Spirit, come. Bless this bread, and bless this fruit of the vine. Bless all of us in our eating and drinking at this table, so that our eyes may be opened, and we may recognize the risen Christ in our midst, in each other, and in all your children, as we seek to live faithfully as Christ’s body in the world.
- Loving God, you bless your children in times of sorrow and of joy with your abundant and generous Spirit. As we break this bread, we pray that you would help us to more clearly see those of our world who are in need, and share your gifts with them as Christ has shared his very life with us. Bless the bread, we pray, that we who receive it might be strengthened to just such a life.
- Pour out your Holy Spirit, O God, upon this cup which we bless and receive in memory of your Son, who poured out his very life for us. May we be emboldened as we drink to trust you more fully and to venture where you lead us as faithful disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.
If not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”
Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service. Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.
Rev. Tim Graves offers Liturgy Bits with valuable, culturally sensitive and creatively contemplative works, well worth your time.
You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.
Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.
Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2016. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2016; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010. The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992. The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010. http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary
Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.
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