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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 study links and resources for each individual pericope:
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
5-O for a thousand tongues
595-Be thou my vision
351-Fill my cup, Lord
393-One Bread, one Body
464-God of grace and God of glory
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 Romans 5:1-11
Announced and done before the day,
the time of our becoming one,
while we were yet immersed in sin
just then our Savior died for us.
Arrayed in such untimely ways,
while readiness is all undone,
while helplessness was our resort,
Christ entertained with poignant love.
While all is made anew for us,
without a reason or a care,
become we now the font of joy
as God has deemed us pure delight.
LM Suggested tune: Agincourt
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 95 in part is on p. 747
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
L: The God of all creation makes us one in the flesh.
P: Let us join hearts and voices in praise.
L: In Jesus Christ, we are made one in the Spirit.
P: Let us be united in truth through the same one Spirit.
L: We practice our faith in many different ways.
P: Yet we confess one Lord Jesus Christ.
L: We render different forms of ministry.
P: Yet our calling is one because Christ is undivided.
L: Rejoice, people of God: Christ is among us, calling us together at his one Table.
P: Praise the Lord!
L: When all seems lost, Lord, and we are afraid to begin again,
P: Forgive us, we pray, and inspire our hearts with hope.
L: When all our problems seem insurmountable,
P: Give us courage to carry on our daily living in faith.
L: When we think only of self and seek only our own good, without concern for others,
P: Help us to see that our strength is in our unity, and that only in working together in your name can we hope to see your reign of peace among us.
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
O God all powerful, true and incomparable, present in all things, yet limited by none, untouched by place, unaged by time, unhurried by the years, undeceived by words, not subject to birth, nor in need of protection; you are above all change, you are by nature immutable, living in light that none can approach, invisible, yet you make yourself known to me and you are found by all who seek you with their whole heart; you are the God of Israel and of all who hope in Christ. You are our God and we adore you. (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
God whose very nature is wholeness and life, we give you thanks that in this holy assembly today you have called together people from different places, of many gifts, and with a multitude of ways of serving and loving. Make us one, Lord, even as you and your Christ are one, as we hear his clarion call to gather in the one body to feast on the word and receive from your hand the blessed gifts of bread and cup. Make us ready, Lord – ready to listen, ready to hear, ready to go and do your will, so that we all may be one, so that the world may know you in and among us. This we pray in the strong name of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
God who has promised living water to all who will ask has called us to draw near and make our needs, our hopes, our desires known, that we might be transformed, and that our truest desires might be to live in closer communion with Christ and his people. Let us pray.
Loving God, you are our hope. We have often lived as though you were so distant, so uninvolved with us, and so aloof. Yet in Christ you have shown us just how near to us you are—walking by our sides, risking all to be near to us—so much that you would come to be our servant, our Savior and our friend.
Hear our prayers for those for whom we should take such risks, as we lift to you the yearnings of our hearts for your creation and its peoples. Help us as stewards of your many gifts to care more diligently for the brokenness of your world. May our lives honor you by caring for the earth and all of your creatures. May we be renewed and reconciled to live in peace with all people.
Many and great are the needs of those around us, Lord. Help us to better remember the poor, the homeless, the needy of our world, by serving those of them that live nearby—those we might too easily pass by on the streets. Teach us the meaning of prayer for the lost, the lonely and the grieving through the consolation of our encounters with them in everyday life. Empower us to heal the hurting, the sick and the dying by the touch and the love of Jesus who lives in us, his body. We especially lift to you those dear to us (____) along with our own needs in silence.
Raise up your people again to lives of deeper prayer through more ready service, that we in this community of faith might be joined with Christ in his suffering and in his resurrection, for it is in his name and by his faith that we lift our prayers to you.
Prayers from Common Worship*
Collect Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through 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 Merciful Lord, grant your people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil, and with pure hearts and minds to follow you, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Additional Collect Eternal God, give us insight to discern your will for us, to give up what harms us, and to seek the perfection we are promised in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves
to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and
inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all
adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil
thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus
Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Watch site for posting at a later date.
Teach us, O God, your gift;
expose us to the face that speaks of freshness.
For, in this interface of unsuspected joy,
you entertain our hearts afresh
and linger luringly before our eyes.
Create in this confusion, Lord,
the readiness to find enforced
the worship in Spirit and in Truth,
our offering of love and life to you.
Service of Table
Offertory / Invitation to Give
Just as Christ has taught the way of life to us, the church, we have the responsibility of bringing life to the world around us through our ministries and the outreach of missions through our connections of faith around the globe. Let us offer gratefully and sacrificially to the work of God who has given all for us.
Through our offerings we identify with the cause of Christ. We proclaim our concern for all people, and we name them all as our next of kin. We identify with their suffering and grief and we rejoice when good comes to them. God gives both our material resources and our personal time and effort to us. Let us now extend them through the body of Christ into this moment of history and into the whole world.
In these gifts, O God, we acclaim you as our Lord. May they be useful to you in bringing your kingdom into full flower through the ministries of your church, we pray in Christ’s name.
Holy one, your heart abounds with gifts. Receive this offering as a sign of our trust in you and our intention to live surrounded by your mercy, inspired by your Spirit, open to the joy of your presence, hospitable to one another, and generous toward your world. Amen.
Invitation to the Table
Friends, this is the joyful feast of the people of God. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit at the table in the kingdom of God. This is the Lord’s table. Jesus invites all who seek to trust him to share in the feast which he has prepared. Let us come to his table now with hope and confidence as God’s children.
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 and Loving God, you speak to us in silence, yet all languages interpret you. Because you call us into this community, we are able to become a gift to one another. We pray for your Holy Spirit to descend upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that in sharing them we may discern your presence which becomes our life. We thank you for your anointed one, Jesus, who through his life, crucifixion, death and resurrection lived fully the promise of redemptive wholeness that is available to all who would obey your creating will. We celebrate his gifts, we rejoice in your presence, loving God, now and always.
O God, your vision for your people has been revealed to us in Jesus Christ – a vision of unity, of mutual care, and of peace. As we gather at Christ’s table this day, send forth the power of your Holy Spirit upon us who gather here in love for you. As we break the bread and drink from the cup, may we be made one with Christ, one with each other, and one in fellowship with all your people, from all times and places, loving and serving you faithfully in the days ahead.
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.
NOTE: We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday. We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary. Send your comments or content here.