Pentecost +17, Proper 21A
For observance of Worldwide Communion Sunday, visit http://www.textweek.com/festivals/worldcommunion.htm
This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.
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
91 or 92 All Hail the power of Jesus’ name
216 Christ the Lord is risen today
127 Creator of the stars of night
390 Lord of our highest love
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 Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
Into joy you offer entrance,
O our God, with all desire.
In the call you offer ever,
righteousness appeals to hope.
Certain passion may convert us,
turn us from your holy ways.
Yet insistent is your mercy,
opening the way of life.
Brought to trust thy luring justice,
O our God, we hallow life,
turn our faithful earnest ever
to thy urgency of love.
Ah, your pleasure ever teases,
earns a leisure in delight,
for you seek our cleaving pleasure
to the ways you joy to share.
18.104.22.168. Suggested tune: Sussex
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: Alt. Ps. (25) included in Call to Worship
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 (adapted from Psalm 25)
L: To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
P: O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame.
L: Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
P: Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation.
L: Good and upright is the LORD, who instructs sinners in the way.
P: The Lord leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble God’s way.
L: God who comes to us in Word and Spirit, calls us to a table set for all who hunger.
P: We hunger for grace and forgiveness; we hunger for justice and peace.
L: God knows and meets our deepest hungers with bread which always satisfies.
P: Thanks be to God who blesses and feeds all human yearnings, and who does this through our feeble, simple human hands.
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
We who have come to know your love, O Lord, are here to worship you. We ask your blessing upon us in this offering of our praise, and we ask your presence in every act of our lives, that we…your Church…may be confirmed in our faith, and give glory to your son Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray (even as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
You who have created us and sustain us: we come with thanksgiving for these moments when we can ease the pace of our lives and listen for your voice. Create a spirit within us that truly draws us toward you and toward our brother and sisters; a spirit deep, perceptive, gentle and bold. Clear our minds, open our hearts and touch us with your presence and your power. We offer this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord (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, that we all may be one in essence, in intent, and in constitution, 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…”)
Your love and grace are all sufficient, O God, for all the world’s deep needs. Open our minds and hearts this day to receive with gratitude the gifts you have given – gratitude enough to be compelled to live as your witnesses, your instruments for grace and forgiveness, for justice and peace in our world. This we pray through our Lord Jesus Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
Center us now, O God, on your presence in this place among your people, as we lift up our hearts desires, our soul’s deep needs, our hungers, fears and failures.
As we have often failed to be obedient to your will in our lives as individual disciples and as church, we pray that you will forgive us and enliven us to be and to do the gospel of Christ. Open us to your Spirit’s urgings, and awaken us to live faithfully as your people in a changing, often hurting world.
We pray for those around us who need your care, and ask that you would make of us your instruments of healing, peace and redemption. We pray especially for those we have named to you this day, and others we lift to you in the silence of our hearts.
Reveal your presence with them and with us, God of life, that as people of renewed faith and vitality, we may be empowered to serve your world, and so give glory to you; for we offer our prayers and our lives in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
God of Sun and Moon, Star and Sky, your wonder is beyond our imagining. We thank you for the gift of this world we share, and for the common bonds that we share as your children.
Bless us God, as we seek to find a way toward the peace you invite us to share. Guide us God as we walk that delicate line between being faithful to our own relationship with you, and yet remain understanding of those whose path is vastly different from our own.
Remind us often that being faithful does not require that we close ourselves off from the faith of others. Open our hearts, minds and spirits to people of every faith and culture. May the Mystery of your ways be the bridge that draws all of your people together in prayer for peace in our time.
We pray for those who are in special need of your grace and healing today. For those who live in fear of violence; for refugees everywhere; for political prisoners and for those who imprison them; God, we ask for peace. For those who are grieving, or hungry, or in despair; for the lonely, and all who are ill or suffering, for any who struggle with addiction, and for all who live with chronic illness.
God, we trust in your power to be present with the suffering. We trust in your Spirit’s power to bring comfort, faith and strength where it is needed. We pray, bring your radical, scandalous peace into our midst, and touch us all with your love, for we ask it in the name of the One who calls us ever forward, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
God of mercy and of love, you have called us to live in communion with all of your created world. Give us a new appreciation for the diversity of creation, and for the people of our world whom you love with an everlasting love. Help us to serve the needs of all who are suffering, sick, lonely, and broken by the struggles of life with the compassion and joy of true servants of Christ.
Give us grace to work with passion for the unity of your Church throughout the world, and to take our place among its people without expectation of reward, beyond the smile of your approval. May our ministries be anchored in your love of justice and peace, and may all who serve be encouraged by the promise of Christ’s presence with us. Make of us a more obedient people, gladly giving what we have received from your faithful hand.
Hear our prayers, O Lord, for those whose lives are closely linked with our own: (names), whose needs we entrust to you along with our own needs. (silence)
Grant, O Lord, that we might grow in grace and in love for you as we commend ourselves to your care and guidance. Take us by the hand, O God, and by your Holy Spirit lead us to fulfill your calling in our lives through Jesus Christ our Lord
Prayers from Common Worship*
Collect O Lord, we beseech you mercifully to hear the prayers of your people who call upon you; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil them; 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 Almighty God, you have taught us through your Son that love is the fulfilling of the law: grant that we may love you with our whole heart and our neighbours as ourselves; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Additional Collect Lord of creation, whose glory is around and within us: open our eyes to your wonders, that we may serve you with reverence and know your peace at our lives’ end, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to
hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire
or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy,
forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid,
and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy
to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus
Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the
Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Into your Spirit, O God, we lend ourselves.
We give ourselves into the call
you place upon our hearts.
We hear your voice and know the word:
grant us the welcome as we answer yea
and enter the joy of your service
in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Service of Table
Offertory / Invitation to Give
The wonderful works of God surround us. How will we show our gratitude? The generosity of God exceeds all our limits. How will our manner of life reflect the abundance of God’s mercy? Surely our offerings are one measure of our response. Let us present them with joy and thanksgiving.
All who hunger for God have been welcomed by Christ at a table spread with the fruits of mercy and peace. Here we find the Bread that satisfies; here we drink to never thirst again. As we prepare to receive the gifts of God, let us open our hearts to hear God’s promise of life eternal, open up our lives to give of ourselves as Christ has given sacrificially himself to us, and then come with grateful hearts to the Gospel Feast.
Today is World Communion Sunday. One day a year, all Christians commit themselves to celebrating Communion together. And yet in most places, we look around and realize we are still so very far apart. Sadly, it is still the rare congregation which is truly mixed in age, race, background and belief. We tend to gather and worship with our own. Each year, on World Communion Sunday, as we remember the unity of the body of Christ, we also receive the Reconciliation Special Offering. This offering seeks to under the damage of years of separation. Years of not only separate, but unequal. This offering seeks projects which heal and bring together the whole body of Christ. Today as you bring your tithes for the work of this church, please consider also bringing an offering for the Reconciliation Mission. Help us plants seeds of hope in Christ’s Name. from The Jubilee Fund
We thank you, God for this opportunity to express our love to you through the gifts we bring to support and encourage your work in near and distant places. Make our hearts glad that we can share in extending the gospel and helping to heal humanity’s pain, for we bring them to you with grateful hearts.
Invitation to the Table
The Table of Christ is before us, his invitation still ringing in our ears: Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-burdened, and you will find rest. Ours is a unique opportunity to celebrate all good things which we have received at the hand of God the creator.
It is World Communion Sunday: The day when all Christians gather around the table. For us Disciples, it is simultaneously an ordinary day since we do this every Sunday; and a special day because it speaks to our plea for Christian Unity. There is reassurance in knowing that for all of our divisions on doctrine, interpretation, and practice, today we are one body around this one table. Yet there is sadness in knowing how much work is still to be done. As we celebrate this feast of hope and remembrance today, let us instead focus on the great truth: All Christians are seeking to produce fruits for the kingdom of God, and have truly embraced Christ as the Cornerstone. We may not have agreed on the structure, but our foundation together is sure. Let us celebrate today knowing that throughout the world; wherever Christians are gathered. Christ is remembered, Christ is celebrated, and Christ is glorified. from The Jubilee Fund
L: Let us come to Christ, the living Bread, who fills the hungry with good things.
P: We rejoice in God’s provisions, abundant and freely given!
L: Let us come to Christ, Fount of all mercy, who quenches our thirst for life eternal.
P: We celebrate God’s well-spring of grace and goodness, and come ready to drink to the fill!
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)
O God, who calls for us to go at the bidding of your word, and to do the work to which you have called us, we gather at your table as a people yearning to receive your loving, gracious word of forgiveness. Receive us as we break the bread which Christ has offered to be for us his body. And receive us as we drink the cup which he has blessed to be his blood. May all who come at your bidding be fed, renewed, and empowered to serve as you would have us to serve, through the grace of Christ our Lord.
God who gives us bread for the journey, you have come to walk among us in the person of your Son Jesus Christ. The bread that we break as we gather at your table is for us his body, and the cup his blood. Pour out your spirit upon us gathered here out of love for you, and upon these gifts of bread and wine. May we who receive them be transformed by your power at work within and among us, that all your world may have bread enough and more.
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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