Pentecost +19, Proper 23A
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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
277-Christians, we have met to worship
86 Great is thy faithfulness
104 Of the Father’s Love begotten
15 Rejoice, ye pure in heart
602-O Master, let me walk with thee
398-Be known to us in breaking bread
385 An upper room did our Lord prepare
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 Matthew 22:1-14
Unto the marriage feat
invited guests refuse,
for other matters have appeared
to turn their hearts aside.
In anger, then, the king,
turns rage on those who part
and sends his servants out to gain
a crowd to join the feast.
This kingdom heaven wreaks
begets the longing now,
inspires our prize in all who come
the feast to find complete.
The room in oddly full
of those no one supposed
would enter royal halls to share
the bounty of delight.
Yet in the brash surprise
we find the unprepared,
the one drawn in presumptively
without a knowing whim.
No garment worn: the king
dismisses his surprise,
casts out presumption from his hall,
the called, unchosen one.
DSM Suggested tune: Diademata
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 106 is not available in the hymnal. See Call to Worship below.
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 Psalm 106)
L: Praise the LORD! O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for God’s steadfast love endures forever.
P: Who can utter the mighty doings of the LORD, or declare all his praise?
L: Happy are those who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times.
P: Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people; help me when you deliver them;
L: that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,
P: that I may glory in your heritage.
L: People of God, look about and see the faces of those we know and love…
P: …neighbors and friends, sisters and brothers, a community of kindred hearts.
L: People of God, look about and see the faces of those we hardly know…
P: …strangers, sojourners, forgotten friends, the ones who need an outstretched hand.
L: People of God, look about and see all the images of God assembled here.
P: In each of us, God’s spirit shines for all to see.
L: People of God, come, let up worship together.
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
As we worship this morning, O God, we pray that your spirit will be our strength, your word will be our guide, your love will be our comfort, and your promises will be our hope. This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Almighty God, we come before you this morning with thankful hearts for the many blessings you have given us. May we be ever mindful of your loving presence today and everyday as we seek to do your will. In Jesus’ name we pray (as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
O God, you are the Source of all life and the Giver of every blessing. As we gather to praise you, open our hearts to a new awareness of your overflowing generosity, as your grace floods our world and our lives with every good gift. We wait upon you with expectation. Awaken us, Lord, and make us to be more thankful stewards of your gifts, through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
Lord of life, hear us as we lift to you our hopes and prayers for the church and the world. Let your grace empower us as people of faith to better serve you in the common places of our lives, and in the people we meet on our faith journeys.
Open our eyes to the living Christ as we pray for and work with the poor, the broken-hearted, the sick and the bereaved. Hear our prayers for those who are close to our hearts. In your resurrecting power, lift them up and give them renewed strength and hope; and give to us all new faith by which to live our days with you. Then will our lives be living witness to your resurrection, made whole by your love and care. In Christ’s Spirit we pray.
God of Creation, God of Wonder, hear this offering of prayer and praise as a gift from our thankful hearts. We thank you for the wonders all around us. For grains of sand, the smell of rain falling on dry ground, for the shifting of the seasons and the sound of laughter. We thank you God for one another – for the joys and struggles of relationships that nurture us and help us to grow.
God, we thank you for your eternal presence in our midst and for the good news of your deep abiding love for all of creation.
Even as we give thanks, we lift up the concerns that burden us this day. We ask your peace and blessing on all those we have named in this place today and all whose names and circumstances remain in the safe sanctuary of your Spirit’s care.
We pray for all who are suffering in body, mind or spirit and for all who provide care for the needs of others. We pray for the lonely and the despairing…for those who struggle with addiction…for those who feel trapped in situations of abuse…for those who making difficult decisions in life…
God we pray for your church and its mission in the world. Bless all of your children God, and pour your Spirit upon us, bringing healing, comfort and strength wherever it is needed. All this we ask in the name of the One who calls us forward in faith, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Gracious God, who supplies us with every blessing in abundance, lift up our hearts in gratitude and thanksgiving. Open us to remember the gifts we seldom notice, the bounty we take for granted, the rich possibilities you provide. For bread without scarcity, for water that is pure, for houses to live in and friends to enjoy, we give you humble thanks.
We lift to you all those whose lives are linked with our own. We remember (_______and) all those whom we name to you in silence.
Touch their lives with your grace and your peace, that they would know your love in these days of illness and unknowing and struggle.
In the days ahead, may we be more aware of the bounty for which we need to be grateful and of all the little things that make us who we are which we often overlook or ignore. Help us to be more mindful every day of your goodness and love.
For beauty and bounty, for healing and hope, for the gospel of our salvation, we lift our voices in praise to you, Creator God, in Christ’s name. Amen.
Prayers from Common Worship*
Collect Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us your gift of faith that, forsaking what lies behind and reaching out to that which is before, we may run the way of your commandments and win the crown of everlasting joy; 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 We praise and thank you, O Christ, for this sacred feast: for here we receive you, here the memory of your passion is renewed, here our minds are filled with grace, and here a pledge of future glory is given, when we shall feast at that table where you reign with all your saints for ever. Additional Collect God, our judge and saviour, teach us to be open to your truth and to trust in your love, that we may live each day with confidence in the salvation which is given through Jesus Christ our Lord
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and
follow us, that we may continually be given to good works;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Invited on a busy day, O Lord,
brought from the highways, byways
on our busy treks,
we enter awe-stung in your feast
and wonder at your opulence,
your awe-instilling grace.
As called, prepare in us the joy
that, chosen, we may follow in the way,
Christ Jesus, our Delight.
Service of Table
Offertory / Invitation to Give
By the goodness of God, we are called into the family of the church. By God’s grace, we rejoice to share in the church’s life of mission and ministry. Let us offer our tithes and gifts to God’s glory as a token of the offering of our very lives.
As we remember Jesus, we are reminded of just how clearly his life demonstrated the truth that giving is the only proper expression of loving. Surely one can give without loving, but one cannot love without giving. So God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. But Jesus turned a corner in our understanding of the relationship between loving and giving when he indicated that not only does love result in giving, but giving also results in loving. He reminded us that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be.”
In our stewardship – our conscientious Christian management of resources—we find our concern achieving a wider and wider circle to include all those in our embrace whose needs are alleviated by our giving. In giving, we are able to go where we have never been, to embrace those whom we have never met, and express God’s love to them in languages we have never learned.
Our young ones love to sing “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” And when we follow God’s leadership, demonstrated in the loving ministry of Jesus Christ, we discover that “We’ve got the whole world in our arms,” embraced with more than sentiment, loved in more than words.
O God, we thank you for your great generosity. All that we are and all that we have is a gift from you. Help us to serve one another and so reflect your spirit and goodness. Accept these offerings and grant that the cause to which they are devoted may prosper under your guidance.
Lord our God, we acknowledge that you are our Father, we are your children, our neighbours are our brothers and sisters in Christ. To their service and to your glory we dedicate ourselves, our hearts and minds, our wills and works. Strengthen our resolve to stand fast in your faith, to seek the help of your Holy Spirit, and to work willingly for your perfect kingdom, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. (Prayers from the Book of Common Order, Church of Scotland, on oremus.org)
Invitation to the Table
The Holy One says: “Why spend money on that which does not satisfy? Why spend your wages and still be hungry? Listen to me, and do what I say, and you will enjoy the best food of all. Listen now my people, and come to me; come to me and you will live.” Christ invites to this table all who confess him as Lord and seek to follow in his way. Come to this sacred table, not because you must, but because you may. Come not because you are fulfilled, but because in your emptiness you stand in need of God’s mercy and assurance. Come not to express an opinion, but to seek a presence and to pray for a spirit. Come, then, sisters and brothers, as you are. Partake and share. It is spread for you and me that we might again know that God has come to us, shared our common lot, and invited us to join the people of God’s new age.
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 gives the gift of bread that the world might be fed and enriched, as we break this bread which we offer back to you, may it be for us the Body of Christ for us, that we might live faithfully as Christ’s body in the world today. Pour out your Spirit upon this bread and this cup. May all who drink of this wine which you give never thirst again. Refresh us, Lord, to live with eagerness and hope in the spirit of Christ our Lord.
Gracious and life-giving God, through your Son Jesus Christ you have revealed to us the way of lively freedom and hope through his journey to the cross. Send forth your Spirit now, we pray, upon these gifts of bread and wine, and upon us who receive them with thanksgiving, that we may find revealed in our lives the same gift of servanthood and loving sacrifice, for the sake of your world. Fill us with your presence we pray. 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.
- We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O God, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, we offer you these gifts. Bless this bread that it might be for us the Body of Christ, strengthening us to live out the faith which he has created within us, to the glory of your holy name.
- Sanctify this wine by your Holy Spirit, O God, to be for your people the Blood of your Son, the holy drink of new and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom.
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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