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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:
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
90 – Come, Christians, join to sing
65-A mighty fortress is our God
606-God whose giving knows no ending
517-Love divine, all loves excelling
385-An upper room did our Lord prepare
428 – An upper room with evening lamps ashine
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 Isaiah 40:21-31
How shall we know the holy way,
the passage of our holy God?
Beyond our faint prescription here,
the telling of the way runs forth.
Intent upon the zeal of God,
upon the urgency of hope,
we fumble on a lesser view,
a way where love forever prods.
It is your way, O holy God,
to lure our wayward steps by peace,
to cure our dangerous asides
and bring us to your blithe embrace.
Ah, in your majesty, O God,
when we in earnest wait for you,
in your delight we rise to run
and pass the weary to delight.
LM Suggested tune: Dunedin
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 147, in part, is on p. 767.
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: Come, let us use our voices to praise the Lord.
P: Our mouths will shout forth praise.
L: Let us use our minds to ponder the wondrous deeds of God.
P: We will call to mind God’s mighty acts.
L: With all of our strength and being, let us worship the Lord of love.
P: We will worship from our depths. Our souls exult in God!
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, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
God of grace, you have given us minds to know you, hearts to love you, and voices to sing your praise. Fill us with your spirit that we may celebrate your glory and truly worship you; through Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
(from Common Worship)
We pray to the Lord. In faith we pray.
All: We pray to you, our God.
That the rest of this day may be holy, peaceful and full of your presence: in faith we pray.
All: We pray to you, our God.
That the work we have done and the people we have met today may bring us closer to you: in faith we pray. All: We pray to you, our God.
That we may hear and respond to your call to peace and justice: in faith we pray.
All: We pray to you, our God.
That you will sustain the faith and hope of those who are lonely, oppressed and anxious: in faith we pray. All: We pray to you, our God.
That you will strengthen us in your service, and fill our hearts with longing for your kingdom: in faith we pray. All: We pray to you, our God.
Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept. The Collect and Lord’s Prayer follow.
God of love and mercy, you have called us and all your children into one family through the resurrection of your Son Jesus. By his gracious presence, we look with new eyes at the whole human family in its brokenness and pain. We seek your strength and determination to embrace them, love them, heal them, and share with them your great good news of hope and new life.
Hear us as we lift to you our deepest needs, our pressing burdens, our fears and hopes. Be near us, we pray, as your people. Help us to receive your many gifts with gratitude and faithful stewardship.
We pray for those who suffer pain or illness, for the lonely and despairing, for the lost and worn and battered of our world. And we lift to you the leaders of this and every nation, community and faith, that they would be guided by your spirit, and aware of the needs, especially of the least, of their people.
We pray for those whose lives are closely linked to our own_______________and for our own needs, which we offer to you in faith.
To the sick, O Lord, give your healing; to the grieving, give hope; to the dying, give your peace; and to all of us, O God, give faith to go forth from this place, determined to live in the light of your good news in Jesus Christ. It is in his name that we offer to you our prayers and our lives. Amen.
Prayers from Common Worship*
you have created the heavens and the earth
and made us in your own image:
teach us to discern your hand in all your works
and your likeness in all your children;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things,
now and for ever.
God our creator,
by your gift
the tree of life was set at the heart of the earthly paradise,
and the bread of life at the heart of your Church:
may we who have been nourished at your table on earth
be transformed by the glory of the Saviour’s cross
and enjoy the delights of eternity;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
give us reverence for all creation
and respect for every person,
that we may mirror your likeness
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us
the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known
to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns
with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Amid the flurry of active care, O God,
remind us evermore of silence
and rejuvenating wells of joy.
For, in this rudimentary excess of life,
it is in loneliness and solitude
that we refresh on your desire,
and follow in the spread of ministry
beyond our fallow doors.
Service of Table
Offertory / Invitation to Give
Jesus said: You are light for the world; you are the salt of the earth. These are no small commendations from our Lord, and they come with great expectations. Often, we expect very little of ourselves; but the truth of Christ’s invitation to this Table is one which speaks volumes of God’s investment in us. We should be quick to answer the call, and ready to offer our best. Let us bring our best to God as we present our tithes and offerings.
Thank you, God, for this high and holy moment in worship and in life when we have something to give that others need. Take our bread, our witness, our lives to benefit all your human family. May your glory be known among us and in all the world.
We offer ourselves to you, O God, in these tokens of our lives. May they make a practical difference in this world, bringing light and life through Jesus Christ to the darkest and most shadowy places. Fill us with your Spirit, that our lives may also bear the light of him who gave himself for us, as we go about our daily living in your presence. Amen.
Invitation to the Table
Christ’s table is spread for all of us—a place of gathering, of fellowship and of praise. Let us rejoice as we respond to God’s gracious invitation to receive these gifts of Christ’s body and blood that we may be strengthened to live as faithful disciples.
Christ invites to this Table all who desire to walk in faith with God and in peace with one another. Here, the very best of God is offered for us, to nourish our lives and encourage our spirits to share with the world the light that is known only in the Savior Christ our Lord. It is he who invites us. Let us join together in thanksgiving and praise as we receive his gifts of bread and cup, his body and blood offered that all might have life that is eternal.
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)
- We who gather in your name, O God, give thanks to you for the gift of this bread – fruit of the earth and work of human hands – and pray that for us it might be the bread of life. Receive our praise, O God, for your abundant gifts, which we offer in union with Christ’s gift of life for us. Bring us with him to life everlasting.
- We bless your name, O God, maker of this gift of wine – fruit of the earth and work of human hands – and pray that it might be for us the cup of our salvation. Pour forth your Spirit upon us, O God, and upon these gifts; make us anew as your body, living faithfully in your world, as we proclaim Christ’s death until he comes again.
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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