Pentecost +12, Proper 14B
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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
487-Help us accept each other
277-Christians, we have met to worship
622-Guide me, O thou great Jehovah
419-All who hunger, gather gladly (same tune as 277 above)
423-Become to us the Living Bread
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 (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On John 6:35, 41-51
O bread of heaven, come to feed,
begin the bounty here.
For in the entrance to delight
burns faith in active love.
Begun upon our offered word,
announced unto our ears,
we come to eat, take feast, enjoy
the sanctity of God.
Indeed, O Savior of your own
to all invested here,
who own substantial joy and yield,
provide the roots of life
For in our coming to your care,
in yielding hearts and hands,
we dare our dear investment here
with you who feeds with life.
CM Suggested tune: St. Bernard
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 130 is on p. 762
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: Christ our Lord united his followers together in Christian love.
P: His presence makes our fellowship a happy experience.
L: When Christ is our life, our fellowship takes on the nature of Christ, we experience unity, love and humility toward one another.
P: May Christ live in us, that we may be like him.
L: We celebrate the God of infinite power and love, who has called us into community.
P: We gather with God’s people of every age and place who have, by faith, found their true citizenship in heaven.
L: We journey together with hope, knowing that God who has fulfilled every promise in the coming of Jesus Christ will fulfill the promises of kingdom life for us and for all God’s children.
P: Thanks be to God for the faith that makes our life in Christ complete and promises life everlasting to all who believe.
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
God of Love, you have loved us first and continue to love us. We come before you a people longing to love you in return. We hunger for your healing love in our lives, for we long to love ourselves and our neighbors. Come to us this day and fill our longing. In Christ’s name we pray (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Eternal God, we long for truths that are lasting, yet we want our faith to be alive to the people and problems of today. As we move forward in an ever changing world, may faith in Christ be our anchor, and your love be our guide through the presence and power of the Spirit. Unite our hearts, even as we unite our voices in your praise, through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
God of the depths of the sea, as well as of the heavens and earth: Hear your people’s cry for your presence in our lives. Awaken us to your Spirit’s power and your ever-willingness to save us when we call to you from the chaos of our lives, even as Jesus heard and saved his friends when they floundered in the storms of yesterday. You are our God and Savior, the One who will keep us able to face tomorrow’s storms, and we praise you, through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
God of all love and holiness, on this day of love and wonder, we are awakened to the mysteries of life that you create. As we give thanks to you for your wonderful deeds of love and grace, we pray for the human family that we might be renewed and restored to love in your image.
Hear our prayers for our earthly families and for those who journey alone, that we might establish within your church such a glowing love and acceptance that friendship might be strengthened and the joy of fellowship be known, that none may journey in loneliness.
Help us, we pray, to be a strength to the friendships and romance that you kindle in the hearts of people who love, that relationships between them might blossom according to your will, and that homes of peace and grace would spring up in this age of selfishness and hate.
Free us in love to serve our neighbors, especially as we consider the poor, the hungry, the oppressed and the ill, as we remember…_____ And help us to serve as agents of healing to our nation which is struggling to regain its footing in a time of distrust, pain and upheaval. May we be empowered to make our communities, grounded in your love for our world, places of forgiveness and reconciliation, where love is practiced in practical ways in our dealings with others who need us and need you.
Fill us with your Spirit as a people of faith that we may serve you all our days, and look forward to your heavenly feast of joy and love in Christ Jesus our Lord, for it is in his name that we pray.
How vast and deep is your love O God, for us and for all the world. As we give you thanks for the beauty of creation and for the gift of life, we turn to you for strength and guidance to help those of our world in need of care and healing.
We pray for our community, our nation and world that peace and justice might be made known. We pray for our families and friends, especially those who are hurting, sick, grieving or alone. We pray for our own burdens and needs, both spoken and unspoken…
We yield our lives to you as we offer our prayers in the strong and saving name of Jesus. Amen.
Prayers from Common Worship*
O God, you declare your almighty power
most chiefly in showing mercy and pity:
mercifully grant to us such a measure of your grace,
that we, running the way of your commandments,
may receive your gracious promises,
and be made partakers of your heavenly treasure;
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.
Lord of all mercy,
we your faithful people have celebrated that one true sacrifice
which takes away our sins and brings pardon and peace:
by our communion
keep us firm on the foundation of the gospel
and preserve us from all sin;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God of glory,
the end of our searching,
help us to lay aside
all that prevents us from seeking your kingdom,
and to give all that we have
to gain the pearl beyond all price,
through our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always
those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without
you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will;
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 (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
John 6:35, 41-51
Begun, O God, we come again
while hearing evermore of bread
that is in Jesus Christ.
We fumble on our words, distress our thoughts
and dally over thoughts that strain our wills.
Become before our eyes, O God,
the breaking of the bread we prize
that in the eating we allow
the feeding that endows for evermore.
Service of Table
While all of our congregations navigate the Sacred Board in a different way, it seems, there are common elements in most, which are provided here. We would love to hear if your congregation has variations to these elements which we might address in the future.
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 a people whose citizenship is not of this earth, but joined in holy community with all of God’s people and recorded in heaven, let us manage our lives accordingly. Our earthly journey is one that brings numerous resources our way, and yet we are reminded that they are not our own, but are ours to steward for the good of others. And so we hold them loosely, always watching for where they may best serve Christ’s mission in this world. Let us offer the gifts that God has poured into our lives freely, with thankful hearts, into the hands of God to be transformed and used for the good of Christ’s coming reign.
Receive, O God, these fruits of earth, and the products of our labors, which we offer to you in token of the sacrifice of our lives. Accept them, we pray, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Lord Jesus, you who expressed your kingship not by taking but by giving, not by demanding but by sacrificing – bless us now as we follow your example in giving our lives back into your hands for the sake of others. May these gifts offered freely represent our faith in God’s all-sufficient provision for our lives in this world and the world to come.
Invitation to the Table
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. You who come to me shall not hunger; you who believe in me shall never thirst.” In company with all who hunger for spiritual food, we come to this table to know the risen Christ in the sharing of this life-giving bread.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. You who come to me shall not hunger; you who believe in me shall never thirst.” In company with all who hunger for spiritual food, we come to this table to know the risen Christ in the sharing of this life-giving bread. God has offered us Christ, the Bread of Life, in these gifts – fruit of the earth and work of human hands – to be our spiritual food and drink. May we receive Christ into our lives anew as we profess our faith and gather at his Table.
At this table, the church remembers and celebrates the love of God. The act of sharing bread and wine is a statement of faith and an expression of assurance. Communion happens in many different ways in different churches throughout the world, and in each place brings a new meaning of life in the Spirit of God that is right for that community. But above all, here believers join themselves to the Lord of life. Death, which shows itself in sins, injustice, oppression and despair, yields to concrete demonstrations of life which produce peace, justice, hope, liberation and salvation. This meal is an act of expectation. We, in the midst of our daily lives, proclaim the imminent manifestation of the reign of God, as citizens of that kingdom. Hope replaces sorrow; joy surpasses tears; the power of life triumphs over the reign of death. As an act of faith surpassing the limits of time and place, we sing along with John in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ: “Now God’s home is with mortals! He will live with them and they shall be his people. God will personally be with them, and will be their God. God will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there will be an end to death. There will be no more grief nor crying nor pain, for the old order has passed away.”
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)
God, Lord of all creation, we praise you for your goodness and your love. When we turned away you did not reject us. You came to meet us in your Son, welcomed us as your children, and prepared a table where we might feast with you. As we give thanks for the gift of this bread, Lord Jesus, we bless you: you are the bread of life. And as we lift up the cup of your covenant, Lord Jesus, we bless you: you are the true vine. Holy Spirit, giver of life, come upon us now; may this bread and wine be to us the body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ. As we eat and drink these holy gifts make us, who know our need of grace, one in Christ, our risen Lord. O Blessed Trinity: with your whole Church throughout the world we offer you this sacrifice of thanks and praise. Thanks be to you, our God, for your gift beyond words.
O God, in your Son Jesus Christ you have called out to us to live without fear, and indeed to confront even our most challenging turmoil with confidence and hope. Here, at your Table, you give tangible evidence of your ever-present love for us and for the world which you have so lovingly created. Pour out your Spirit, Lord, and bless this bread and this wine, that they may be for us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that we who are fed and nourished here may be empowered to face the days ahead in the certain reality of his abiding presence, and to share the gift of new life with all the world.
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. (adapted from the Church of Ireland)
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 2017. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2017; 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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