Pentecost +16, Proper 18B
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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
5-O for a thousand tongues
357-We call ourselves Disciples
588 – Have thine own way, Lord
391-These I lay down
411-For the bread, which you have broken
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 Isaiah 35: 4-7a
Behold, our God has come to save,
to shelter and receive in hope.
Fear not, then; majesty applies
to grateful hearts the hope to rise.
Constantly alert, become now
the agent of devoted love.
That day, that day blind eyes will see,
deaf ears will hear, lame legs will leap.
O sing for joy, thou silent lips,
and let lithe praises dance at heart.
For now is hope the Saviors sign
to lure delight by pure delight.
The desolate of land in bloom,
fresh water in the desert’s clime:
so brings refreshment to all life
the saving God who is our joy.
Ah, certainly alive are we
in gardens raised by God’s desire.
220.127.116.11.8.8. Suggested tune: Stella
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 146 is on page 766.
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 113
L: Praise God! O servants of God, praise God’s name!
P: Blessed be God’s name from this time forth and forever!
L: From the rising of the sun to its setting, God’s name is to be praised!
P: Praise the Lord!
(loosely adapted from Chalice Worship)
L: Friends in Christ, come apart from the chaos for a while, and linger in the presence of God who is our source of life.
P: God calls us to renew ourselves, and to find our life’s purpose.
L: The One who has made us would not have us journey alone. We gather as a sacred community of love, together on the quest to know God’s hope for our lives and for this church.
P: May we truly seek to live more faithfully as Christ’s family, listening for the voice of God in our midst.
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
Most gracious and loving God, you fill our hearts with praise for renewed life in Christ Jesus. Fill our minds with meditations which are noble and true, that we may be strengthened in our union with Him, for we offer our prayers and our worship in his name (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
We come to you, O God of wonder, because you first came to us. You have known us long before we came into this world, and you have searched for a relationship with us and with all your children. Draw us back into the wonder of searching for a deeper connection with you. And in that searching, may we come to better know ourselves as we truly are, and as you would want us to be. This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Creator of all worlds, we lift up our souls to you. All the earth is yours, all who dwell here are your children. We seek once more to experience your truth, to receive your blessing, to ascend above the limitations we have known. You are strong and mighty beyond our imagining. We aspire to become more than we have believed ourselves to be, individually and together. This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
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.
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.
God, you have made each of us with gifts to express, and continually call us to discover and use them, as we fulfill our vocations in communion with you, for the common good. Make us aware of your calling in our lives, and help us to find creative ways in which to use our gifts to fulfill your calling, so that in all of our labors we may glorify you. As we give thanks to you for the work to which you have called us, and the opportunities you have provided for us to earn a living, we pray for those who are unemployed or underemployed, and who struggle to find their way forward in a difficult time. Help us to help them with the compassion and encouragement we find in Christ Jesus.
Reveal your presence with all of those for whom we pray, 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.
Prayers from Common Worship*
God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit
upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
grant that your people may be fervent
in the fellowship of the gospel
that, always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
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.
Keep, O Lord, your Church, with your perpetual mercy;
and, because without you our human frailty cannot but fall,
keep us ever by your help from all things hurtful,
and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
defend your Church from all false teaching
and give to your people knowledge of your truth,
that we may enjoy eternal life
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as
you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength,
so you never forsake those who make their boast of your
mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Into the way of your desire, O God,
we stumble daily on the unaccustomed wants
and needs that batter our solemnity.
Yet, as the crumbs may fill sufficiently,
we answer you with longing
and discover your release.
And in the closing of our life
you come and open us beyond all strife.
All thanks to you, Lord God.
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
God, who has given us food in due season, calls us to share our bread with the hungry. In the name of the one who lived God’s truth among us, we commit ourselves anew to bearing witness. The Holy Spirit, whose winds restore our breath, sends us forth as life-givers. Celebrate this opportunity to give.
All good things come from God, the giver of life. This includes our financial resources, as well as our vocations and our ability to work. We are called as stewards of God’s gifts to share in fulfillment of God’s purposes for creation in our labors as well as our management of what comes from them. As stewards of the kingdom of God, let us give from our abundance with thanksgiving.
All the world is your vineyard, O God, and we are laborers in it. The fruits of our labors are yours, but you allow us to manage them for you. Most we use for our own benefit, but today we bring a portion to help others, as you have called us to do. We do so joyfully, asking you to bless the work of your church here and everywhere, and to help us to be more faithful stewards of your gifts.
With hearts of praise, O Lord, we dedicate to you these gifts as tokens of our lives and work. Use them, as you use us, to the fulfilling of your purposes for creation, that we might give glory to you not only in the hearing, but in the doing of your word.
Invitation to the Table
Out of the gracious love of God, a feast has been prepared. Bread has been offered – fruit of the earth, and shaped by human labor into what will be for us our spiritual food; and the wine is poured – fruit of the earth, shaped by human labor to be for us our spiritual drink. God is the provider, and Christ himself has made the invitation. May all of us rest from our labors, hear the voice of God, and come with joy and gratitude to the Table Christ has prepared.
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.
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)
Loving God, who has nurtured and fed your pilgrim people through the generations to this day, receive our praise and thanksgiving as we gather at the table you have spread through your servant Jesus. As we break this bread and drink this cup, may the power of your Holy Spirit descend upon these gifts and upon us, that we may be transformed into his likeness, living faithfully, serving generously, giving selflessly for the sake of your glory. We offer ourselves anew to you, O God, in trust and faith through Christ Jesus our Lord.
You, O God, have given us all good things. As we celebrate your love which calls us into being, calls us apart into your community of faith, the Church, and calls us into new ways of living, help us to find fulfillment in you, and in being faithful to the sound of your voice in our daily lives. Send forth your Spirit upon this bread and upon this wine, that they may be our spiritual food and drink, strengthening us for the labors you have set before us in Christ Jesus, for we offer ourselves to you in his name.
At your gracious invitation, O God, we offer up ourselves to you as we receive the Bread of Christ, in which we are made one with you and with each other. Strengthen, we pray, the unity of your Church through this communion, that together we may always live as your thankful children. Pour out your spirit upon this bread and cup, and upon us gathered here out of love for you, that as we take the cup of Christ, the offering in his blood, we may be enlivened to do and to be your good news in this 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.
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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