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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
277-Christians, we have met to worship
102 Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee,
195 When I Survey…
200-What wondrous love is this
399 O God, Unseen Yet Ever Near
491-As grain on scattered hillsides
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 (© 2019, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Philippians 3:4b-14
When boast is played in honesty
and tributes added dear,
the quality achieved is more
yet counted as all loss.
Compared unto the knowing found
in Jesus Christ, our Lord,
the honors and confusion fail
to satisfy the soul.
And so, the eager longing plies
to clamor unto victory
within the grasp of Christ.
O God, it is in this desire
to find your upward call
that all is offered unto hope
and found in yearning’s toll.
CM Suggested tune: Salzburg (Haydn)
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: Sorry – no suggestions
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, friends, and sit with him who cares for family and strangers alike.
P: We gather with the one whose lavish love has been poured out for all.
L: Let us bring to him our best, and pour out our lives as a gift to him.
P: May our hearts be open to the beauty of Christ’s presence as we worship in spirit and in truth.
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
God of love, you have loved us first and continue to love us lavishly. We come this morning longing to love you in return. We hunger for your healing love in our lives as we long to love ourselves and our neighbors. Fill our longing hearts as we join together to worship you, so that we may pour out our very lives as an offering of praise and love for you in this world, through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
Loving God, you taught your disciples love for one another—love which would manifest itself in selflessness and servanthood. Hear the prayer of your people for our world and all who dwell in it.
We lift to you the nations, that they may be rebuilt in justice and in peace, and especially this nation and its leaders. Hear our prayers for the nations. (silence)
We lift to you this earth, which you so lovingly created, that as stewards of your gifts we might thankfully use its resources for the good of all. Hear our prayers for your creation. (silence)
We pray for this city and for cities and villages around us, that all might work together to strengthen and improve the lives of their citizens. Hear our prayers for the cities. (silence)
We pray for your church—both here in this faith community and around the world—that this season of Lent might be a time of renewal in faith and mission on your behalf, and that together we may learn the path of servanthood toward all humanity. Hear our prayer for your church. (silence)
We pray for ourselves and our own needs, and the needs of those around us, whose lives are closely linked with our own… (silence)
To those who are sick and sorrowful, bring your healing and hope. To the grieving, bring your peace. And to the dying bring the joy of your promise to us of eternity with you. For these and all our prayers we offer you, trusting in your goodness and your strength, in the name and spirit of Jesus the Christ.
Mighty and merciful God, giver of grace and goodness, we come as grateful children this day. We come confessing that we are not always grateful to you or as gracious to others we encounter in the twists and turns of our lives. We thank you that you have promised your forgiveness to us as we place our trust in you. Hear our prayers that we might be forgiven, renewed and restored to a fuller life—the life you have shown us in Jesus the Christ.
And hear our prayers for the people you have called to be your church throughout the world. May we together become what you would have us be in fulfillment of Christ’s mission. Help us to lead the way in justice and peace, to help the poor, the sick, the hungry, the oppressed, and those in prison and other kinds of trouble. Help us to serve those who surround us as we would serve Jesus.
We pray, O Lord, for those who seek you or who seek to draw closer to you, that they may find you and be found by you. We pray for those near to us in their needs, as we have named them this day, and for those we name in our hearts, and for our own needs.
We praise you, O God, for you give us grace to glorify you with our whole lives, through the power and strength of Jesus the Christ.
Prayers from Common Worship*
Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
delivered and saved the world:
grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
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 Jesus Christ,
you have taught us
that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters
we do also for you:
give us the will to be the servant of others
as you were the servant of all,
and gave up your life and died for us,
but are alive and reign, now and for ever.
you gave up your Son
out of love for the world:
lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,
that we may know eternal peace
through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly
wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to
love what you command and desire what you promise; that,
among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts
may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found;
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 (© 2019, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
At this encountering, Lord our God, we come
in awe, abandon, adoration: Here,
let us become the bearers of the myrrh
the pourers of the nard,
that in the yielding of our love
we find completely now, O God,
the raw delight in Jesus’ care.
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
The apostle writes: “My sisters and brothers, I implore you by God’s mercy to offer your very selves to God; a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for God’s acceptance, the worship offered by mind and heart. Adapt yourselves no longer to the pattern of this present world, but let your minds be remade and your whole nature be transformed. Then you will be able to discern the will of God, and know what is good, acceptable and perfect.
We bring our gifts to you, and offer them as symbol of sacrifice and service. We seek to share the story of suffering love that fulfills and conquers death. Bless these gifts and all who give; use our wealth, our time, our abilities for the good of all your people, O Lord.
Invitation to the Table
When we as people of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ commune together, our sense of true community is enhanced. When we meet Jesus at his table, class, culture, race, language, economic status and educational achievements are all transcended. Here is a paradox, in our diversity we find unity, when we share the Lord’s bread.
Let us approach this time of communion and community not only sharing the bread and wine, but also sharing ourselves, our hopes, our faith, our history and our future. Let the people of God come to share the bread and witness a miracle: The great truths of our faith intersect with the realities of the world around us, and we see anew how God is at work in our world.
Come and hear in the recesses of our souls, Christ’s call to here and now, at this table, share his bread so that we may be refreshed and empowered as his people to remember him and therefore live for him. Thus we become a part of the miracle we witness. Let us share the bread in unity and remembrance.
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)
Holy God, we praise and bless you for creation and the gift of life; and for your abiding love which brings us close to you, the source of all blessing. We thank you for revealing your will for us in the giving of the law and the teaching of the prophets.
We thank you especially that in the fullness of time you sent Jesus, born of Mary, to live in our midst, to share in our suffering, and to accept the pain of death at the hands of those whom he loved. We rejoice that in a perfect victory over the grave, you raised Christ with power to become sovereign in your realm.
We celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to gather your church by whom your work may be done in the world, and through whom we share the gift of eternal life. With the faithful in every place and time, we praise with joy your holy name.
Send the power of your Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that they may be for us Christ’s body and blood, and that we might be for the world Christ’s body, until at last we feast with him and all your people at the table of unending joy.
- O God, you bring life from death and raise up all who trust in you. As we break this bread, offered in love for you for all your people, may it be for us the Bread of Life. Strengthen us to live as resurrected people, we pray.
- Spirit of God, you join the broken of our world back together, and raise us up as a people to give praise to you. Pour out your life-giving breath upon us as we receive this cup, the Blood of Christ, our hope and our salvation. Raise us with him to serve you all our days in Christ’s name.
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 2018. Calendar for 2019
Sun 2 Dec 2018. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2018-19. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2018. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2018 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries
using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2018 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2018.
Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.
NOTE: We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday. We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary. Send your comments or content here.