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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
259 – Spirit of the living God
581-Near to the heart of God
461 – Lord, whose love through humble service
391 – These I lay down
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 (© 2019, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On John 13:31-35
The hour to glorify is come;
in open wonder we approach
to find of Jesus brighter ways
than we anticipated yet –
all in the fervent air.
The rule of ordinary fare
is love each other as he loves:
this Jesus opens to our hearts
the bearing of a freshened dare
meant to be lissome, fair.
Let us together all be known
as Jesus’ own disciples now;
by his command, we come to love,
love one another as he loves,
this Jesus we adore.
220.127.116.11.6. Suggested tune: St. Margret
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: Hymns #21 & 22 (Let the whole creation cry, and All creatures of our God and King) are based in part on Psalm 148.
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: We gather in the name of the living Christ to worship God.
P: Surely, God is in this place and calls us to worship in spirit and in truth.
L: God’s love is for you and for all people everywhere.
P: That we may share God’s love and life, may we be renewed in the refreshing Spirit of the living Christ.
L: The living Christ is with us.
P: Praise the Lord!
L: The God of all creation makes us one in the flesh.
P: Let us join hearts and voices in praise.
L: In Jesus Christ, we are made one in spirit.
P: Let us be united in his faith and in his mission.
L: Through the mothering love of the Holy Spirit, we are joined into God’s one family.
P: Let us be known as Christ’s true disciples by the love in which we hold one another and all of God’s children on earth.
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
Gracious God, Power of Life, we praise you that you have not abandoned us to the living death of sin and despair, but that with Jesus Christ, you have lifted us up from the grave. Grant that we might ourselves know the power of the resurrection, now and in the world to come; for it is in the name of the risen Christ that we pray (as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Most gracious God, as we continue to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, we pray that we may be bound together in Christian love and that our faith and fellowship may be a witness through which your spirit will bring others into your church. We humbly thank you for your many blessings you have given us. We ask that we may learn how to truly be Easter people and always remember that we are celebrating resurrection day every day, for we pray through Jesus our Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Loving God, it is you who gives life and breath to everyone, and in you alone can we find life, breath, and meaning for ourselves and for our world. For those who have been blessed with an awareness of your love, we give you thanks. We pray that you would inspire us to bring that love visibly into the lives of all your children, and unite us as your people, that all may enjoy full life within your family. This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
How wondrous is your great forgiving love, mighty God. How wondrous is your life-giving power. With joy we revel in the glow of the sun this day, and we wonder at the life everlasting that you have opened for us in raising Jesus from the dead.
As people born of his spirit, we are awakened to a world that is caught still in the night-shades of sin, and broken by its suffering. And here, in the midst of all death, we long to bring life; we would see Jesus, and we would lift him up as a beacon of your love and promise to our world.
Hear our prayers for those who are suffering this day—the hungry and homeless, the sick and imprisoned, the angry, the lonely and lost. We pray that you would not let our concern pass from our hearts as these words pass from our lips, but rather that you would empower us to do your work of healing and reconciliation in their lives.
We especially lift to you this day all those who are close to our hearts, whose needs we are so often reminded of, and for ourselves in our own needs.
As you made a fearful and disjointed band of disciples into your holy church, we pray that you would make us anew, that we, your body in our world, would serve you in joy and hope and thankfulness all the days of our life together in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whose glorious name we pray.
Lord God, we give you thanks for all your gifts to us—for daily food, for health, for each breath we take, for freedom to choose, and for the gifts of your word, your power and your love. Our hearts are truly overwhelmed, O God, when we consider how you have entrusted so much to us. May we be worthy of that trust—may we be a people who are unafraid to live as fully and as richly as you want us to live.
Help us, O God, as followers of Jesus, to multiply all that you have given us, to risk spreading your word and perhaps see it misunderstood, to gamble by loving those whom others think worthy only of hate, to take chances by doing good to those who have not done good to us. Help us be faith filled and desire to increase your glory and your goodness in this world. Make us people who share in both word and deed that which you have given to us.
We pray for the church gathered today, both here and around the world, that it may encourage all of its members to discover, develop and use all their gifts, those of nature and those of grace.
We pray for those who are poor in body or in spirit, for those oppressed and heavy laden, for those sick or in despair, especially___________. Minister by your Spirit and by us, to all those for whom we have prayed, and help us walk faithfully in the path of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayers from Common Worship*
who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ
have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:
grant that, as by your grace going before us
you put into our minds good desires,
so by your continual help
we may bring them to good effect;
through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
whose Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life:
grant us to walk in his way,
to rejoice in his truth,
and to share his risen life;
who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.
your wounds declare your love for the world
and the wonder of your risen life:
give us compassion and courage
to risk ourselves for those we serve,
to the glory of God the Father.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant
us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way,
the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his
steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ
your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2019, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Draw us afresh, O God,
to savor your capacity for vision and delight.
For in our seeing, as this hour sets forth,
we would behold your constancy
about your apt humility
and find our human core sublime
in loving one another
as you love.
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
Through our offerings, we are invited to put God first in our lives, to show our gratitude and our commitment. We owe everything to God: our lives, our health, people who love us, meaningful work and activities. Let us respond in proportion to our gratitude.
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.
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 dedicate this money as one evidence of our stewardship, loving God. Our silver and gold have no value except as they are invested according to your purposes. Our lives gain value as we give our time and talents in loving service. Use all that we have and give to build the community you intend, through Christ our Lord.
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.
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)
from William Flewelling:
When we were barely looking, Lord God, you came upon us.
In the mystery of our despair, you raised the touch of love.
In the anguish of our uncertainty you lifted the grace of Christ.
In the hour of our dejection you raised for us the cup of thanksgiving.
In the torment of our fright you held us in the risen arms of Christ.
Holy God, we rejoice in your arising.
As your raised our Lord Jesus, raise us in hope to love and to share.
As the broken bread, our Manna, the body of Christ is given to feed our souls,
raise us in life to join our hearts in tenderness and care.
As the fresh wine cup, the blood of Christ, our new covenant, refreshes our souls,
raise us with Jesus to share together the feast of your kingdom.
Anoint us in your Spirit that we might fully live, your people and witnesses of resurrection;
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
- It is right and good to give thanks to you almighty God, creator of heaven and earth; for by your word was the world created, and by your breath did the first mortals come to life. In the life of Christ, we have receive life that is abundant and transformative. Bless, we pray, this Bread which we offer up to you, that as we receive it we might be strengthened to abide in the way that leads to life eternal.
- Pour out your Spirit upon us, O Lord, and upon this cup of salvation. May we who receive the blood of Christ be cleansed by his offering of self for us and for the world, and refreshed in spirit and will to do his bidding in the days which lie ahead. This we offer in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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.