Pentecost +14, Proper 19C
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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
288-O God of Vision
74 (vs. 1,2,4)-A Woman and a coin
677 – Let there be peace on earth
385-An upper room did our Lord prepare
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 1 Timothy 1:12-17
In spite of all I have been,
you, Lord, call me to your task.
You bid my broken life rise
to follow at your bidding,
and by your grace be lifted
Thus I come, my saving Lord,
to apprize my bidden love.
As sinners come to know, Lord,
your gentle, saving wonder,
in my hands set graciousness
abiding in your mercy
that, as mild-hearted, I stand
in your delight and savor.
All honor, glory are yours,
The King of all ages: yes,
our only God for ever.
For ever are you given
into the praise we offer.
126.96.36.199.7.7. Suggested tune: Petra
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: God is our refuge and our strength
P: A very present help in trouble.
L: Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change,
P: Therefore we are not lost, even though we wander.
L: God is our refuge and strength.
P: Glory to God. Amen.
L: Come, friends, to a great celebration. In the midst of trouble, God is with us.
P: We come from our wanderings, our lost places; we bring our struggles, our lost souls.
L: God, who created all things, loses nothing. Do not fear: God holds you very close.
P: With hope for life and life eternal, we offer our prayers and praise to God.
L: We gather to give thanks for all the blessings and hope of life.
P: We praise God; we rejoice and give thanks.
L: We join our voices in praise and thanksgiving.
P: In all things, may God be glorified!
OR from ministrymatters.com
L: When the lost are found,
P: there is joy!
L: When hope overcomes despair,
P: there is joy!
L: When we seek and find God’s faithfulness,
P: there is joy!
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
O God, you have made your love for us known in the ways in which you seek out that which is hardest for us to find. You guide us toward those things in life which we may have counted as lost – missing dreams, broken relationships, injured hopes. Help us to find in you the strength and courage to resume the search, so that we may all celebrate together the wondrous care and compassion you have shown for this world you love, as seen in our Lord Jesus (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
You have brought us again to new life, O God, and gathered us in this community to be your people as we work and witness in this world. Feed us today with the presence of our risen Lord of Christ, and breathe into us your Spirit, that we may be enabled in all we say and do to glorify your name. (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”) Adapted from Supplemental Liturgical Resources #5
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
God of all that you have created, as a people gathered in hope, we are moved by the despair of others. As a people of love, we ache for those who are lonely, lost and fearful. As a people of life, we mourn with those who are touched by death. As people who struggle to trust more fully in you, help us to minister in the Spirit of Christ to all whom we meet, and to not lose heart as we try to live out the gospel.
We pray for the grieving—the hungry and homeless—the oppressed—the victims of war. We pray for our community and nation, and its president and leaders. We pray for those who are sick and recovering, and those whose sickness will lead to death. In life, in death, in life beyond death, you are with us, and for this we give you thanks. Empower this church and all your people to awaken to the reality of your presence, grace and love, and bring us at last with all your saints to the feast that has no end, which you have prepared for all who put their trust in you, through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, maker of all, with joy we give thanks for all your goodness. We praise you for the love which has created and sustained us to this day, and for the gift of your Christ who brings us into covenant with you and with all your people of faith. Help us to treasure your gifts and to show our thankfulness by lives wholly given to your service.
We pray for your church whom you have redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus. Give it pastors and ministers filled with your spirit, and strength to serve by the guidance of your word. Perfect it in love and in compassion, and establish it in the faith of your saints. Unite all your people that one holy church may bear witness to you and your glory.
We pray that you would move our nation toward the justice of your peace. Bless our national, state and local leaders to serve all people with integrity. Purge from us all hatred and prejudice, and build within us your love, that even in our dealings with the other nations of earth we may be servants of peace, truth and justice.
Bless our homes with the joy of your presence. Strengthen our covenants of family and of faith, that our children may grow into fullness of faith, that together we may show forth your praise in our world through deeds and words of love and compassion—especially with those who are alone and lonely.
Let your grace be seen in seed-time and harvest, in labor and business, in leisure and rest, in arts and culture of our people. May all who do work find fulfillment of their vocations, and all who are in need of work find the relief of new endeavors.
Comfort those who sorrow and are in need, sickness or adversity. Have mercy on those to whom death draws near. Bring consolation to those in mourning, and to all give your peace, for these and all our prayers we bring to you in the name of Jesus our Christ. Amen.
Prayers from Common Worship*
who called your Church to bear witness
that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself:
help us to proclaim the good news of your love,
that all who hear it may be drawn to you;
through him who was lifted up on the cross,
and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
God our creator,
you feed your children with the true manna,
the living bread from heaven:
let this holy food sustain us through our earthly pilgrimage
until we come to that place
where hunger and thirst are no more;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
you search us and know us:
may we rely on you in strength
and rest on you in weakness,
now and in all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
O God, because without you we are not able to please you,
mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct
and rule our hearts; 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)
In all our careful management, O God,
we take your word: we are the lamb
lost in the wilderness.
In our imagining, you leave the rest for us,
for us alone – to find us,
Yet you alone rejoice in finding one
like us, the lost and so endangered,
brought at full expense for joy.
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
This is a day to live, not for ourselves, but for others. Christ has given himself for us, and God has called us to pattern our lives in such self-giving ways. May we who remember the sufferings of the past be called forward toward the joy that God has designed for our world – where all are loved, all are fed, all will have enough. Let us give ourselves by giving of the resources that God has entrusted to us, as stewards of God’s grace.
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.
As we gather at your table, O God, may we also be more aware of the opportunity that is ours to share with others the many blessings you have given us. May this be a time of joy as we give of our resources. Grant us wisdom to use these gifts in the fulfillment of your mission in the world, through Christ our Lord.
Invitation to the Table
(for use with Prodigal Son story)
Great occasions call for grand celebrations. Weddings, baptisms, holidays, birthdays, end of season banquets…name the day, and there are memories that arise within us of parties – feasts – attached to them. For many, these celebrations are most delicious to our memories because they mark for us a homecoming.
In our life together as church, we celebrate an ultimate feast whenever we gather. It’s simple fare – only bread and the fruit of the vine (we may call it wine but it’s Welch’s). And it’s brought to us without a lot of whoop-Dee-doo in our tradition, but it marks a priceless, precious moment for all who believe: a truly holy homecoming.
Here, as we receive the gift of Communion, we celebrate with God that moment in which Jesus made a way for all of us, Gods wandering, prodigal sons and daughters, to come home to God’s welcoming embrace. As we break bread together today, as in all days, we remember the gift of Jesus Christ to our world, and his self-giving love made visible on the cross. And we hear God’s call to all of us to simply come, receive grace, to be loved and embraced, and be home.
Come to the table, whoever you are, wherever you have wandered. The party is ready. The guests are here. And God wants to lavish love upon you. Come home.
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)
We give you thanks, God of majesty and mercy, for calling forth the creation and raising us from dust by the breath of your being. We bless you for the beauty and bounty of the earth and for the vision of the day when sharing by all will mean scarcity for none.
We remember the covenant you made with your people Israel, and we give you thanks for all our ancestors in faith. We rejoice that you call us to reconciliation with you and all people everywhere, and that you remain faithful to your covenant even when we are faithless.
We rejoice that you call the entire human family to this table of sacrifice and victory. We come in remembrance and celebration of the gift of Jesus Christ, whom you sent in the fullness of time, to be the good news.
Lord of all, as we recall Christ’s suffering and death, we rejoice in his resurrection, and await his return in victory. We spread this table with these gifts of earth and of our labor. We present to you our very lives, committed to your service in behalf of all people. Send your Spirit upon this bread and wine, and on us. Strengthen your church throughout the world that it may be the champion of peace and justice. Restore the earth with your grace that is able to make all things new.
O God, you have offered your steadfast and forgiving love to us in the life of your Son Jesus Christ. As we give thanks for him at the table he has prepared, and as we break this bread, we ask that your Spirit would descend upon us, to make us more in his likeness, serving and giving from the fullness of life which you provide. Bless this cup, we pray, that all of us who partake of it may be made one with Christ, one with you, and one with each other in fellowship and service to all the world.
We give you thanks, God of majesty and mercy, for calling forth the creation and raising us from dust by the breath of your being. We bless you for the beauty and bounty of the earth and for the vision of the day when sharing by all will mean scarcity for none. Now, as we recall Christ’s suffering and death, we rejoice in his resurrection and await his return in victory. We spread this table with these gifts of earth and of our labor. We present to you our very lives, committed to your service in behalf of all people. Send your Spirit upon this bread and wine, and on us. Strengthen your church throughout the world that it may be the champion of peace and justice. Restore the earth with your grace that is able to make all things new.
Merciful Father, we thank you for these gifts of your creation, this bread and this wine, and we pray that we who eat and drink them in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit in obedience to our Saviour Christ in remembrance of his death and passion may be partakers of his body and his blood. With this bread and this cup, we do as our Saviour has commanded: we celebrate the redemption he has won for us; we proclaim his perfect sacrifice, made once for all upon the cross, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension; and we look for his coming to fulfil all things according to your will. Renew us by your Holy Spirit, unite us in the body of your Son, and bring us with all your people into the joy of your eternal kingdom.
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.
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