Pentecost +21, Proper 25A
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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):
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
56 – For the beauty of the earth
218-Thine is the Glory
233-Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!
452-Here I am, Lord
565-If you will trust in God to guide you
622-Guide me, O thou great Jehovah
487-Help us accept each other
621-Are ye able
406-Beneath the forms of outward rite
405-In memory of the Savior’s love
395-Seed, scattered and sown
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 (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
We gather now, all friends in Christ,
come to behold him now
within this fellowship we own,
won by communion’s goad.
Appeal of heart is savored now,
abundant as before,
that all the spread may harbor grace
and echo God’s desire.
Together in this instinct, joy
and thoroughgoing hope
swell through the proffered gratitude
that we prepare in love.
Intent upon this fellowship,
this nurture to adore,
we learn the gentle in our midst
expose true mercy’s gain.
CM Suggested tune: Mendip
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 90 is on page 746
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 24
L: The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it; the world and those who dwell therein.
P: For it was he who founded it upon the seas and planted it firm upon the waters beneath.
L: Who may go up the mountain of the Lord? And who may stand in God’s holy place?
P: Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who have not set their minds on falsehood and have not committed perjury.
L: They shall receive a blessing from the Lord, and justice from God their savior.
P: Such is the fortune of those who seek God, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.
OR (adapted from Psalm 65)
L: Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion; happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts.
P: We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple.
L: You crown the year with your bounty; the pastures of the wilderness overflow; the hills gird themselves with joy;
P: The meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.
L: Our hearts are lifted up toward God.
P: God created all that is!
L: We celebrate that great love of God.
P: God gifted us with God’s only son, Jesus the Christ.
L: Rejoice and be glad today!
P: Our hearts and spirits praise God for all God’s blessings.
L: God has called us to be people of love.
P: God didn’t mean the “syrupy” stuff of movies and novels.
L: Truly loving can sometimes be difficult,
P: Yet we are called to reach beyond the difficulty with compassion.
L: In all of this, God is with us, guiding and helping us.
P: Thanks be to God for God’s faithful presence.
L: We are called to be the people of God’s kingdom.
P: In God’s realm we will find healing and hope.
L: We are called to be people who love as God has loved us.
P: In God’s world, we will reach out with God’s love to all God’s people.
L: We are called to be those who would serve.
P: May God be with us as we serve by helping those in need.
OR adapted from ministrymatters.com
L: Even when it seems we have suffered for a long time;
P: God breaks through in mercy and love for us.
L: Things may not be easy but we can count on God to be with us.
P: God walks the pathways of both light and darkness with us.
L: God, come quickly into our lives. Erase our fears and doubts.
P: God, come quickly into our hearts and teach us to truly be your people.
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
With thankful hearts for the bounties of our lives we come, O God, to offer our prayers and praise. As we gather this week keep us mindful of all the blessings in our lives and those we share our lives with. Be with us in worship as we lift our voices in praise of you, through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
You who have created us and sustain us: we come with thanksgiving for these moments when we can ease the pace of our lives and listen for your voice. Create a spirit within us that truly draws us toward you and toward our brother and sisters; a spirit deep, perceptive, gentle and bold. Clear our minds, open our hearts and touch us with your presence and your power. We offer this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Your blessings overflow, Almighty God, Maker and Renewer of the earth! May our praises overflow with thanksgiving, as we celebrate your abundant gifts in our midst; and may our lives overflow with gracious love and service in your world, through Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
OR from ministrymatters.com
Lord of light and hope, be with us this day as we have gathered to hear your word. Help us open our hearts to the commandments to love, even when loving is difficult. Give us the courage to be people who will commit their whole lives in your service. For we ask this in Jesus’ name (praying as he taught us, saying “Our Father…”)
OR from ministrymatters.com
Lord Jesus, you command us to remember that the first commandment is to love God with all that we are, our hearts, souls, minds and spirits. The second is equal to this in that this love is to be extended to our neighbors. We are to love as we wish to be loved. Help us to internalize these commandments so that when we encounter times of difficulty, we are again reminded of your everlasting love for us. (This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
OR from ministrymatters.com
God, you are God forever. This alone is cause for celebration, but we also know that we are your people! As we feel your love washing over us now, may we love you with every part of our being: heart, mind, body, and soul. We celebrate your love in our lives, and we ask for your help as we try our best to boldly share the good news of your love with others. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who models the way for us (and taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
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.
Reveal your presence with them 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.
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. 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, in whose name we pray. Amen.
OR from ministrymatters.com
Patient God, we find it so easy to give lip service and “check” service to the commandment to love. We can say we know of your love and that we respond in kind, but we far too often do not respond in loving ways toward others. We write checks to support ministries of compassion without ever truly feeling the deep compassion that service demands. Dig deeper into our souls, O God. Expose the vain selfishness and the fear that seem to block true discipleship. Engage us in ministries of justice in which the kind of love that you call us to have is required, not just in our spoken word or in our offerings of monies, but in our very passionate nature. Free us and inspire us to love all persons, those whom we would deem unlovable, and those whom we find it easy to love. Help us love ourselves, respecting ourselves in gratitude for the gifts you have given to us; then move us to use these gifts in service to you. We ask these things in the name of Jesus the Christ.
OR adapted from ministrymatters.com
In the midst of frightening times when words of war soar to the heavens and anger seems to be the way to treat others and to respond to difficulty, be with us, merciful God. We do not want to live in these hideous ways. We seek your peace and healing love. Our hearts are filled with concern for our families and friends as well as those in far off lands who face great times of difficulties, illness, mourning. We lift to you our prayers for ourselves and others, knowing that you hear our cries and respond in love. Yet in the midst of darkness your light of joy abounds within us as we share those moments which have caused us to rejoice in delight and love, as we remember ________ and those we name in the silence of our hearts.
Lord of hope and peace, we have offered our prayers and lives to you. Be with all of us, O Lord. Heal our wounds. Direct our lives in pathways of peace. These things we offer in Jesus’ name.
Prayers from Common Worship*
who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:
help us so to hear them,
to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them
that, through patience, and the comfort of your holy word,
we may embrace and for ever hold fast
the hope of everlasting life,
which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
God of all grace,
your Son Jesus Christ fed the hungry
with the bread of his life
and the word of his kingdom:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your true and living bread;
who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.
teach us to be faithful in change and uncertainty,
that trusting in your word
and obeying your will
we may enter the unfailing joy of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of
faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you
promise, make us love what you command; 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 (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
The whole of heart, of soul, of mind, O God
is all the measure of our love for you.
And as ourselves, those others, many near by day
are loved, you say.
So balance your presence in our way, O Lord,
that we find all delight
in David’s Son and Lord.
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
All good things come from God, the giver of life. We are called as stewards of God’s gifts to share in fulfillment of God’s purposes for creation. As stewards of the kingdom of God, let us give from our abundance with thanksgiving.
The wonderful works of God surround us. How will we show our gratitude? The generosity of God exceeds all our limits. How will our manner of life reflect the abundance of God’s mercy? Surely our offerings are one measure of our response. Let us present them with joy and thanksgiving.
Just as Christ has taught the way of life to us, the church, we have the responsibility of bringing life to the world around us through our ministries and the outreach of missions through our connections of faith around the globe. Let us offer gratefully and sacrificially to the work of God who has given all for us.
Almighty God, giver of every good and perfect gift, teach us to give to you all that we have and all that we are, that we may praise you not with our words only, but with our whole lives.
Holy one, your heart abounds with gifts. Receive this offering as a sign of our trust in you and our intention to live surrounded by your mercy, inspired by your Spirit, open to the joy of your presence, hospitable to one another, and generous toward your world. Amen.
We thank you, God for this opportunity to express our love to you through the gifts we bring to support and encourage your work in near and distant places. Make our hearts glad that we can share in extending the gospel and helping to heal humanity’s pain, for we bring them to you with grateful hearts.
OR from ministrymatters.com
As you have poured your healing love into our lives, O God, we now offer these gifts to you. Let them be used in ministries of peace and justice through the work of this church in your world.
Invitation to the Table
Beloved of Christ, people shall be gathered from north and south, from east and west to feast at the heavenly banquet of the Lord. Christ our Paschal Lamb has been sacrificed; therefore, let us celebrate the feast. Christ invites to this table all who desire to follow in faith in the days that lie ahead, and to acclaim him Lord. Let us come to this holy celebration in faith.
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)
O God, as a people seeking to learn the way of love, we pray that you would reveal Christ in love to us here as we bless and break this bread and drink from this cup. Send forth your Holy Spirit upon us, that we who receive from your hand the gifts of this table might be nourished to share his love with the world for whom he gave himself, the ultimate offering of redeeming love.
- Loving God, we give you thanks for your life-giving Word, and the bread of life which is set before us in this meal. As your Spirit has come upon your Church to do your bidding, so pour out your Spirit upon these gifts, that as we receive them we may be nourished to live as your body in the world, empowered for all good works through Christ our Lord.
- Your grace, O God, is abundant and freely poured out upon us. The thirsting world yearns to drink deeply of the life that you alone can give. As we receive the cup of salvation in this offering of Christ for the world, may we be renewed in our conviction to serve you by a life of service to the needs of others, that the world may know you, and may celebrate your life-giving love. This we pray in the name and spirit of 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 2019. Calendar for 2020
Sun 1 Dec 2019. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2019-20. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2019. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2019 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries
using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2019 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2019.
Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.
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