Pentecost +24, Proper 28A

Nov. 15

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Scripture  (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

Judges 4:1-7 or Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18
Psalm 123 or Psalm 90:1-8, (9-11), 12
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Matthew 25:14-30

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

718-Come, ye thankful people, come,

276-We gather together                     

25-Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

703-When all is ended

711-O day of peace that dimly shines

417-We place upon your table, Lord

429-You satisfy the hungry heart

717-Let all things now living

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 5:1-11

               As in the light, we rise to you

               for on your earnest you draw near

               and tantalize our freshened lives,

               buoyed on salvation’s ecstasy.

               Your day, O Lord, comes secretly

               on silent steps we do not hear.

               So like a thief hid in the night,

               your day yet meets us hopefully.

               For in your constancy we stay

               to recognize the coming dawn,

               to find in your enticing way

               life merges into hope always.

               In freshness and delight, O Lord,

               we stay the night, encourage day,

               that we might celebrate anew

               the gift you bring, salvation’s peal.

LM        Suggested tune: Eton

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   

This week:  Psalm 90 is on p. 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   

adapted from John Berringer

L: Come, let us use our voices to praise the Lord.

P: Our mouths will shout forth praise.

L: Let us use our minds to ponder the wondrous deeds of God.

P: We will call to mind God’s mighty acts.

L: With all of our strength and being, let us worship the Lord of love.

P: We will worship from our depths. Our souls exult in God!


L: God has promised a new heavens and new earth.

P: There, the former things are forgotten and all things are made new. 

L: In God’s promised world, there is hope for justice and peace among all peoples.

P: May our eyes be opened to the promised future as we celebrate God’s faithful presence with us this day.

OR from

L: The time for harvest is close at hand. What have you done with the gifts God has given you?
P: We have brought our gifts to the house of the Lord.
L: Praise God for the gifts and for opportunities for service that they represent.
P: We praise God for all the ways in which our lives have been blessed.

OR from

L: We lift our eyes to the Lord.
P: God created the heavens and the earth
L: We raise our voices in songs and speech
P: We raise our voices in prayer and praise.
L: Lord, hear our prayers, accept our praise.
P: Lord, open our hearts to receive your blessings of peace.

OR from

L: How shall we enter the house of the Lord?
P: With songs of great praise and rejoicing!
L: How shall we prepare ourselves to receive the blessings?
P: With hearts, minds, and spirits that are open.
L: Come, let us worship the Lord and bow down.
P: Let us offer our praise to God who has redeemed us. 

OR from

L: Come! Share the joy of the Lord!
P: Delight in God’s goodness!
L: Praise God who gives each person a special gift to be nurtured and shared.
P: Lord, we thank you for these gifts!
L: Come, let us worship God who entrusts us with so much.
P: Lord, make us worthy of your love and trust in us. 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

We call on your name, O God, for you have offered us the cup of salvation and welcomed us into your family. How can we thank you for the love you have shown us in Jesus Christ. Meet us again in this hour, that we may grow in faith and be responsive to your truth. Fill us with hope, renewing our confidence to face life in faithful trust and obedience. This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)


Great is your name, O God of all creation, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ.  As we give you thanks and praise in this gathering of your people, we pray that you would adjust our vision and align it with your own – your vision for a world made new – that we may fervently pray for it and work for it in the days that lie ahead.  This we pray in the name of Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

OR from

Awesome God, you created the world and all that is in it. You blessed each element of creation with your love. You called us from slavery into witness and service. Be with us this day as we gather to worship. Clear our minds of all the distractions which would draw us away from you. Open our hearts and spirits and let your healing and empowering love flow in. Prepare us to be witnesses to your power and love as we use the gifts with which you have blessed us in your service. For we offer this prayer in the name of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

OR from

O Lord, we gratefully acknowledge the gifts you have given to each of us for service in your world. Gifts of teaching, healing, inspiring, challenging and creating are all among the myriad of things you have placed in our lives. Direct our lives to use these gifts as we reach out to our neighborhood and nation, witnessing to your love and your healing mercy. We pray this in Jesus’ name (even as he taught us, saying, “Our Father…”)

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

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. Amen.

OR from 

Wise and Patient God, we know what you want us to do, but we are far too often hesitant to follow through for you. You give us multiple blessings and ask that we develop these gifts and use them to help others. In times of great crisis we come through, we mobilize. But in the intermediate times, we hold back. We develop a “let someone else do it” attitude. We often think of our gifts, our talents as things that are less than worthy. In this country in which competition is the ruling code, we don’t want to compete with others, because we feel we just don’t have the right “stuff”. How blind we are, Lord! To each one of us you have given gifts which can be used to help others. Each gift and talent is precious in your sight. Rather than compete with others to see who has the greater talent, let us use the gifts we have been given joyfully.

One of the greatest gifts is the gift of prayer. And we have brought before you, Lord, the concerns which have been weighing on our hearts. Touch the lives of all these people and situations with you healing love. Give each one a sense of your powerful presence. Flood their lives with hope and peace. Help each one of us to be workers for you. Help us to trust in your abiding presence and love for us. Challenge us to use the gifts and to honor the giver, for we ask these things in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.


God of Creation, God of Wonder, hear this offering of prayer and praise as a gift from our thankful hearts. We thank you for the wonders all around us. For grains of sand, the smell of rain falling on dry ground, for the shifting of the seasons and the sound of laughter. We thank you God for one another – for the joys and struggles of relationships that nurture us and help us to grow. God, we thank you for your eternal presence in our midst and for the good news of your deep abiding love for all of creation.

Even as we give thanks, we lift up the concerns that burden us this day. We ask your peace and blessing on all those we have named in this place today and all whose names and circumstances remain in the safe sanctuary of your Spirit’s care. We pray for all who are suffering in body, mind or spirit and for all who provide care for the needs of others. We pray for the lonely and the despairing…for those who struggle with addiction…for those who feel trapped in situations of abuse…for those who making difficult decisions in life… God we pray for your church and its mission in the world.  Bless all of your children God, and pour your Spirit upon us, bringing healing, comfort and strength wherever it is needed. All this we ask in the name of the One who calls us forward in faith, Jesus Christ our Sovereign Lord


Gracious God, who supplies us with every blessing in abundance, lift up our hearts in gratitude and thanksgiving.  Open us to remember the gifts we seldom notice, the bounty we take for granted, the rich possibilities you provide.  For bread without scarcity, for water that is pure, for houses to live in and friends to enjoy, we give you humble thanks.

We lift to you all those whose lives are linked with our own.  We remember (_______and) all those whom we name to you in silence.

Touch their lives with your grace and your peace, that they would know your love in these days of illness and unknowing and struggle.

In the days ahead, may we be more aware of the bounty for which we need to be grateful and of all the little things that make us who we are which we often overlook or ignore.  Help us to be more mindful every day of your goodness and love.

For beauty and bounty, for healing and hope, for the gospel of our salvation, we lift our voices in praise to you, Creator God, in Christ’s name.


Our tender and compassionate God asks us to pray for all people.  Let us offer our prayers for the world in need, trusting in God’s great love.

Gracious God, we pray for the church around the world.  As the broken bread, though once scattered as grain on the hillsides become one loaf, so may your church be one in spirit throughout the earth, and one in witness to your saving love.

Lord, lead our leaders throughout the Church.  Grant them your wisdom, that by their deeds they may encourage the faithful and witness to the world and its people.  Eternal ruler of the universe, we pray for those who govern every land, and for the people committed to their charge.  Look with grace upon the president of our country, and the legislators who guide our lives.  Turn the hearts of leaders and peoples to you, that governments may seek the good of humanity and of all who suffer.

God, you suffer with those who suffer.  We pray for those who are denied what they need to live and those whose dreams have been shattered by war and disaster.  We pray especially for those who suffer in the season of plenty.  Reach out and bring healing through the hands of your faithful people.

Holy Comforter, healing Spirit, grant your peace to those who are sick and those who grieve, and especially those of our own church families who are suffering today.  Radiate through their lives with the light of your presence, that renewed healing and strength may be theirs.

We pray, dear Lord, for those whose actions offend us most and for those whom we have learned to fear and despise.  Through your great love, make tender all hearts hardened by hatred, bigotry and suspicion; and work your justice among us.

God of hope and new life, help us to see the joy and abundant life you intend for us. Forgive our shortsightedness and often miserly attitudes toward the created world which you have entrusted to our care.  Give us your peace–peace which is not so much an absence of trouble, as an awareness of your guiding presence and bounteous gifts in all that we do; for these our prayers we bring to you in the name of Jesus the Christ.

Prayers from Common Worship*


Heavenly Father,

whose blessed Son was revealed

   to destroy the works of the devil

and to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life:

grant that we, having this hope,

may purify ourselves even as he is pure;

that when he shall appear in power and great glory

we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom;

where he is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion

Gracious Lord,

in this holy sacrament

you give substance to our hope:

bring us at the last

to that fullness of life for which we long;

through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Additional Collect

Heavenly Lord,

you long for the world’s salvation:

stir us from apathy,

restrain us from excess

and revive in us new hope

that all creation will one day be healed

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for

our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn,

and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever

hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have

given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; 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)

Matthew 25:14-30

            As massive gains accumulate unto the bold,

                        O God, prepare in us the care

                                    that harvests joys untold

                                    and satisfies creative dares.

                        For in your bounty we aspire

                                    to learn your grand capacity

                                                to savor life at your increase.

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 has offered the world a new vision of life which is full and abundant, teeming with all the good gifts that have been lavished upon us in Christ Jesus.  May we be open to receiving them with gratitude, and in offering them, along with ourselves, for the sake of others, even as the gifts of this Table are offered not for us alone, but for the salvation of the whole world.  Let us bring forth our tithes and offerings to God.


We are a blessed people.  In this season and all seasons, it is good that we recall God’s many gifts in our lives, and grace which God has given us to help us use them all for good.  As we ready ourselves to join the great Feast of Thanksgiving, a feast which God has made for us in Christ Jesus, let us consider just how welcome we are to receive of it – all of us – and to share the gifts of it for the sake of the world.  For the gifts of God are many, and they are made real in this meal, and in the family of God gathered around it.  Let us bring forth our tithes and offerings.

Offertory Prayer

Give us thankful hearts, O God, for your grace to us in life and health and strength. Let these gifts of your bounty and of our hands be used to glorify you now and in your church’s work forever. Amen


Bring forth the fullness of your vision to us, O God, as we open our hearts to you in the giving of these gifts.  Like the praise we sing, may they bring glory to your name, now and in your world forever.  Amen.

Invitation to the Table

(Communion Affirmation – offered in Chalice Hymnal, #401 from the words of A. Campbell)

L: You, my beloved, once and alien, are now a citizen of heaven: once a stranger, are now brought home to the family of God.  You have owned my Lord as your Lord, my people as your people.

P:  Under Jesus the Messiah we are one.  Mutually embraced in the everlasting arms, I embrace you in mine: your sorrows shall be my sorrows, and your joys my joys.

L: Joint debtors to the favor of God and the love of Jesus, we shall jointly suffer with him, that we may jointly reign with him.

P:  Let us, then, renew our strength, remembering our Sovereign, and hold fast our boasted hope unshaken to the end.

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)

Eternal One, who cares for each one of us as if you had no one else to care for, and who cares for all of us even as you care for each, we come here because you have invited us. We recognize at the deepest levels of our beings that it is at this table that we are affirmed and made whole. Send forth the power of your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine. Enable us to know now the presence of the Christ, the one who calls us to be family, the one in whose presence no other can be called a stranger. Forgive us that we have been hard of heart, that we have failed to acknowledge others as brothers and sisters. Enable us now to accept the fact that we are members of one another, that we are family with all of your creation, and that we are all loved by you. We pray these things in the name of the Christ who has called us to you.


  1. You, O God, are the helper of the helpless.  In every age of our distress, you have come to us with an outstretched arm, a word of forgiveness, and nourishment for the journey.  As we give you thanks for your faithful love and consecrate this bread to your purposes, receive our gifts, we pray, that as they are offered to you again you may multiply them, so that we and your hungering world might be fed.
  2. Lord of Life, as you have blessed the earth with fruit and inspired your children to make good use of it, we ask that you would now bless this wine – fruit of the earth and work of human hands – that it might be for us the blood of Christ, the cup of our salvation.  Send down the power of your Spirit upon these gifts and upon us who gather here out of love for you, that as we receive and find renewal, we might learn to give of ourselves for the salvation of the world.  This we pray in Christ’s name.


  1. It is always right and just to praise you, God our Father, for you have always sought and found us.  As we give you praise for Jesus Christ, the shepherd and guardian of our souls, we offer thanks for this bread, which is to be for us his body.  May we who receive him from your hands be encouraged to lives of thankful praise, and be empowered by your Spirit to offer him to the world which you have redeemed through your own great love. 
  2. This cup, O God, we offer to your service.  Send down your Holy Spirit, we pray, that as we receive your gifts – bread broken and wine poured – our lives might be made whole, and be offered to you anew for faithful service.  This we pray in the name of Christ our Lord and King.

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 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, 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.

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.

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