For Sunday, November 13, 2016
Year C, Twenty-Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Isaiah 12
L: I will give thanks to you, O LORD;
P: For though you were angry with us, your anger turned away.
L: You comforted us.
P: Surely God is our salvation.
L: Let us trust, and be not afraid.
P: For the LORD is our strength and our might.
L: Sing praises to the LORD!
P: Shout aloud, and sing for joy!
We confess, O God, that from time to time we wonder if the day of salvation has come near. We confess that we look to signs like war and famine, and wonder if we are approaching the day of the LORD. We confess, O God, that we sometimes come to this place, only hoping to curry favor in case the day draws near. Turn our worry to worship and our pessimism to praise. Guide us in your footsteps and shine down your light of wisdom. Help us to recall our true calling: to witness to your mercy and grace, to lead others to your good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Empower our worship this day, so that we may be faithful witnesses to the love and grace of your Son, Jesus the Christ.
Why do we give? There is not one answer. The reality is everyone is motivated differently. Some do so out of a sense of commitment. Some give because there is a challenge to be met. Some give because they experience community or family. Some give because they are moved to do so out of compassion. Some people give because it seems reasonable to do so. My fondest dream as I stand here looking for words which let you know it is time to give, though, is that you will be motivated to give, because God was first motivated to give to you. We will now receive the tithes and offerings which are a reflection of just how blessed we are by God.
God of all good gifts, we come humbly before you, each with our own motivations and our own gifts to present. We are thankful that you have put upon our hearts a need to reconnect to you, our maker, in this way. We pray that these gifts will be blessed and used so that others will come to know the joy of life in relationship with you through Jesus Christ our Lord.
When you do a web search on “Table of Salvation” something interesting happens. The vast majority of links that come up are related not to communion, but simply Salvation. The concept of the table does not readily connect to Salvation. We know that Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ. We remember that each time we gather at this table. Come to the table of salvation, regardless of what Google says, and celebrate the blessings of our Lord and Savior.
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Scripture Quotations from the New Revised Standard Version. Online Scripture links a service of the Jean and Alexander Heard Divinity Library, of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN