For Sunday March 12, 2017
Second Sunday in Lent :: Purple ::
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 121
L: I lift up my eyes to hills – from where will my help come?
P: Our help comes from the LORD who made heaven and earth.
L: The LORD will not let your foot be moved; the one who keeps you will not slumber.
P: The LORD who keeps the faithful will not slumber nor sleep.
L: The LORD is your keeper; your shade at your right hand.
P: The sun will not strike us by day nor the moon by night.
L: The LORD will keep your life.
P: From this time on and forevermore.
We have heard your call, O God almighty, and we have responded with our presence. You called each one of us to journey here. You called us together as your people. In obedience and love, we have come, O God. Grant us awareness of your presence. Guide us gently in your Spirit. Feed us with word and sacrament. Then send us forth in love. We pray it all in the name of Jesus the Christ.
A friend who grew up in Texas was fond of using the word “reckon”. He would say “Do you reckon . . . ?” It was question I always presumed to mean “Do you think?”, but somehow reckon was deeper. It was more than think, perhaps as much as “deeply believe.” When the question “do you reckon” was posed, it required deep thought and moral reflection.
Paul uses the same word in Romans when he talks about Abraham. “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
Abraham also offered the first concept of the tithe: giving ten percent as a sign of thanksgiving and glory to God.
I rather suppose that to tithe is righteous . . . Do you reckon?
Let us now bring the tithes and offerings: signs of our recognition of all God has done for us.
We bring before you, O God, these tithes and offerings. We do so in fervent prayer, hoping you will bless and multiply them. That you will use these gifts to reach the hearts and minds of the many who have not heard your word, nor felt your mighty presence. Take these gifts, O God, and use them, we pray, in Christ’s Name.
We all know John 3:16. Most of us could recite it by heart. But do you remember what John 3:17 says?
“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
We come to this table to remember it is not a table of judgement, but a table of grace, given by God through the gift of the Son. Come and receive the ultimate gift of God.
All material copyright 2017 The Jubilee Fund, Inc., and appear on this site via a partnership agreement with the Center for Faith and Giving. Permission granted to reproduce and use any of the above for Churches and Congregations to the glory of God without requirement of compensation or notification.
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. Check out all of the awesome resources there at http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu