July 9, 2017
Fifth Sunday after Pentecost :: Green ::
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 145
L: The LORD is gracious and merciful,
P: Slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
L: The LORD is good to all,
P: The LORD’s compassion is over all that has been made.
L: All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD,
P: We, your faithful, shall bless you.
L: We will speak of the glory of your kingdom,
P: And make known your mighty and gracious deeds!
We rejoice, O God, for you have called us together and claimed us as your own. You have granted us peace and redemption from our sinful separation from you. You have freed us from the prison of our nature and called us into new life. We come, O God, to sing your praises and offer our prayers. Draw ever nearer to us in this time of worship, and help us not only to feel, but to share your presence. Guide and receive us in the name of your Son, Jesus the Christ.
Week in and week out, someone stands before this congregation and talks about “tithes and offerings”. We talk about receiving tithes and offerings over and over again. Why do we do that? What difference does it make? Is what I say in the next ten seconds going to make you whip out your checkbook and scrawl out a gift before God? Probably not.
No, we talk about receiving tithes and offerings as a way of reminding and thanking you for all the good these gifts do. As we bring our gifts, our tithes and offerings, please know that we are thankful for all the good work you are doing.
Bless these gifts O God, and use them in your service. We offer them out of love for you and a desire for goodness to come forth. We offer our gifts and ourselves again, O God, in Christ’s holy name.
We do not come to this table because we are worthy. As Paul points out in Romans, “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want . . .” Thankfully, that is not true all the time, but it is true too much of the time. We come to this table to remember that though we do that which we do not want, we worship a God who is reconciled to us and forgives us. Come to the table, not because you are worthy, but because you are loved.
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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. Check out all of the awesome resources there at http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu