May 6, 2012

For Sunday May 6, 2012
Year B, Fifth Sunday After Easter
Fifth Sunday after Easter :: White :: Acts 8:26-40 :: Psalm 22:25-31 :: I John 4:7-21 :: John 15:1-8
Call to Worship (Responsive)   
Adapted from Psalm 22
L: From you, O God, comes my praise in the congregation.
P: Those who seek God shall praise the LORD.
L: The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
P: Those who seek God shall praise the LORD.
L: May your hearts live forever!
P: For we shall praise the LORD!
God of love, who has perfected love in the many gifts you give.  We come before you hoping to grow in your light.  We come before you this day hoping to shine forth with your presence within us.  The scriptures tell us that as you abide in us, it shows forth in love for you and for one another.  Fills us this day O God of abundant love, and let us show that love as we worship you.
Stewardship Moment:
There is a church in Northwest Louisiana which honors pulpit guests with a gift of a small wall cross.  It is engraved with beautiful vines and the words ” I am the vine, you are the branches”. The same symbol is prominent in the chancel.  For the guest, it is a symbol that says “once you have worshipped with us, you are forever a part of us.  In essence, you have been claimed, and sent out to bear fruit by that community of faith.
Honestly, it is an unusual tradition.  But imagine with me if everyone who walked into worship was somehow sent the message: because you have been a part of us, we will never be same, so you are a part of us.  It would be as though each person somehow mystically left a piece of themselves, and claimed a piece of God.
I think when we give, we do just that, we leave a piece of ourselves, and are given a connection to the ministries we have supported.   Come, claim a piece of this church and all it stands for as we offer our tithes and offerings.
Offertory Prayer:
Everlasting God, who gives us life and sustains us.  We do brings our gifts for the ministries you have ordained through this your church.  As we lay before you these pieces of our lives, we ask that you bless and use them, and that your name be glorified. Amen.

Communion Meditation:
“God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that God loved us and sent his Son . . .”
So often we come to this table seeking to show our adoration.  Perhaps we should come showing our amazement . . . It was, after all, God who loved FIRST.
All material copyright 2011-2012 The Jubilee Fund, Inc. and appears here through 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.