June 17, 2012

For Sunday June 17, 2012
Year B, Third Sunday After Pentecost
Third Sunday after Pentecost :: Green :: 1 Samuel 15:34–16:13 :: Psalm 20 :: 2 Corinthians 5:6–10, (11–13), 14–17 :: Mark 4:26–34
Editor’s Note:  We are in the midst of about 25 weeks of texts which are less connected by one theme than to each other week to week.  The lectionary follows somewhat sequential readings in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Psalms which supplement them.  The New Testament Readings are also sequential week to week, but do not necessarily fit a theme.  Given this, I will be attempting to tie Call to Worship and Invocation to Hebrew Scriptures, Stewardship to Epistle, and Communion to Gospel with little concern for overarching theme.

Call to Worship (Responsive)   
Adapted from Psalm 20
L: May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
P: And the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
L: May the LORD send you help from the Sanctuary,
P: And give you support from Zion.
L: May the LORD remember all of your offerings,
P: And regard with favor your sacrifices.
L: May the LORD grant your heart’s desire,
P: And fulfill all of your plans.
Eternal God, who sees beyond our ability, and plans beyond our understanding.  We come before you on this day humbly seeking to know the presence of your Holy Spirit.  Anoint us with your Spirit, as you anointed David through the hand of Samuel.  Fill us with your word, and rise up among us leadership with a love for you and your ways.  Be with us in this time of worship and guide us we pray.
Stewardship Moment:
The parable of the mustard seed speaks of the kingdom of heaven being like the smallest of seeds which grows into a mighty shrub.  As I reflected on it, while Jesus is talking about bigger things in the kingdom, it occurred to me that there is truth with regard to our offerings.  While my gift is not likely to end world hunger or bring about peace by itself, combined again and again the world over, it could.  The parable is less about the multiplication or even results as it is believing in the possibility and taking action to actually plant the seed.  As we bring our tithes and offerings this day let us do so in faith that God will do great things with all that we bring.
Offertory Prayer:
O Good and gracious God, we bring you these tithes and offerings in faith.  Bless and use them for a greater good than we could ever imagine.  See in each of us and our gifts the potential of the mustard seed then empower the growth to make of us a mighty presence.  We offer these gifts in faith and love for the one who makes us whole.
Communion Meditation:
How does the old saying go? “You are what you eat.”  It was intended to encourage people to eat healthy food to become healthy people.  For Christians, it has another reminder for us.  When we come to this table, we come as New Creations.  Those new Spiritual selves need to be fed.  This is where we do it.  Come and feed the New Creation you are in Christ Jesus with the very bread of life which Christ himself has provided.
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