June 24, 2012

For Sunday June 24, 2012
Year B, Fourth Sunday After Pentecost
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost :: Green :: 1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4–11, 19–23), 32–49 :: Psalm 9:9–20 :: 2 Corinthians 6:1–13 :: Mark 4:35–41
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 9
L: The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed,
P: A stronghold in times of trouble.
L: Those who know the LORD, put their trust in the LORD
P: For you, O LORD have not forsaken those who seek you.
L: Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion.
P: Declare the deeds of the LORD among the people.
L: Be gracious to us, O LORD,
P: And lift us up in times of suffering.
Everlasting God, when the world seems to throw obstacles before us like mighty warriors, remind us you are there.  As we come before you in worship, remind us of your presence and support.  Give us confidence in your name, your mission, and your cause.  Grant us smooth stones of grace to defeat whatever is before us.  Help us, O God, in this time of worship to know your presence and be confident in you.
Stewardship Moment:
In Second Corinthians Paul urges the church “not to accept the grace of God in vain.”  God is faithful to return the gift of grace for our gift of faith.  Undeserving as we are, we know God is faithful.  Yet when it is time to offer our tithes and offerings, we hold back, not altogether confident that God will provide if we give this portion away.  So I urge you, do not accept the gifts of God in vain.  If in considering making a gift for the work of the Lord, you think you somehow could accidently give more than God will provide, you have already misunderstood.  What you have is from God, what you return is a sign of thanksgiving.  We will now bring a portion of all God has given us as a sign of our thanks.
Offertory Prayer:
Giving God, we come before you this day bringing our tithes and offerings, for we know that all we have comes from you.  Take these signs of our thanks and use them that your will be done on earth:  As it is in heaven.  We bring them in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen.
Communion Meditation:
I dare say if I asked everyone here what the table means for them today, I would get almost as many different answers as there are people present.  One of the likely answers might be “The storms of life are all around me, I fear I could be drowned at any moment, yet at this table, there is peace.”  We come to this table with busy modern lives to meet the one who says “Peace, Be Still”and it is.  This is a table of faith, this is a table of hope, this is a table of love.  And yes, this is a table of peace.  Come, receive the peace that passes all understanding as you come to Christ’s table.
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