For Sunday June 3, 2012
Year B, First Sunday After Pentecost
First Sunday after Pentecost :: Green :: Isaiah 6:1–8:: Psalm 29:: Romans 8:12–17:: John 3:1–17
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 29
L: Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name;
P: Worship the LORD in holy splendor,
L: The voice of the LORD is powerful and full of majesty.
P: It causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare;
L: and all in God’s temple say “Glory”.
P: May the LORD give strength to the people!
L: May the LORD bless you with peace!
P: Praise the LORD!
O God of wonder and majesty, you have called us forth to be your people. We come this day to celebrate that call. As we offer ourselves in worship and express our willingness to be your voice to the masses, we ask for your strength. We know that in baptism and through the gift of your spirit we have been born again, and yet we still feel the frailty of these human vessels. Bless our prayers and petitions, rejoice in our hymns of praise, and anoint our words, O God. We offer this prayer and ourselves in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
While the calendar will persist for another three weeks in denying it, summer is here. Once we turn to June, and the schools are closing down for the long break, we know in our hearts it is here. At church, summer becomes an excuse. Attendance goes down; giving slumps; Activity drops to a crawl. Yet as we enter this summer, our scripture readings remind us of NEW life, NEW ways of being, NEW birth. As we bring our gifts before the table of the LORD this summer, I want to challenge you to not let the “lazy crazy hazy days of summer” become an excuse. Live fully, love deeply, and worship God as often as the rest of the year. We will be here, ready to join you. Let us now receive the tithes and offerings which keep the church vital and available, even in summer.
O God of all seasons and times, we come before you with these, our gifts. We offer them out of love for you and all you have done in our lives. Keep us aware that your giving knows no season, and help us to faithfully honor our call to worship you now and always. Amen.
.”You must be born again.” Jesus’famous encounter with Nicodemus by night, which also gives us the most famous of all Bible verses, tells us this is true. In one translation Jesus says “very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and of spirit.”We often come to the Lord ’s Table and speak of remembering our baptism. Today I want to challenge you to think of this meal as food for your spirit. When we eat of this bread, and drink of this cup, we gain almost nothing in terms of physical sustenance, but we gain everything to renew our spirits. Come, feed the child who has been born again in you.
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For Sunday June 3, 2012