July 1, 2012

For Sunday July 1, 2012
Year B, Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

 Fifth Sunday after Pentecost :: Green :: 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27 and Psalm 130 :: Lamentations 3:22-33 and Pslam 30 ::

2 Corinthians 8:7-15 :: Mark 5:21-43
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 130
L: Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD
P: LORD, hear my voice.
L: My soul waits for the LORD
P: And in the LORD’s word I hope.
L: Hope in the LORD.
P: For with the LORD there is steadfast love.
L: The LORD will redeem the people from all iniquities
P: Hope in the LORD! Amen!
O God of might and majesty, you see us at our best and at our worst.  You see us in war and at peace.  You see us showing malice and love.  You see us coveting and sharing.  You see US, O Lord.  As we come before you in worship, see the depths of hearts.  Hear us as we cry out to you O Lord.  Help us to find peace, reconciliation, and hope.  Hear our petitions, O God and forgive us our sins.  We will offer our praise and our prayers in the name of Christ our Lord.
Stewardship Moment:
Second Corinthians 8:7 says “Now as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you – so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.”  The undertaking Paul writes about is an offering for the missionary ministries of the early New Testament Church.  Earlier in chapter eight, Paul tells the Corinthians how generous the Macedonians were, even though they are poor.  Good news: I’m not going to do that to you today.  I’m not going to compare your giving to that of another church.  No, today I am challenging you to compete only with yourself.  Think of the time in your life when you were poorest.  How would the poor you encourage the today you to give?  May God bless you in this generous undertaking.
Offertory Prayer:
God who gives us all good things, we come before you with our tithes and offerings.  Bless these gifts, O God, and use them to further your reign on earth.  Encourage each of us, O God, to excel in our undertakings of generosity.  Fill us with your love and willingness to share that the world may know your love and your truth. Amen.
Communion Meditation:
In the story of Jesus’healing of Jairus’daughter, when Jesus hears the reports that the daughter is dead he looks at Jairus and says “Do not fear, only believe.”  Wow.  How awesome would it be if we could all face the prospect of death with that confidence?   “Do not fear, only believe.”
Then after facing death in that home, the story ends with Jesus telling the people to give Jairus’daughter something to eat.
This is a table of life and death.  At this table we face mortality with the confidence of the Lord Jesus, looking to each of us and saying “Do not fear, only believe.”  And then he gives us something to eat.  Amen.
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.