For Sunday July 8, 2012
Year B, Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost :: Green :: 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10 :: Psalm 48 ::
2 Corinthians 12:2-10 :: Mark 6:1-13
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 48
L:Great is the LORD!
P: And greatly to be praised!
L: We ponder your steadfast love, O God,
P: We come to you in the midst of your temple.
L: We praise your name, O God,
P: Your praise reaches the ends of the earth.
L: Know that the LORD is God, forever and ever.
P: God will be our guide forever. Amen.
We come before you O God, in the midst of your holy temple. We have come to sing your praises and offer our prayers. We have come to learn from your holy word. Gather us in and receive our gifts of praise and thanksgiving. Hear our petitions. Fill us with your love. Then, O God, send us forth into the world prepared to be your emissaries. That all may see us and know that the LORD is with us.
Who wouldn’t like to be “better”? In Second Corinthians Paul writes to the church about his own frustration with a “thorn” which was “given to [him] in the flesh”. Paul prayed to have that weakness removed, but God’s response was this: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” God IS faithful to make all things which we think inadequate sufficient if we will listen and accept. I was recently reminded that those who commit to tithing are generally in the top ten givers of their church. It doesn’t matter what their income, people who give ten percent float to the top. Amazingly, when interviewed, those same folks often wish they had the means to give MORE. Even in financial weakness, God not only makes it sufficient, but makes us seem strong. Today we invite you to give not because it will help the church or a ministry, but for you. Recognizing that God can make that which seems weak or inadequate sufficient, we bring our tithes and offerings.
Loving and Gracious God, we bring before you a portion of your many blessings. We offer them in humble recognition that we feel they are an inadequate response to your love and grace. Take these gifts and use them to build your church, to increase your witness, and to grow your reign on earth, as it is in heaven. And remind us, the givers, O God that your grace and your guidance are sufficient. Amen.
Jesus went to Nazareth, and the people there rejected him as a prophet and teacher. They could not believe that this “hometown boy”was anything special. After all they had seen and known him growing up, and saw all the human events we do not have in the Bible. So Jesus does something interesting: he sends out the Disciples instead. They, in turn, went out and healed the sick and cast out demons.
When we come to this table we do so knowing Jesus has already done what he was called to do. What is scary is that we are being called to be prophets in our own home towns. Come and be filled with the meal which Christ has given to empower and encourage his Disciples before you go.
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