September 2, 2012

For Sunday September 2, 2012

Year B, Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost :: Green :: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 :: Psalm 15 :: James 1:17-27 :: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
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 and Communion to Gospel and Epistle with little concern for overarching theme.

Call to Worship (Responsive)   
Adapted from Psalm 15
L: O LORD, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?
P: Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
L: Those who speak the truth from their hearts;
P: Who do not slander with their tongue,
L: And do no evil to their friends,
P: Nor take up a reproach against their neighbors.
L: But those who honor those who fear the LORD,
P: Those who do these things shall never be moved.
On this day of days, O God, which we set aside to honor and worship you, we come together, aware of your presence.  We come seeking to know your Ordinances and Commands.  We come seeking to be more aware of your ever present guidance.  We come, seeking the privilege of knowing your blessing.  Watch over us, O God, that we neither forget the things we have seen and come to know from you, nor that your precepts slip our minds.  We will be careful to honor you, teaching all you have given us to our children, and our children’s children. 
Stewardship Moment:
In his teachings on the source of good and evil, James tells us “Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, come down from the Father of lights, which whom there is no variation or shadow.”  So our desire to give comes from God.  Our willingness comes from ourselves.  We will now receive the tithes and offerings which God has set on our hearts to bring. 
Offertory Prayer:
O Giver of every good and perfect gift.  We bring before you the tithes and offerings which you have so generously provided.  We ask your blessings on these gifts, even as we offer them with a confession.  For we know that some have quenched the Spirit’s desire to give in a manner pleasing to you.  Forgive us our shortcomings, and guide us in our futures, that your reign on earth will be blessed and multiplied.   Amen.
Communion Meditation:
Jesus teaches in the seventh chapter of Mark that what we put in our bodies does not defile, but what comes out is what we need to watch for.  Even so, there are things which we put in which IMPROVE our purity.  Like this bread, and this cup, given freely by Christ to cleans us of our sins and iniquity.  We come to this table knowing what we receive is good.  May God bless this meal to the nourishment of our souls.
All material copyright 2011-2012 The Jubilee Fund, Inc.  and appears here via 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.