November 18, 2012


For Sunday November 18, 2012
Year B, Twenty-fifth Sunday After Pentecost
Green :: Daniel 12:1-3 :: Psalm 16 :: Hebrews 10:11-25 :: Mark 13:1-8
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 16
L: Protect us O God, for in You we take refuge.
P: We say “You are my LORD; I have no good apart from you.”
L: The LORD is our portion and our cup;
P: The boundary lines have fallen for us in pleasant places.
L: Bless the LORD, who gives you counsel;
P: We shall keep the LORD before us, and shall not be moved.
L: The LORD shows us the path of life,
P: And in the presence of the LORD there is fullness of joy.
We come again into your sanctuary, O God, seeking to know your presence and claim your promise.  Awaken our souls and bring us to your everlasting life.  Help our spirits to shine brightly before you, and lead many to your righteousness.  Guide our worship and fill our hearts with your love and majesty.  Deliver us, and help us O God, as we seek to be faithful to your call and claim.
Stewardship Moment:
Today marks the beginning of our Reconciliation Emphasis.  A time we look back in time and recognize that we have not treated all of our brothers and sisters with the dignity of being God’s creation. It is a day when we look at our current situation and realize that while we have grown in our understanding of one another, we are not “there” yet.  Today is a day when we look to the future, when all of God’s children will be truly regarded as equal, capable, loving, and loved.  As we make our gifts before God, today we ask for a special gift to help make that future day come to life: on earth as it is in heaven.
Stewardship Moment (FOR US CONGREGATIONS):
Today is Thanksgiving Sunday.  A day we set aside to celebrate and give thanks for all the Gifts God has given us.  We marvel at the wonder of our bodies and how we were created.  We revel in the love of true communities of family and friends giving thanks to God.  We reflect on the gift of a mind and its ability to contemplate higher things.  On this special day, as we give thanks to God, we honor our Disciple Commitment to higher education: to places which challenge the body and mind to grow in true community.  As we bring our gifts, we ask for a special gift to help continue these wonderful places which challenge us to grow.

 Offertory Prayer:
God of Wonders and Majesty, we indeed marvel at all of your creation.  How you knit us together in intricacy and call us to community.  We offer these gifts in the hope that one day all will know true community, all will be able to achieve their highest goals, and all will be able to honor you.  Amen.

Communion Meditation:
A reading from Hebrews 10:19-25
“Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.” (NRSV)
This is the essence of communion.  As we come together around this table, washed in baptism, and assured of pardon, by Jesus himself, the ultimate high priest over the house of God; we claim the promises of God.  Come, with the assurance of faith, remember, and celebrate.
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