Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 98
L: Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
P: break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
L: Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre and the sound of melody.
P: With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the LORD.
L: Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
P: The world and those who live in it.
L: Let the floods and hills clap their hands and sing for joy
P: Let us praise the LORD!
Loving and giving God, who meets us where we are and greets us where we are going, together we have come to this place. As we seek to worship you and praise your holy name, guide and clothe our worship with your Spirit. Fill us with your love and grace. Assure us of the salvation which is to come. Inspire us in the work you lay before us. Receive our gifts with grace. Lead us ever onward in the name of your Son, Jesus the Christ.
The prophet Haggai speaks to the remnant of Israel these words of encouragement from God: “my spirit abides among you, do not fear.” The people were discouraged, their numbers were down, their hope was low. God goes on to remind the people that all the silver and gold of the world belong to God. God can rebuild in mighty and wonderful ways. Yet God expects us to give. Why? Because where our treasure is, there also is our heart. As we bring back a portion of the gifts God has given us, let’s do so knowing that we give not out of God’s need to receive, but out of our need to show our heart.
We ask your blessings on these gifts, O God. They represent our first fruits out of our love for you. Bless and use these gifts to spread the good news with which you have already blessed each of us. We offer them in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
Paul reminds the church at Thessalonica that “God chose [them] as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.” That reminder lives on for all who believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We join around this table to remember and celebrate the blessing of God for us: who are sanctified by the Spirit and believe in the truth. God has chosen you. Come to the table, remember, and give thanks.
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