January 5, 2014

Liturgical Resources For Sunday January 5, 2014
Liturgies for Year A, Second Sunday of Christmas
Second Sunday of Christmas :: White ::  Jeremiah 31:7-14 :: Psalm 147:12-20 :: Ephesians 1:3-14 :: John 1:(1-9), 10-18

Call to Worship (Responsive)  
Adapted from Psalm 147
L: Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem!
P: Praise your God, O Zion!
L: The LORD strengthens the bars of your gates;
P: And blesses our children within us.
L: The LORD grants peace within your borders;
P: And fills us with the finest wheat.
L: The LORD sends out the commands to the earth;
P: And we are blessed to know the Ordinances of the LORD.
A: Praise the LORD!
We come together, O God, as you have called us together.  You have brought us from the land of the North; you have gathered us from the far reaches of the earth. Together, as a great company of believers, we have come.  We have come to sing aloud as on the height of Zion.  We come to hear the word of the LORD, and scatter it from coast to coast.  We come to experience the radiance of Your goodness, O God; over the grain and the fruit of the vine.  We come, O God, because you have called us together.  Guide us in our worship, lead us in Your righteousness, and grant us your peace, as you have given it through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Stewardship Moment:
Did you make a New Year’s Resolution?  Did you make a plan to exercise more, or lose weight?  Did you plan to get to work earlier, or stay later?  Did you plan to spend more time with family, or less?  What about the Spiritual elements of your life?  Have you considered making a Spiritual Resolution? Perhaps you could resolve to read more scripture, or worship more often.  Or you could resolve to spend more time in prayer or service to others.  Perhaps this could be the year to choose to begin tithing.  Whatever it may be, the church stands ready to help you succeed in your Spiritual New Year’s Resolution.  We will now receive the tithes and offerings which make these Spiritual Growth supporting ministries possible.
Offertory Prayer:
We have turned our calendars to a new year, and turned out to celebrate that newness in your Sanctuary.  Now we have also brought our tithes and offerings.  Bless these gifts, O God, and use them to empower spiritual growth.  Make our ministries ever more meaningful and full as we seek to help others grow in you.
Communion Meditation:
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he writes these words:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as [God] chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in love.  [God] destined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of [God’s] will, to the praise of [God’s] glorious grace that [God] freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”
While Paul is not describing Communion, but instead Grace; his words apply well to that which we celebrate around this table.  We have been adopted by God, and given grace through the acts of God through Jesus Christ.  We come to this table to eat, drink and remember the blessing of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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