For Sunday, July 26, 2015
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost ::
Green :: 2 Samuel 1:11-15 :: Psalm 14 :: Ephesians 3:14-21 :: John 6:1-21
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 14
L: Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
P: They are corrupt and do abominable deeds.
L: The LORD looks down from heaven for those who are wise;
P: They seek after God.
L: For God is with the company of the righteous.
P: The LORD is their refuge.
L: The LORD will restore the fortunes of God’s people;
P: And all of God’s people will rejoice and be glad!
Loving and Powerful God, of peace and of hope, it has been so long and our world is still at war. We tear our clothes in agony for fallen soldiers. We grieve for wounded civilians. We wish for peace. Yet Lord almighty, we feel powerless. Like David awaiting the news of the Israelites as King Saul and Jonathon fought, we find ourselves hoping for an end, and fearing the worst. We come to you, O God, in those times of trouble, and pray for peace. Attune your ear to our worship, and guide our hearts and minds. Hear us as we pray.
Ephesians 3:20-21 says “Now to [God] who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to [God] be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” When we consider our giving, consider this: God has put power to work within us which is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine. God is working within EACH OF US and our gifts to accomplish things. My only question is this: are we giving in a way which reflects that which God is trying to accomplish?
We will now receive the tithes and offerings which will do far more than we can imagine. Amen.
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, we come before you bringing our gifts. We come claiming the promise that they will do abundantly more than we can imagine. Take these gifts and use them to the glory of your reign on earth, as it is in heaven. Amen.
The Gospel of John, in the sixth chapter tells us the story of Jesus feeding five thousand with five small loaves and two fish. Did you hear how he did it? Paraphrasing verse 11: Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to all who were present; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. Sound familiar? It should. We come to this table and find such small pieces of bread, and yet when we think about it, through the power of Jesus, it becomes all we want. More than enough. Come, take the bread of life which Christ has given.
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