For Sunday, August 2, 2015
Year B, Tenth Sunday After Pentecost
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 51
L: The mighty one, God the LORD speaks and summons the earth.
P: Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.
L: God calls to the heavens above and to the earth;
P: “Gather my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me.”
L: The heavens declare God’s righteousness,
P: For God alone is judge.
L: God tells the faithful, “Call on me in the day of trouble”;
P: “I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
Giving and gracious God, you have provided so much for each of us here today. And yet we often long for more, sometimes at the expense of others. You call us to accountability and confession, yet we often cannot see our own misdeeds. You send us prophets in the face of friends, who lovingly call us to accountability. Today O Lord, we recognize our sin, and we ask forgiveness. As we offer our prayers and praise, we ask your blessing. Draw us near to you during this time of worship, and grant us your peace.
In Ephesians 5, Paul writes “Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Paul is challenging the Christians in Ephesus to live worthy lives of their calling. To speak honestly in love, and to forgive as God in Christ forgave. He also tells them to work as to have something to share with the needy. In all the indications of noble faithful Christian living, Paul includes having something to share with the needy.
We will now receive the tithes and offerings which allow this church to share with the needy.
Giving and forgiving God, we come before you with our gifts. We pray that you will bless them and use them to help those in need. Grant us the givers the ability to live in your light and share in your loving and graceful way. Amen.
Jesus said “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” At this table, Christ’s table, is there anything else which needs to be said?
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