For Sunday, August 9, 2015
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 130
L: Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.
P: LORD, hear my voice!
L: If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
P: LORD, who could stand?
L: But there is forgiveness with you,
P: So that you may be revered.
L: My soul waits for the LORD, in God’s word I hope
P: For with the LORD there is steadfast love.
We come before you today, O God, with our souls bared and our hearts raw. We encounter hurts and hopelessness, finding ourselves sometimes wondering “Where are you LORD?” But we know deep in our hearts you are hear. You are present. It is your heart which breaks first, even before our own. Hear our prayers and supplications O mighty God. Guide us in your love and truth. Be with us in this hour, and help us to know your presence.
It has been a long, hot summer, hasn’t it? Drought and heat, high electric bills, and higher misery index; and yet, here we are. We have come into God’s presence to offer our prayers, our praise, and our gifts. Why would we do that? When the bills are so high, don’t all the dollars need to go to the electric company? Not for people of faith. Because we know that others have bills too. Others will be hungry. And God is expecting us to act in faith, sharing generously of all God has given us. Yes, it has been a long hot summer. For everyone. Even those who are hoping for help.
We will now receive the tithes and offerings which help us help others.
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 living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” What else is there to say? Come and partake of the bread of life.
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