For February 12, 2012

For Sunday February 12, 2012
Year B, Sixth Sunday after Epiphany
Sixth Sunday after Epiphany :: Green :: 2 Kings 5:1–14 :: Psalm 30 :: 1 Corinthians 9:24–27 :: Mark 1:40–45
Call to Worship
Adapted from Psalm 30
L: Sing praises to the LORD, O you faithful ones;
P: We give thanks to God’s holy name.
L: For God’s anger is but a moment, but God’s favor is for a lifetime;
P: So weeping may linger for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
L: O God, you have turned our mourning into dancing and clothed us with joy.
P: We will give thanks to you, O God, forever!
Invocation (from 2 Kings):
We come before you, O God, as ones who know we are unclean.  Bathe us in the River Jordan.  We come as ones who have tried to buy your favor.  Bathe us in the River Jordan.  We come as ones who think too highly of our place of privilege.  Bathe us in the River Jordan, seven times over and again, to cleanse us of our folly.  Renew and Restore us, O God, in this time of worship that we may be restored to your glory, honor and praise.
Stewardship Moment:
The central theme of today’s lectionary readings is healing and wholeness.  Nowhere in my knowledge of the Disciples witness in the world will you find a better example of this, than in The Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, which was founded in 1892 by Dr. William Macklin, a Disciples of Christ medical missionary. Early support for the hospital was provided by the Disciples churches in the United States and Canada and the United Christian Missionary Society. The hospital played a critical role during World War II; especially during the Nanjing Massacre, when the Japanese army killed more than 300,000 innocent Chinese people in 1938. The hospital grew, as did its sister institutions, the Nanking University, Ginling Women’s College and Nanking Theological Seminary. Following the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the seminary was reorganized as the Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, under the Chinese Protestant Church. It serves as that church’s major center for ministerial education. The university, college, and Drum Tower Hospital have become public, state-supported institutions and have prospered with the gradual growth in Chinese wealth and stability.  Together we continue to share the Gospel in China through the power of healing, and the sharing of hope.  We will now receive the tithes and offerings which make ministries of healing possible.
Offertory Prayer:
O God of healing and hope, we bring these gifts before you today with thanksgiving and anticipation.  Use them, we pray for the healing of the Nations.  Use them, we pray to make the Good News known throughout the earth.  Use them, we pray to cleanse us all and make us whole.

Communion Meditation:
We have spoken frequently today about healing and being made whole.  A recently published paper called The Presence of Christ in the Church, with special reference to the Eucharist, which represents the Fourth Agreed Statement of the Disciples of Christ-Roman Catholic International Commission for Dialogue, calls attention to the wholeness we experience around the table.  Paragraph Fifty-two speaks to the importance in both traditions of anamnesis, whereby what is remembered is re-presented or re-enacted by the worshipping community. For Disciples, the recovery of the biblical meaning of memorial helps to prevent misunderstanding this term as simply mental recall.  When we come to this table, we rejoin the great historical witness which not re-enacts the saving words and actions of Jesus, but joins us to that first moment when Jesus took bread, blessed it, and broke it saying “This is my body, given for you.” When we do this, we not only remember, but are made whole with all the people of God.
All material copyright 2011-2012 The Jubilee Fund, Inc. and appears here through a partnership with the Center for Faith and Giving.  Permission granted to reproduce and use any of the above for Churches and Congregations to the glory of God without requirement of compensation or notification.