Sunday January 17, 2016
Year C, Second Sunday after the Epiphany
Second Sunday after the Epiphany :: Green ::
Isaiah 62:1-5 :: Psalm 36:5-10 :: I Corinthians 12:1-11 :: John 2:1-11
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 36
L: Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
P: Your faithfulness extends to the clouds.
L: Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains
P: Your judgments are like the great deep.
L: How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
P: Let the people take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
L: Let us feast on the abundance of God’s house,
P: And let us drink from God’s river of delight.
O God of life, of love, and abundance, we come into your holy temple, clothed in majesty and grace. Take our offerings of mere presence here, and turn us into a royal diadem for your majesty. Take our praise and prayers, and delight in them as a bridegroom rejoices over the bride. Make of this time of worship, a celebration of all of the joy and hope which comes with life in your Spirit. Guide us and draw us nearer to you, that we might leave this time as shining crowns of your beauty and love.
When the Apostle tells the church in Corinth about Spiritual Gifts in First Corinthians 12, he not only says a lot. He also leaves a lot unsaid. This list is here to refute competitions among Christians as to whose gift is most important, and points to love as the most important gift. I am talking about Spiritual gifts here, during the stewardship moment, because too often we use those lists as an excuse for not giving. “It’s not my spiritual gift” we claim. Yet our offerings before God have little to do with giftedness. Our offerings are a response to God. When generosity or giving is your spiritual gift that giving is “above and beyond” our simple response giving. Today, I’m asking only that you offer before God a gift which is a worthy indication of your awareness of what God has given you. We will now receive our tithes and offerings.
O God of wonder and majesty, you give so freely it is sometimes beyond our ability to understand or comprehend. You give out of such amazing abundance, while we are dealing with relative scarcity. We offer these gifts O God, knowing that you have no need other than our signs of devotion, faith, and trust. Use them to further your reign, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
In the story of Jesus’ miracle at the wedding feast of Cana, he transforms water into wine and the steward is amazed at how good the wine is, and cannot understand why the good wine has been held back. We come to a table in which Jesus transforms the cup we drink from a mere sip of the fruit of the vine into a taste of the blessings of a New Covenant which forgives and heals. Are you ready for the “Good Stuff?”
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