For Sunday January 31, 2016
Year C, Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 71
L: In You, O LORD, we take refuge;
P: Incline your ear to us.
L: When I need to be saved;
P: You are my rock and my fortress.
L: For you, O LORD, are my hope,
P: In you I have trusted from my youth.
L: You have protected me from my birth,
P: My praise is continually of you.
We come into your Holy temple, O God, mightily aware of your presence. As we gather we are humbled, recognizing we are as children to you, what words shall we speak? Touch our lips, embolden our hearts, and put your words in our mouths, O God. Lead us where you would have us to go, and help us speak your commandments. Guide us in this time of worship to be empowered as your faithful people and prepared for the journey ahead.
It has been fashionable from time to time to ask people, often young people to read the 13th Chapter of 1 Corinthians, replacing the word “love” with their own name. I think it works best left alone, but perhaps second best is to use the word “Christ” or “Jesus”. As a church we talk about sharing Christ. We talk about sharing love. They are often interchangeable. As we bring our gifts, know that we are sharing our love and devotion to Christ.
O God who is love, who made love, and who continues to share love. We bring these our tokens of love for you. Use them and bless them, that others may come to know your love. Amen.
Jesus’ early encounter in Nazareth is a story about people asking what Jesus can do for them. They have heard of his miracles other places, and yet they are confused, because they recognize Jesus as “Joseph’s son.” They have expectations, and they have skepticism. We know better. The issue is the Nazarenes questioned Jesus’ Holy identity even after they received the blessing of His teaching. As we gather at Christ’s table, we know whose son Jesus is. We know exactly what he has already done for us. We know the promises pointing to what Christ is going to do. So we come simultaneously without expectation, and with complete expectation. Let us receive the gifts of the Christ, openly and without question.
All material copyright 2016 The Jubilee Fund, Inc., and appears on this page via a partnership agreement 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.