April 17, 2016
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 23
L: The LORD is my shepherd,
P: I shall not want.
L: He makes me lie down in green pastures;
P: He leads me beside still waters;
L: He restores my soul.
P: He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
L: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
P: And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to you O God, forever and ever. We come as your servants, clothed in the white garment of one washed in the blood of the lamb. We have come to worship you O God, for all you have done for us. Shelter us from the storms of life and guide us to springs of living water. Receive our worship and praise, O God, and wipe away the tears from our eyes. We are your people, the sheep of your pasture. Help us draw nearer to you as we offer ourselves before you.
What do you know about Tabitha? Not the little girl from sixties sitcom, Bewitched, but Tabitha from Acts. What I know is that she was deeply loved by the citizens of Joppa. So much so, that when Tabitha died, the Disciples sent for Peter, who came and prayed over her, and she came back to life. I also know that Acts 10:36 says “she was devoted to good works and acts of charity.”
When someone becomes known as a giver, their lovability quotient goes up. God so loved the world that God gave his only begotten Son. And God’s lovability quotient went up. Would you like to be loved more? Give. Oh, but be careful. Because as you give, something else will happen: you will find you love more too. It’s a win/win.
We come before you O God, bringing our gifts. We bring them not only because we love you, but because you first loved us. Use our gifts to grow your reign on earth, and make this your church a blessing to many. We offer them in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Do you ever wonder why folks feel so sure they are experiencing grace at this table? Do you ever wonder what it all means? If you ever have, listen closely. Listen for the voice of God, like the sheep know the voice of the shepherd, know you are hearing the voice of God. You ask what you can expect to hear? “This is my body, given for you, take and eat.”
Listen, see if you hear the voice of Jesus.
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.
Scripture Quotations from the New Revised Standard Version. Online Scripture links a service of the Jean and Alexander Heard Divinity Library, of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN