For Sunday June 5, 2016
Year C, Third Sunday After Pentecost
Third Sunday After Pentecost
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 146
L: Praise the LORD!
P: I will praise the LORD as long as I live.
L: Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
P: Our hope is in the LORD our God.
L: God keeps faith forever,
P: The LORD gives food to the hungry and justice to the oppressed.
L: The LORD will reign forever.
P: Praise the LORD!
Everlasting, Almighty, and Loving God; You call us through your grace and reveal your Son to us. We come together to praise your name and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus. Let our words and deeds in this time together glorify you. Allow our words and songs of praise to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Early in Elijah’s ministry as a prophet of God, he is sent to Zarephath, where he meets a widow who is preparing the last of her food, so that she and her young son may eat it and die. Elijah asks the widow in the name of God to share her food with him, and promises that God will make her grain and oil, which seems so scarce to her, last with abundance. The widow trusts Elijah, and the miracle of food takes place. What is troubling for our modern ears though, is that in the very next paragraph the son still dies, and this woman who has given out of faith is angry. But God works through Elijah and the son’s life is restored. Only then does the widow’s faith become complete. We serve a God who can make abundance out of scarcity, and life from death; yet we are hesitant to give? (pause and let that sink in)
We will now receive the tithes and offerings which demonstrate our belief that God is a God of abundance and life.
God of abundance and life, we come bearing our gifts, offering them before you with this prayer. Take these gifts and use them to bring abundance and life to all this church shall in encounter in your Name, and by your grace.
In the story of Jesus and the widow of Nain, Luke tells us in verse thirteen “When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her. . . .” We come to this table with hurts and hopes, dirt and dreams. We come to this table aware of our sin, and aware of our love for the Gospel. Jesus comes too, and he has compassion for us.
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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