For Sunday July 17, 2016
Year C, Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 15
L: O LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?
P: The ones whose walk is blameless;
L: The ones who do what is righteous;
P: The ones who speak the truth from their hearts.
L: The ones whose tongues utter no slander;
P: The ones who do no wrong to a neighbor.
L: Whoever does these things will never be shaken;
P: Thanks be to God! Amen!
Almighty, Wonderful, and Amazing God, as we come together to worship we are constantly in awe of you and your ways. We recognize that we are often given opportunity to entertain you, presented in the face of the stranger; yet we confess that we too often fall short. As we seek to worship you, make us aware of your presence; help us to offer holy hospitality, and teach us to love. We offer you our prayers and praises in the name of the one you sent to teach us to love. Jesus Christ our Lord.
“Martha, Martha”. The quote has entered our language as a shorthand phrase to mean let go of little things to focus on what is important. Sure, it’s not a phrase we use often, but when we do, most church folks know what we mean instantly. When it comes to bringing our gifts before God, if we are honest with ourselves, too many of us come with a “Martha, Martha” attitude. We focus our resources on little things instead of Godly things. Today, and all the days forward, let us be a little more Mary – like in our giving. Focusing first on God, and then on the little things which keep us from giving in a Godly manner.
Loving, Gracious, and Ever Patient God; we come before you offering our gifts. Take these tithes and offerings, and use them to further your reign on earth as it is in heaven. Help us to make our giving Mary like, focusing on you before the little things.
“Once you were alienated from God. . . . But now God has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in God’s sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.” (Colossians 1:21-23a) This table is where we remember and hold fast to the hope held out in the Gospel, making us without blemish and free from accusation in God’s sight. Come, eat, drink, and remember what God has done for you.
All material copyright 2016 The Jubilee Fund, Inc. 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