September 18, 2016
Year C, Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost :: Green ::
Amos 8:4-7 :: Psalm 113 :: 1 Timothy 2:1-7 :: Luke 16:1-13
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 113
L: Praise the LORD! O Servants of the LORD, Praise the name of the LORD.
P: Blessed be the name of the LORD.
L: From the rising of the sun to its setting,
P: Praise the LORD!
L: The LORD is high above all the nations;
P: God’s glory is above the heavens.
L: There is no one like the LORD our God, who is seated on high.
P: Praise the LORD!
Almighty, Eternal, and Everlasting God, who sees all of our coming and going, our stops and our starts, our failings and our accomplishments, we gather in your holy presence. Help us to know your presence and hear your voice. Guide us in your wisdom and truth. Remember our deeds which are pleasing to you, and accept our repentance from those which are not. We have come in love and devotion to your Son, Jesus the Christ.
Jesus says: “You cannot serve God and Money.” While the statement seems simple, in our society we need both. So how do we reconcile this hard teaching from the mouth of Jesus? We use money to serve God. We recognize that the money we have was given by God, through providing us with intelligence, talents, gifts and skills, which we have traded for the societal tool we call money. But money is just that: a tool. When we control it and use it to glorify God, we are like the finest craftspeople. When it controls us, we are far away from God. Let us now receive the tithes and offerings returned from the many gifts which God has first given us.
We bring our gifts before you, O God, remembering that they are a mere portion of the gifts which you have already given. We pray you will use these gifts as a tool to further your reign on earth. We pray you will use the bringing of these gifts as a tool to help us grow more deeply devoted to you. We know you are the giver of all good gifts, and we give you thanks. Amen.
“There is one God, there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human.” Paul reminds us through his letter to Timothy that our only path to God is through our mediator, Christ our Lord: “who gave himself a ransom for all.” We remember that gift of Christ around this table. This is where we come to accept the gift that Christ will mediate for each of us with God. Come, receive the gifts of remembrance: the bread and cup given for all.
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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