Sunday August 27, 2017
Year A, Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost :: Green ::
Exodus 1:8-2:10 :: Psalm 124 :: Romans 12:1-8 :: Matthew 16:13-20
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 124
L: From where does our help come?
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.
L: If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
P: Then the flood would have swept us away.
L: If not for the Lord who was on our side,
P: The torrent would have gone over us.
L: Blessed be the Lord,
P: From whom our help comes.
Almighty and wonderful God, who sent Joseph into Egypt at just the right time; who brought Moses into the reeds; who sent Pharaoh’s daughter at just the right time. We come to this place in this time, hoping for it to be just the right time to meet you anew. Come into our hearts, make us aware of your presence, and warm us in your love. Make of this time of worship a celebration of all of your mighty works throughout time, and in our time. Transform us, renew us, heal us, and help us, that the world may know you are God, and we are your people.
The world tells us that time is money. The world tells us that money is power. Yet the world does not seem to understand the basics of philosophy that would say “therefore, time is power.” After all, people do not attain power by simply waiting. Romans 12 tells us, however, not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, so that we may discern what is the will of God. In God’s will time IS power, for spending time with God gives us strength. In God’s will time IS power, for spending time with others strengthens them. In God’s will time IS power, for only God knows the timing of all that is to come. Thank you for giving of your time to seek the transforming power of God this day. We offer this time of transformation because of your gifts: your time, your tithes, and your offerings. Gifts you have decided to bring as you discern what the will of God is.
Transforming God, we bring these gifts before you knowing your power to renew all things. Bless these gifts, and this time of worship, that they may be used to change minds, to bring strength and power to the helpless and powerless, that your will be done. Amen.
In the Sixteenth Chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus asks the Disciples, “Who do YOU say that I am?” We know, of course that Simon answers “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” When we come to this table it is valid to ask ourselves the same question each week. “Who do I say Jesus is today? Am I going through a ritual, or am I taking the time to recognize that I am meeting and remembering the Messiah, the Son of the living God?” One of the great mysteries and blessings of the Lord’s Table is that you are welcomed regardless of your answer. When we know in the depths of our being we are celebrating the risen savior, and are accepting HIS forgiveness, we come away from the table transformed. Come to the table, take, eat, believe, and become in Christ’s Name and by His grace.
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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. Check out all of the awesome resources there at http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu