June 3, 2018

Sunday June 3, 2018

Year B, 1 Samuel 3:1-10, Deuteronomy 5:12-15, 2 Corinthians 4:5-12,  Mark 2:23-3:6

(check Textweek.com for direct access to a variety of translations)

 Second Sunday after Pentecost   :: Green ::
(For those using liturgical colors, we’re in green from now until Advent 1)

Call to Worship (Responsive)
     One:   Wecome together, eager to hear God’s call.
     Many:  We hear the stories of Samuel and the disciples of Jesus,
One: called by God into service.
     Many:   So today, we come ready to listen.
     One:     In our singing and praying, in our connection with scripture               and our communion with one another,
     Many:  may we be tuned to hear God’s call to us.

Or:  have the choir or a small group sing the chorus of Here I Am, Lord (Chalice #452)


 Opening Prayer: God of mercy and love, as we settle into these moments of Sabbath rest, we yearn to find our place in your on-going story of responsive people.
Like Samuel, we are still learning to hear your voice.
Like the disciples, we’re not always sure how to live out your Good News of compassion and care.
So come to us this morning in ways we can perceive.
Open our eyes, our ears and our hearts, that we, too, might be inspired to actions befitting followers of Jesus, the Christ.  AMEN

Scripture Reading:  If you’re going to read I Samuel 3:1-10, invite a young boy (7 or 8
years old) to read Samuel’s parts, along with an older man reading the dialog of Eli. The normal worship leader could be the narrator. This might be a wonderful way for a grandson and grandfather to participate in worship leadership together.  Make sure each person can be heard by the congregation.

Another possibility is to have a young boy and an older man “mime” this text, as it is read by one person.  Make sure the congregation is able to see both actors.

Stewardship Moment:  We heard the story of the child Samuel in our reading this morning, but do you know the background story?  I Samuel 1 tells of Hannah, who was barren.  She prayed for a child, even promising to give her child back to God, but spent years in frustration.  Finally, she became pregnant and named her son “Samuel”, which is close to the Hebrew word which means “He who is from God”.

In an amazing gesture, Hannah does give the young child to God, bringing him to Eli, with the proclamation “He is given to the Lord.”

What a challenge this is!  This story models an extraordinary way to offer back to God the most precious things which have been given to us.

What would that be for you?
What would it take for you to be willing to “give to the Lord”, as Hannah did?

Offertory Prayer: Ever-giving God, your generous out-pouring of love floods our lives and our world.  Today, we bring you a portion of what you have first given us.  It’s amazing even to think of giving you our most precious gifts. Today, please take these gifts and use them even as you also challenge us to stretch our minds, hearts and our giving muscles, that we might become more like Hannah.   AMEN

Communion Meditation: Last year, some researchers in Ontario, Canada, used 75 students to experiment on how people learned most effectively.  The students were asked to read words silently, hear them read, and read them aloud.  Two weeks later, the same students returned and were exposed again to half the original words, in four different forms.(1)

The students’ greatest memory came from words read aloud.

When we come to this Table, we so often hear the words of Jesus read or recited by an elder or a minister.  Today, however, in light of the Canadian research, let’s prepare to receive the great gift of communion by reading aloud the “words of institution” from Luke 22:19-20.

(have the words on your screen, printed on cards or printed in the bulletin, so everyone might read them together)

[The elder or minister sets the stage by saying “Jesus took a loaf of bread and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to the disciples, saying”] ,

“This is my body, which is given for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”

[The elder or minister responds: “And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying,”]

“This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

(1) https://digest.bps.org.uk/2017/11/30/why-youre-more-likely-to-remember-something-that-you-read-to-yourself-out-loud/