July 1, 2018

July 1, 2018, Pentecost 6
2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27; Psalm 130
2 Corinthians 8:7-15; Mark 5:21-43

Call to Worship (from Ps. 130)
One: Together, we wait for the Lord.
Many: More than those who long for the morning to arrive,
we wait!
One: Out of the depths, we cry out:
Many: May God give us steadfast love and hope, and forgiveness,
even as we wait.

Opening Prayer
We do not easily wait, God. So in these moments, calm our minds.
Still our scurrying energies. Settle our hearts, so we might be ready to hear your voice and respond to the invitation to follow Jesus once again. AMEN

Call to Stewardship
In the second letter to the Corinthians, the appeal is for the “haves” in the community to complete a financial offering for those in need.
No one is asked to give what s/he does not have. But for those who have financial resources, this is the time to share.
Did you know the word “affluence” comes from the Latin verb affluere, “to flow abundantly”? What happens when water can’t flow abundantly? It becomes stagnant (often producing the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes!). What happens when blood no longer moves? Blood clots develop in those who do not get up and move around! And if any of us only breathe IN, without breathing out? Parents of angry 2 year olds can answer: it’s the recipe for fainting.
Because we are affluent (those who want life to flow abundantly) people of faith, I wonder who is eager to give? This is our opportunity to let it flow!

Prayer of Thanksgiving
Ever-giving God, thank you for the many ways you continue to encourage and challenge us. May life flow through us! Please receive this offering. Use it, and use us, to free up the good gifts of life for others. We pray, remembering the life Jesus offered for all, AMEN

Invitation to Communion
you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.
Wait! Before we roll into this communion time, familiar in form and comfortable in its routine, what does this mean: “Jesus was rich and became poor, so we might become rich”?
Jesus, God’s beloved Son, had a unique relationship to God. Yet by giving up that life (“becoming poor”), Jesus became the one through whom life flows for you and for me.
In these gifts of bread and cup, we both taste and touch the life poured out. Remember this wondrous gift from Jesus as we pass the trays. This is not simply “what we do”, but is a clarion call so we, too, might have abundant life here and now.
(Consider using “What Wondrous Love is this?” Chalice #200 as your communion hymn)