June 17, 2018
(check Textweek.com for direct access to a variety of translations)
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost :: Green ::
This week brings the beginning of summer, and provides a change of pace in many congregations. If you’re focusing there, here’s a call to worship and opening prayer.
Call to Worship
One: The heavens are telling the glory of God;
Many: and the firmament a proclaims God’s handiwork.
(All join to sing the response: “When morning gilds the skies, my heart awakening cries, may Jesus Christ be praised!” from Chalice Hymnal #100)
One: Splendor of God’s glory bright,
Many: we greet you with joy as we begin the summer of the year.
(All join to sing the response: ”Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair; may Jesus Christ be praised!” from Chalice Hymnal #100)
Creator God, as we begin the summer of the year,
We want to play, vacation, and change our pace
under the warmth of the sun.
Shine your Spirit in the inner places of our hearts
that need your truth and light …
Refresh us in hearing what you are saying.
We thank you for the coming of summer and
the radiance of your living Word shining among us. Amen.
Adapted from materials copyrighted © 2003 Discipleship Ministries. Used with permission.
June 17 is also recognized as Father’s Day. If you’re focusing there, here’s an opening for worship.
Call to Worship (adapted from Psalm 20)
One: On a day we give thanks for fathers, we hear from the Psalmist, with images
of God who shows the best of father characteristics.
Many: We come to worship God, praying God will send us help
give us support.
One: We gather to honor God, grateful for times God grants us our hearts’ desire
and fulfills all our plans,
Many: In this hour, we praise God,
One: who raises us up to stand upright!
Can you imagine the thoughts of Jesse, father of so many sons? Surely he was concerned about the prophet Samuel showing up, especially if Samuel had announced he was coming to anoint a new king!
And yet, in I Samuel, we meet Jesse. This man offers what he has. Beginning with the oldest of his sons, Jesse parades the boys (men?) before Samuel, only to realize Samuel is not interested in any of them: “The Lord has not chosen any of these.”
Nothing would do but sending out for the youngest, David, who was caring for the family’s sheep.
When we come to our offering today, what do we bring? What might God be eager to anoint and use? Our time? Our talent? Our least-likely treasure?
What will you present to the Lord our God?
Offering Prayer of Thanksgiving
God all life, today we bring to you what you have first given to us. Receive these gifts and receive our intention to offer you all that we have and all that we are. May your Spirit come upon us and upon these gifts, that your Realm may increase, and your will be done. AMEN
The book of I Samuel makes it clear that Samuel spent his life serving God. In fact, Samuel tried to put his own sons into God’s service, as well, but “your sons do not follow in your ways” reports I Samuel 8:5.
Today we heard how Jesse offered his sons, one after another, to Samuel, who had come to anoint a new king. None of the first sons were the right one, until the least likely, the smallest, was chosen.
At this table, week by week, we gather to remember Jesus, who was God’s “beloved son”. Jesus did, in fact, follow in God’s ways. He was “the chosen one”.
Jesus often spoke in parables. Once, he told of mustard, the smallest of all the seeds, which he compared to God’s Realm.
And it is in the smallest of portions we find God’s grace poured out: a taste of bread and a thimble-full of juice.
Yet in these gifts of bread and cup, we receive symbols of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
Like David, the shepherd-become-king,
and mustard, the seed-become-greatest-of- shrubs,
may these elements become for us Living Bread in which we know eternal Life.