August 26, 2018 Pentecost 14
Call to Worship (from Psalm 84)
One: We come to sing for JOY to the living God!
Many: (singing, from CH #285)
How lovely, Lord, how lovely is your abiding place.
One: Sparrows and swallows find their home,
Many: (singing, from CH #285)
and so your temple calls us within (these) walls to rest.
One: So let us rest in God’s abiding presence, as we pray:
Opening Prayer(from Psalm 84)
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
We’ve come together this day to praise you,
in the place we know as our spiritual home.
We know you are present in all places,
we’re steeped in the great cloud of witnesses who have
been part of this congregation in years past,
and we stand in anticipation of all who are yet to come in these doors.
We come to worship you, offering you all that we are – wonders and warts. Wrap us close, strengthen and encourage us,
then prepare us to move out from this place to be your witnesses,
for you are our strength! AMEN
Stewardship Moment (from Ephesians 6:13-17) (found at https://bloorlansdownechristianfellowship.wordpress.com/tag/ephesians-610-20/)
(Consider bringing someone up who is willing to be “dressed”, as you describe the six parts of “the whole armor of God”. You can make simple signs, or use the picture (above) for some creative expressions.)
Followers of Jesus must find ways to be prepared for the life to which we are called. In Ephesians, we’re admonished to put on “the whole armor of God”.
It takes effort!
Today, are you willing to help us in this congregation be prepared?
Your gifts, tithes and offerings help each one of us be equipped:
(add one piece as you name it to your model)
1) belted with the truth
2) breastplate of righteousness
3) shoes sturdy enough to proclaim the gospel of peace
4) a shield of faith
5) helmet of salvation
6) sword of the Spirit
Please be as generous as if you were dressing a young person for school,
for your gifts make our ministry possible.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Designer of life,
Thank you for the ways you equip us to be strong in faith and able to stand against all that would tear us down.
We offer you these signs of our desire to stay upright and on your side when times get rough. Take as much of our lives as we are willing to offer you today, along with what has been collected, to build up your Realm on earth, for we are your people, empowered by your Spirit. AMEN
Invitation to Communion (from John 6:67-69)
Sometimes, life seems so challenging we’re tempted to throw in the towel. We find our energy sapped, our courage seeping away.
It’s precisely at times like this we can find strength in the story of Jesus and his disciples, in John 6.
The disciples heard tough language from Jesus about the bread/body and the cup/blood which was offered in an upper room long ago. Challenging! Courage gone. Some followers demurred. Some turned back.
Jesus asked the others, “do you also wish to go away?”
It was Peter — impulsive, bullish, sometimes acting-before-he- thought –Peter, responding “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life”.
So, too, for us, at this Table. Even in the face of difficulty, when some turn back, we know what we believe: Jesus, the Christ, “the Holy One of God”! Where else could we go?
And so, all are invited to come to this table, seeking the bread of heaven. Come, for we abide in Jesus when we eat and drink these symbols of his body and his blood.