September 9, 2018

September 9, 2018                Pentecost 16

Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23  
Psalm 125

James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17  Mark 7:24-37


Call to Worship
One: Here!  Now!  We want to be filled with Christ’s healing love.
Many: Hearing lessons of compassion, we’re filled with strength
and inspiration.

One:  Rejoice!  As people of faith, we’re together, eager to act out our faith.
Many: May we find power to respond without distinction,
ready to serve in Jesus’ name. 

One: Come, let us worship the One who prepares us for service.
Many: Let’s sing our praise to the One who heals and inspires us.

(or “Let’s pray to the One…”)

Opening Prayer  

God, you have created us and called us into relationship with you and with one another.  Help us to truly love our neighbor as we love ourselves.  Without partiality, may we offer our lives back to you in service with those who yearn for a helping hand.  AMEN

Stewardship Moment  

So many of Mark’s stories help us recognize Jesus as Healer.  Mark 7:31-37 tells of the Healer caring for a deaf man with a speech impediment.

Part of what we hear in scripture is the way Jesus responds with what he has, providing just what is needed. Here, in first-century style, he used his own body and his own spit to provide healing.

As followers of Jesus, we are now invited to respond with what we have, in order to provide just what is needed.

Preparing for our offering, let’s sing the second verse from an old hymn, Open My Eyes, CH #586  (“Open my ears, that I may hear voices of truth thou sendest clear; and while the wave-notes fall on my ear, everything false will disappear.”)
{or use this as offertory; please don’t let anyone play it at dirge speed!}

For some of us, this is an opportunity to offer time:  to make a commitment for this week to visit shut-ins, fold the newsletter, fix the web-site.  You can make a note on the pew envelope, drop it into the offering plate and let us know!

For others, your talents provide a way to share.  Will you sing?  Join our landscaping efforts?  Take a turn in the nursery?  Repair the broken _____?
Let your offer be known and we’ll direct it to the right person!

For most of us, this is also a financial gift.  As we step into fall, your finances become the means by which our congregation can pay for curriculum, lights, youth programming and staff salaries.

Please offer yourself and your resources in gratitude for the many ways God has already offered you gifts of laughter, love and life.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

We give you our thanks, Generous God, for the opportunity to share what you have first given us.  Please receive these gifts and all the energy behind them. Translate this all into opportunities to advance your Realm on earth,
in Jesus’ name, AMEN

Invitation to Communion   

 In James, we hear “mercy triumphs over judgment”.  No other place is that made more clear than here, at this Table of Love.  Week after week, we sing and pray, listen and offer our gifts.  Worshipers would be short-changed, however, if we were not invited to share in this meal of remembrance.

God’s mercy takes the form of bread and cup, as we remember Jesus in an upper room.
God’s mercy triumphs in these gifts which symbolize body and blood poured out for all the world.

God’s mercy becomes implanted in us as we eat a tiny bite of bread and sip a small cup of juice,

So, we prepare for this feast, not as strangers or guests, but like children, coming home to a place where mercy has set the table.

Use Isaac Watts’ hymn “My Shepherd, You Supply My Need” as communion hymn from CH #80