February 3, 2019

February 3, 2019

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Epiphany 4C

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 71:1-6

1 Corinthians 13:1-13e

Luke 4:21-30

Beginning with the week of March 10th (Lent 1) you will be able to receive the lectionary resource directly in your in-box!  This means you won’t have to wait for it to be posted on the website and you will have it 10 days in advance.  Watch for details in February.  There will be a modest $12 suggested fee for this service.

Call to Worship  (from I Corinthian13)

One: We come together as the church,
eager to practice what Jesus teaches.
Many:  We can do all positive things, but if we do not love,
we’re like a noisy gong.
One:  (ring an out-of-tune gong, or clang two pot lids together)
We can declare we have enough faith to move mountains,
but if we do not love, we’re nothing!
Many: So we come to practice loving one another,
One:  and we come to worship the One who is LOVE.
Many:  God is love!  Focused on God, let us pray.

Opening Prayer

All the most poetic words might describe you, Never-Ending God.
Or the most evocative music might connect us to you.
We give you thanks for all that…
but also for the practical, ordinary, powerful ways you
bear all things, believe all thing s, hope all things, endure all things.

As we share in this time of worship,
wash over us with your all-sufficient love,
that we might be caught up and carried
sharing that love in the joys and challenges of this coming week.  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  (from Luke 4)

Luke’s Gospel reading for today reminds us that Jesus faced a challenging response from the people in his own hometown.

Wasn’t this Joseph’s boy?  We know we can expect great things from him.  Did you hear what he did in Capernaum?  How much MORE can we anticipate he will do for us?!

Seems we sometimes are right in line with this way of thinking.  Perhaps you’ve heard something like this:  “Let’s take up an offering for our own congregation.” “Let’s reach out to the people who walk in our doors”  “Let’s take care of our own.”

This congregation, however, grasps the Jesus-Way!  Each week as we receive our morning offering, we recognize some these gifts will help keep the lights on, and the insurance paid.  Some will support our outreach in this community (name some of what your congregation supports locally).  And some will go beyond these borders, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with a hurting and hungry world (name a particular ministry supported by this congregation).

With joy, let us share our morning tithes, gifts and offerings.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God of all good gifts, we thank you for the gift of Jesus, who taught his followers and continues to teach us today, that Good News is for the whole world! We pray you will use what we have brought from our lives, and use each of us, as well, to enrich and strengthen this congregation, this community, and the whole of your created world.   AMEN

Invitation to Communion

Today as we gather at this Table, imagine with me.

Imagine this as a rehearsal dinner!

Many of us have been to a rehearsal dinner, perhaps connected to a wedding (our own, a parent, a child, a dear friend),
or a cast’s rehearsal dinner in anticipation of the opening of their play.

Here is a rehearsal dinner for the meal we anticipate when Jesus will welcome all. The table will stretch beyond all walls and boundaries.

The love evident there is nearly incomprehensible to us on this side of heaven, but as we receive these gifts of bread and cup, take a moment to look into the cup you hold.

Can you see a reflection there?  Perhaps of the light above you?  Or an image from the stained glass?  Or your own eye, looking down?

What we see reflected is “in part”.  It’s the practice, or rehearsal, for what is yet to come.  Now we know in part, then we shall know completely, even as we are completely known.

And all will be wrapped in the Love which is God.

So come, anticipate and imagine, as you receive these gifts.