February 24, 2019

February 24, 2019

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Epiphany 7C

Genesis 45:3-11,15

Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40

 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50

Luke 6:27-38

Call to Worship  (from Psalm 37)
   One:  We’re here to praise God, who offers spacious and free life to all.
Many: In this place, we’re protected and safe as we lift our hearts to God.
One: We’ve been brought into new life, strengthened by our Creator.
Many: When we turn to the Holy One, we are no longer separated.
One: So let’s tune our ears, focus our minds and offer our hearts.
Many: Let us worship the Lord our God!

Opening Prayer
Living God, we come to worship you with our whole hearts. We’re here
to be built up by your Spirit, strengthened at Christ’s table, and
challenged by scripture.  So stand with us, hear our prayers, and
work in our lives, that together we might go from this place as
living witnesses to your amazing love.  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  (from Luke 6:27-38)

One of the challenging realities of actually following Jesus is the way scripture reports Jesus turning reality on its head.  Most of us find it fairly easy to love people who are kind to us.  Jesus teaches us to love our enemies!

Most of us find it easy to do good to those who do good to us.  Jesus says (in the language of The Message) Live generously. Don’t go keeping score and looking to balance the ledger.

Today, imagine what it would be like to live in a world where people respond out of generosity:  lending without expecting a return,
forgiving even if we are not forgiven,
giving to those who ask for your help,
without judging if this person is “worthy”.

That’s the world Jesus points out to his followers!  Our offering this morning gives us opportunity to be generous. (for many Disciple congregations, this is Week of Compassion offering day, so share a story of generosity from weekofcompassion.org)

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

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God, today we thank you for your generosity!  Thank you for loving us and continuing to challenge us to love you and love all you have created.  Use these gifts as one demonstration that we operate with generosity, having love even for our enemies.  Renew in us the desire to do to others as we would have them do to us.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion

From the scriptural telling of “the last supper”, we understand all twelve disciples were present. I’ve often wondered if Jesus knew it would be Judas who betrayed him – one of his own followers who would give him over to the authorities, identifying him with a kiss.  If Jesus did know that, was his own teaching ringing in his ears — “love your enemies”?  Would Jesus have classified Judas as “enemy”?  One who sends you to your death seems deserving of that word.

And if that’s the case, when we gather at this Table, I’m encouraged. Here’s why:  Jesus sharing bread and wine with Judas helps me believe my own moments of giving Jesus over, ignoring his teachings, or refusing to live generously are not enough to separate me from his love.

And if that’s true for me, it’s true for you, and you, and you.  We know all of us have fallen short…and yet are welcome at this Table.

So come, just as you are, and find in this feast a sign of God’s redeeming love.