August 4, 2019
Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving
Call to Worship (from Psalm 107)
One: We’re here to give thanks to God, who is good.
Many: God’s steadfast love endures forever!
One: God continues to redeem us.
Many: When we cry out to God, we’re led to a good place.
One: God satisfies us in our distress.
Many: So let us give thanks for God’s wonderful works!
Gracious God, you make a way when there is no way!
You open doors when it seems we’re up against a solid wall.
You provide for your people, and bring us up from the pit of despair.
In this hour, help us proclaim the ways you are at work
in the world in which we live,
give us courage to speak words of encouragement and hope,
and give you our thanks! AMEN
Moment for Stewardship (from Luke 12:13-21)
Jesus’ parables often speak a hard truth in story form. Luke tells of a time Jesus was asked to adjudicate in a family inheritance squabble. Instead, his response was to teach the difference between greed and true LIFE.
As we come to a time of sharing our financial resources, recognize this is an opportunity to act on our desire to truly LIVE. Instead of hoarding what we have, this moment allows us to directly witness to some ways we “love God and love neighbor”.
We might want to ignore this, declaring “I’m not rich – this isn’t directed to me”. However, the internet gives us opportunity to recognize where we stand in the world, if you dare.
At http://www.globalrichlist.com/,you will discover a hard truth. With an annual income of $20,000, you are wealthier than 96% of the world’s population!
With $40,000, you’re in the top 1%!
And if you want to only compare to the US population, according to https://graphics.wsj.com/what-percent/, earning $27,000 would put you in the top 50% of Americans in 2014 statistics, and earning $47,000 takes you to the top 29%. Anyone making $75,000 moves to the top 14%.
The rich man wanted only to protect his crops, and set himself up to “eat, drink and be merry”. Instead, his life came to a sudden end, and he no longer had opportunity to be rich toward God.
This morning, will you share in offering financial support to the ministries of this congregation? And will you go home to answer this question: how rich are you? In Jesus’ words, how rich are you toward God?
Prayer of Thanksgiving
God of mercy, thank you for moments when your truth crashes into our reality. Thank you for this opportunity for us to hear scripture and know it brings truth for each one of us to face. Receive our gifts this day, and receive our intention to turn our back to greed and act our way to truly LIVE as disciples (learners) of Jesus the Christ, whose teaching continues to shake and shape our world. AMEN
Invitation to Communion
When we come to this table week by week, we have opportunity to be honest with ourselves and before God. Take a moment to breathe, for we’ve heard the Good News, we’ve recognized again our desire to follow Jesus and we know deep down we want to truly LIVE. We want to be new creatures!
So hear this invitation. The Lord of heaven and earth invites you to a meal given in honor of Jesus the Christ. There’s a place set for you at the table.
It may look like tiny crackers and thimbles (or half shot-glasses) full of juice from the local grocery.
But it is a feast! This is a feast in the form of a weekly vitamin — enough to boost your system toward the life of abundance and engagement which God designed. A vitamin which wards off greed and selfishness; which infuses your system with connection to the larger body of Christ.
So come! This meal nourishes us, so we can fend off the pull to live “stingy” and instead live “strong” in the community of Christ’s love.