May 17, 2020
Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving
Call to Worship (inspired by John 14)
(adapted from http://www.bruceprewer.com/DocA/33EAST6.htm)
One: Because of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, we gather to declare:
Many: we are never alone! The Counselor, the Spirit of truth lives in us.
One: Bidden or unbidden, God is always with us.
Many: As the sea is to the fish and the air is to the bird,
One: so God is to all!
Many: Bidden or unbidden, God is always with us!
Holy Power of Life,
you promise to never leave us comfortless. Because you are at work
through the Advocate, we know your full desire is for us to know
abundant life. Thank you for the assurance of your love. As we walk
from day to day, reveal yourself to us, even as we work to keep your
commandment to love you and one another. AMEN
Moment for Stewardship (from I Peter 3:15)
(This is a great opportunity to invite someone from the congregation to share a short story of why they are deliberate and consistent in giving financially to the life of the church. Consider asking someone to “make your defense/your accounting of the hope that is in you”!)
- If you don’t have someone willing to share a story, or “defense”, perhaps you can tell a story of someone in your community who has generously reached out in the current COVID crisis, responding with financial resources as a way of acting out their faith. Or use this story:
In the midst of the challenges before so many of us because of the COVID virus, one person recently decided to donate his stimulus check to help pay the bills of 12 people who were behind in their utilities payments. Without knowing their names or situations, the donor simply asked the utilities company staff person to find people who were struggling because of COVID – furloughed or laid off, faced with big medical bills, their family business in trouble –. The donor declared “I may suffer down the line, but if so, I know I’ll be suffering for doing good!”
As we bring our tithes and our gifts to God, what signs of HOPE are you able to share with your offering this day?
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Mighty God, receive these gifts as signs and symbols of the hope you have lodged within each one of us. Help each one of us to consider how we might continue to share that hope with those who are suffering. Encourage us to raise up hope in others by the actions of our hearts, our heads, especially through sharing our financial resources!
Invitation to Communion (from John 14:21)
In this season of Eastertide, we continue to celebrate the gift of Jesus’ resurrection. It’s in this resurrection life that we recognize Jesus continuing to teach his followers to love.
So the Gospel writer who penned John makes it clear: those who keep Jesus’ commandments are the ones who love him. The argument then moves to “if you love me, (that is, if you keep my commandments) you’ll be loved by my Father and by me…and I will reveal myself to you”.
Friends, when we come to this Table, we’re invited as believers/followers/disciples of Jesus, the Christ. And in these gifts of bread and juice, we recognize Jesus, revealed to each one of us!
So come, not because you’re under coercion, but because you’re eager to keep Jesus’ commandments. Abide in his love, and be loved by God and by the one who promises “I will not leave you orphaned!”
What more celebration could we share? It’s a love feast, and YOU are invited!