July 5, 2020
Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
Call to Worship (based on Romans 7)
Leader: Help us, Lord! We do the things we don’t want to do.
People: And we don’t do the things we know we should do.
Leader: We are enslaved by the sin that dwells within us.
People: We struggle to be the people you have called us to be.
Leader: We are at war with ourselves and each other.
People: We know that evil is always close at hand.
Leader: Who can rescue us from ourselves?
People: Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Forgiving God, we come to you in worship on bended knee, humbled by all the ways we have fallen short. Lift up our faces and shine your light upon us, refining our souls and enlightening our countenances. May this time of worship be pleasing to you as we offer it imperfectly and faithfully. Amen.
Moment for Stewardship
In the reading from Matthew, Jesus praises God for hiding sacred things from the wise and intelligent and instead revealing them to infants (that would be us!). We might balk at not being included among the wise and intelligent, but sometimes our own sense of knowledge and expertise can get in the way. We think we know what we need and often pursue it with singular urgency, and yet in the end we find out that what we needed wasn’t anything this world had to offer.
The blessing of being an infant is that we are innocent enough not to be swayed by worldly critiques. We don’t have to worry about pleasing anyone but the God who has entrusted us with sacred things, including the blessing of our resources. The world may laugh at us for giving some of our hard-earned money to God through the church. “That’s not wise,” they point and say. And yet, even as spiritual infants, we know the grace that comes from answering the call to be generous.
John didn’t eat and he was accused of having a demon. Jesus ate and drank and he was called a glutton and a drunkard. You just can’t win, can you? Good thing we don’t have to win. We simply have to follow Jesus, which includes sacrificing ourselves for others. Let us receive our tithes and offerings.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Father and Mother God, we thank you for handling us like infants, for giving us just what we need when we need it. We honor your love for us now by returning to you a portion of those gifts, trusting that our wisdom and intelligence is not of this world, but comes from the knowledge we are known and loved by you. Bless these offerings to your work. Amen.
Invitation to Communion
Are you tired? Doesn’t matter the source of that fatigue. Could be not enough sleep last night. Maybe you slept in the wrong position and your neck hurts. Or maybe your tired of your boss, who never seems to appreciate the hard work you do. Many of us may bet tired of hearing about the fears and troubles of the world. Isn’t there a mute button? Or maybe you’re tired from life and the burdens it constantly heaps on your shoulders. Are you tired?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burden, and I will give you rest.” You don’t have to carry that alone. Christ invites you this very day to lay those burdens at his feet and pick up his yoke, which is light, not just in the sense of a lack of weight, but in the sense of lightening your soul.
This bread and this cup are the yoke Christ offers, gentle reminders of the forgiveness he offers and the call he extends to be his people in this world. Whatever comes after this time of worship, whatever responsibilities beckon to you, they can wait. They’ll still be there after you leave this table. But for now, come. Rest. Unburden yourself. And be reminded of a savior who is gentle and humble in heart. Let us share communion together.
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