June 14, 2020
Genesis 18:1-15 (21:1-7)
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
Matthew 9:35-10:8 (9-23)
Call to Worship
Leader: Our world is not what we hoped it would be.
People: But we boast in our sufferings…
Leader: It feels like we have been in quarantine for years.
People: …because suffering produces endurance…
Leader: And yet we know God is with us, shaping us, molding us.
People: …and endurance produces character…
Leader: Even in our darkness, the light of Christ still shines.
People: …and character produces hope…
Leader: Christ has been with us. Christ is with us. Christ will be with us.
People: And hope does not disappoint.
Ever-present God, you have called us to go and share your love with others. But before we can do that, we need to be reminded of your presence and your promises. We have inclined our ears and hearts to you, so speak to us as we gather for worship, reminding us of our call to be your people. Amen.
Moment for Stewardship
Psalm 116 asks, “What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me?” The psalmist answers “I will lift up my cup of salvation…I will call on the name of the Lord…I will pay my vows to the Lord…I will offer you a thanksgiving sacrifice.” A cup, a vow, an offering…sounds a lot like worship to me! When we gather, we are giving back to God a portion of what we have been given: a portion of our praise, a portion of our thanksgiving, and a portion of our blessing.
The psalmist says he offers these things to God “because he has inclined his ear to me.” We don’t give to God hoping God will turn aside and notice us. We give to God because God has not only noticed us, but has embraced us and blessed us., anointing us as agents of God’s radical love and hospitality in this world. There is so much work to do and God is looking for co-laborers for God’s kingdom. Won’t you join God? Let us now collect our tithes and offerings.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Loving God, you have called us into the mission fields around us to show our brothers and sisters what your love looks like. May these gifts we offer today be fuel for the fire that burns within us, igniting our desire to be your workers. Receive these gifts and our vows as one of the ways we give you thanks. Amen.
Invitation to Communion
“You are cordially invited…” Have you ever received a formal invitation like that? Maybe it was to a wedding or an awards dinner. When you get there, you are treated like royalty, waited on by servants who have set a table for you. Abraham does this for the three visitors who come to him and Sarah, extending the hospitality that was social protocol in his times.
We may have lost the importance of hospitality in our “me first” culture, but thankfully, at this table, we’re not the ones in charge. Our job is simple to welcome all those who hunger and thirst for something more than the world has to offer. This table has been set by Jesus Christ, a simple meal of bread and cup, signifying the abundant love and grace God has poured out for us through Jesus Christ.
Doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. Doesn’t matter if you showed up on time or a few minutes late. Doesn’t matter if you are part of the family or never been here before. What matters is that you are here, the table is set, and you are cordially invited. Let us share in the gifts of God together.