June 28, 2020
Call to Worship (Based on Psalm 13)
Leader: Our world compels us to cry out to God.
People: How long, O Lord? How long?
Leader: How long must we feel abandoned, forgotten, alone?
People: Consider us, God! Give light to our eyes!
Leader: In the midst of our trials, we trust in your steadfast love.
People: Our hearts rejoice at God’s salvation.
Leader: Sing to the Lord, for God has dealt bountifully with us!
People: Let us praise and worship the Lord our God!
Loving God, even in the midst of our loudest laments, we know you incline your ear to us. Hear us now as we offer all our emotions to you during this time of worship. Receive our laughter, our sorrow, our hopes, and our fears, O God, for we offer them to you with humility and thanksgiving. Amen.
Moment for Stewardship
Paul tells the Romans, “The wages of sin is death.” That’s a tall price to pay for bad choices, lapses in judgment, giving into our human condition. But Paul reminds us, “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Yes, we have all fallen short of God’s glory. And yes, we’ve all been picked up, dusted off, and offered another chance. Each new day is an opportunity, not to earn God’s grace, but to live out the grace already given.
And now, it’s our turn. It’s our turn to offer the gift. We don’t do so out of obligation or compulsion. We give out of our abundance, from the storehouse of blessing God has bestowed on us. There are others who have fallen short, who need to be reminded they have not been forgotten, who need to know that the free gift of Christ’s love is still offered. We don’t offer these gifts in order to gain something; we offer them because of what we have been given. As we have been blessed, so we are called to be a blessing. Let us receive our tithes and offerings.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Gracious God, you have given us so much more than we could ever hope for or deserve. As your servants, may we be obedient to your call to be generous, following your example. May the gifts help lead others to the realization that they are loved beyond measure and that the gift of Jesus Christ was given for them. Amen.
Invitation to Communion
Have you ever been thirsty? I mean, really thirsty? The kind of thirst that reaches down into your gut, that make you desperate for a drink of water to cool your parched throat, to quench the fire during in your mouth, to wash away the grit and grime and refresh you, restore you? And then, you get your hands on the glass, ice cubes clinking, and you take that first drink. There’s simply nothing like a cup of cold water when you’re thirsty, is there?
In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus emphasizes the power of a cup of cold water. At this table, we are offered a cup, not of water, but of salvation, a cup symbolizing Christ’s gift to us. This cup also satisfies, but the thirst it quenches is one of the soul. Our souls hunger and thirst for grace, for forgiveness, for a reminder that God remembers us in our wildernesses.
This cup has been offered for everyone. Maybe you’re not thirsty at all. Come and drink. Maybe you need just a sip to whet your spiritual whistle. Come and drink. Or maybe you are thirsty, really thirsty, and need to feel the coolness of grace wash over your soul. Come and drink. The table has been set with what you need to be reminded of Christ’s love for you. Now, come and enjoy the feast.
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