August 2, 2020
Psalm 17:1-7, 15
Call to Worship (based on Psalm 17)
Leader: Hear us, O Lord; give ear to our prayers.
People: From yo,u let our vindication come.
Leader: You will find no wickedness in us.
People: Our steps have held fast to your paths.
Leader: We call upon you, for you will answer, O God.
People: Incline your ear to us, hear our words.
Leader: Wondrously show your steadfast love to us.
People: We shall behold your face in righteousness.
Righteous God, we present ourselves to you today during this time of worship. Receive our words, our actions, and our hearts as expressions of our praise for your steadfast love for us. Hear our calls to you, Lord, and remind us of your constant presence, here and everywhere, now and always. Amen.
Moment for Stewardship
I wonder how Jesus’ miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 would play in today’s world. It would probably be splashed across social media, featured in the nightly news, tweeted and posted and all that. It would be analyzed, scrutinized, picked apart and put back together. It would draw all kinds of attention.
Which is the last thing Jesus would want. He wasn’t trying to draw attention to himself. He was feeding people who were hungry. He was taking the resources at his disposal and using them to meet a pressing need that was all around him. No hashtags. No spotlight. Just taking what he had been given and giving it to others.
When we come to this time in worship, we are to follow the example Jesus sets for us in this story. See a need; meet the need. Take what you’ve been given and give it to others. Don’t look for accolades or praise; don’t post selfies to show how humble you are. Simple see a need, meet that need. As we give our gifts today, let’s remember this story and the power God has to turn what we give into so much more. Let’s collect our tithes and offerings.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
God of abundance, we know you can make so much out of so little. We give you today what you have given us, trusting that you will multiply our offerings to meet the needs around us. As you have fed us, help us to feed others, in body and in spirit. Amen.
Invitation to Communion
The story of Jacob wrestling by the Jabbok has a supernatural feel to it, almost a dream-like quality. But we all know the reality of wrestling, not with God, but with the daily challenges of life. Every day brings with it something new with which we must struggle – a concerning diagnosis, a troubling news report, our own sense of fear and anxiety. We may not be wrestling with God, but we are wrestling.
When God invites us to this table, God knows our struggles. So, God offers us something here that only God can – a blessing. It’s not a token, a divine pat on the head. God has offered us this bread and this cup out of God’s own struggles, a blessing earned through sacrifice and pain, so that we may be made whole.
Thanks to Jesus Christ, we can also say we have seen the face of God, a face filled with compassion and grace. Each time we come to this table, we look upon that face again and are once again blessed for our journey. Even if we leave this table limping, we do so with a new name – child of God. Come, eat, be blessed.
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