Center for Faith and Giving
Lectionary Worship Materials
July 19, 2020
Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Call to Worship (based on Psalm 139)
Leader: O Lord, you search us and know us.
People: Know my heart, O Lord.
Leader: You discern our thoughts from far away.
People: Hold my heart, O Lord.
Leader: Even before a word is on my tongue, you know it.
People: Listen to my heart, O Lord.
Leader: Even the darkness is not dark to you.
People: Light up my heart, O Lord.
Holy God, you know us and yet you still love us. Thank you for your unending grace and your willingness to follow us to the deepest depths of our bad decisions and highest heights of our joyous moments. We are here with you because you are everywhere with us. Receive this worship as our thanks. Amen.
Moment for Stewardship
“Surely the Lord is in this place – and I did not know it!” That’s Jacob’s response after his dream about angels ascending and descending a ladder to heaven. Jacob is on the run for his life, not sure where he’s going, stuck in the wilderness. And then God shows up! In what feels like the least likely place, God gives Jacob a sign that Jacob is not forgotten.
It’s easy to feel forgotten, especially when the world is as tumultuous as it is now. Where is God in the midst of all we are dealing with? Jacob’s story reminds us that God IS here with us, even if it doesn’t always feel that way. How does Jacob respond to this revelation? He builds an altar and gives some of his oil to anoint it.
Similarly, we are called to name God’s presence in our lives by giving some of what we have to God’s work. We “set up an altar” when we use our resources to acknowledge God’s presence in and among us. The gifts you give to support this church are one way of saying, “God IS here with us.” Let us build an altar today with our tithes and offerings.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Ever-present God, we know you are here with us, even when we don’t feel your presence. Thank you for walking with us in the wilderness. Use these gifts to let others know they are not alone, that they are loved beyond what they can even dream. Thank you for letting us join you on this journey toward hope and a transformed future. Amen.
Invitation to Communion
Are you a weed or wheat? Depends on the day, right? Some days I feel like I’m standing tall, soaking in the sun, growing in God’s grace and love. And other days? Well, let’s just say I’m glad I haven’t been plucked up and thrown into the fire. We all have our weed days, don’t we?
And yet, this table is still set, the bread and the cup are still here, and the invitation is still offered. To YOU. For YOU. Whether you are a weed or a wheat, Jesus invites you to come and receive the gift that has been lavishly poured out for you.
But Jesus isn’t just inviting you. He’s also inviting your weeds, the people that you think don’t belong at this table. Because of all the division in our world today, each of us has someone – or a group of people – who serve as our weeds. They frustrate us, choke the life out of us, make us think unkind thoughts. Guess what? They’re invited to this table, too.
Christ’s ministry is one of reconciliation, not only reconciling us to God, but reconciling us to each other. May our time at the table this morning be one of healing, of mutual understanding, of seeking common ground. We’re all weeds. And we’re all wheat. Let us share in communion together as the one body of Christ.