August 30, 2020


From the Center for Faith and Giving

For August 30, 2020


Lectionary Readings

Exodus 3:1-15

Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b

Romans 12:9-21

Matthew 16:21-28


Call to Worship (based on Romans 12)

Leader: Let your love be genuine!

People: Let us love one another with mutual affection.

Leader: Do not lag in zeal, but be ardent in spirit and serve the Lord.

People: We rejoice in hope, are patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.

Leader: Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

People: We rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.

Leader: Live in harmony with one another.

People: Let us not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Opening Prayer

Holy God, you have told us how to live a life worthy of your calling, and you have shown us through the example of your son, Jesus Christ. May this time of worship be a reminder of who you have called us to be in this world. May our hearts and minds be open to hearing and answering that call once again. Amen.


Moment for Stewardship

I’m sure being a shepherd is a busy job. Sheep can’t be the easiest animals to tend. Prone to wondering off, vulnerable to attacks by predators. There’s no doubt Moses had to stay vigilant in his work to ensure the safety and integrity of his flock. And yet, when he saw the burning bush, he said, “I must turn aside.”


There is so much clamoring for our attention these days. Some things are essential, like jobs and family responsibilities. Others are empty distractions that captivate our attention. When God calls, do we have time to turn aside, to see the presence of God with us, to step off the treadmill and step onto God’s holy ground?


This time of offering is a time to turn aside from the demands of the world and answer the call of God to be generous servants. There is so much need around us, but too often we don’t take time to see it. By supporting God’s work through this church, we are claiming our role as co-laborers for God’s kingdom. Let us turn aside and acknowledge God’s generosity as we collect our tithes and offerings.


Prayer of Thanksgiving

Loving God, you have given us eyes to see the need around us and ears to hear the cries of our brothers and sisters. Break open our hearts so that we weep when you weep and remind us you have given us the spirit and the resources to turn mourning into rejoicing. Amen.


Invitation to Communion

Poor Peter. How quickly he goes from proclaimer of the Messiah to stumbling block. Even when he’s living out his best intentions, Peter gets in the way of Jesus’ mission to demonstrate God’s sacrificial love on the cross. Peter thought he knew what was best.


So do I. So do you. Every week, every day, we choose our own wants and desires over the way of the cross. Instead of denying ourselves, we deny Christ as our savior through our words and actions. In trying to save our own lives, we lose the life Christ has called us to live.


So, we come to this table. We come to this table to be reminded that God is God and we are not. We come to be reminded that Christ has shown us what it means to deny ourselves and take up our crosses. We come to be reminded that we save our lives when we are willing to give them up for the work of Christ. At some point this week, we have been a stumbling block. And yet, Christ still invites us to this table to taste and see that God is good. Let us share in communion together.