September 13, 2020
Call to Worship
Leader: God blesses our lives beyond measure.
People: God adds to our joy each and every day.
Leader: The Holy Spirit helps us know right from wrong.
People: Jesus subtracts from our souls the sin that resides there.
Leader: God can take the smallest faith and use it to do wondrous things.
People: God multiplies our gifts for use in making God’s love known.
Leader: We are called to be the one body of Christ in this world.
People: There is no division in God’s kingdom.
Holy God, we come here to acknowledge you as the giver of all good things, to express our gratitude and praise, and to humbly recommit ourselves to your work. Meet us here, O God, and remind us of your unfailing love and your unending call. Amen.
Moment for Stewardship
We live in a society that likes to measure things. Does a walk really count if we’re not wearing our Fitbit or Apple Watch, making sure that each step we take is recorded? We enjoy reading statistics, analyzing budgets, watching polls, seeing how the numbers add up on the bottom line.
Peter asked Jesus a question about the bottom line of forgiveness. “How often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” As if, on the eighth time, Peter could turn to vengeance or retribution. But Jesus doesn’t measure things in terms of numbers; he judges their value in terms of faithfulness. “Not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” No electronic device can measure that much forgiveness.
When we give to God’s work, God is not keeping a ledger, checking the bottom line, or making sure our numbers add up. Instead, God is listening to our hearts. Are we giving joyfully, or simply to meet an obligation? Are we responding to God’s grace with our gifts, or checking off a box on our to-do list? Let us give our gifts, thanking God for God’s immeasurable grace.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Loving God, we know we can never say “Thank you” enough, so we simply do what we can. We trust these gifts will please you because we give them from the heart, acknowledging the abundance with which you have blessed us. Thank you, God, for calling us to be partners in your work. Amen.
Invitation to Communion
Technology can be a blessing or a curse, can’t it? We’ve all probably had the experience of trusting our GPS system to get us to our destination, only to have it lead us down a dead end street. That’s what Moses’ GPS does in the Exodus passage. Instead of depositing the Israelites safely away from the Egyptian army, Moses and followers are led right up to the Red Sea. Dead end.
But we follow a God who makes a way out of no way. Just when you think there’s nowhere else to turn, when all roads are blocked and all exits are closed, when your only choices are to go back to where you don’t want to go or to go forward to where you don’t want to be, God makes a way.
The communion table is the way. It is the parting of the Red Sea for our souls, a path away from our past, through the present, and into new future. Christ’s sacrifice for us means that we are never at a dead end, because God’s love for us will make a way. As we take this bread and this cup, let us ask God to show us the next step on our journey of faith, and may we take it with boldness and confidence, trusting that Christ walks with us. Let us share in communion together.