Sept. 6, 2020
Call to Worship (based on Psalm 149)
Leader: Praise the Lord!
People: Sing to the Lord a new song, God’s praise in the assembly of the faithful!
Leader: Let the children of God rejoice!
People: For the Lord takes pleasure in God’s people.
Leader: Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing join from their couches.
People: Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
Leader: We come today to give God all our thanks and praise.
People: Let us worship the Lord our God!
Loving God, we come today to sing your praises and exalt your name. You are worthy of our best, so we are here to give you all that we have and all that we are in this time of worship. Open our mouths, O Lord, so our lips may proclaim your goodness. Amen.
Moment for Stewardship
How do you know if you’ve done enough? Sometimes a life of faith can feel like a never-ending exam, with choices put before us every day. Do we give money to the homeless person on the side of the road? Do we stand up to the friend telling the racist joke? Do we take time out of our busy day to pray or read scripture? Are we doing enough?
In Romans, Paul tells us how to pass this exam in the easiest of terms: “Owe no one anything, except to love one another.” Love is the simplest and most profound expression of our faith. Our goal is to love with God’s love. We can never do it perfectly, but we can strive to it faithfully.
When we give some of what we have for God’s use, we are sharing the love of God in tangible ways. Love does no wrong, Paul tells us, so when we love, we are fulfilling the law that God has given us. Let us now share what we have, trusting that when we love one another, we are doing enough. Let us collect our tithes and offerings.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Holy God, you have given us so much more than we would ever need and called us to share out of our abundance with those who struggle. May we love you, not just in word, but in deed, fulfilling your call to be good stewards. May these gifts help others know the love you have for them through us. Amen.
Invitation to Communion
It’s interesting how food plays such an important role in the most significant events in the Bible. In today’s story from Exodus, the Israelites are given specific instructions on how to prepare and eat the lamb that will ensure their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. The meal is so significant that God commands them to celebrate this as a festival throughout the generations.
Of course, it was at a Passover feast that another important symbolic meal took place, the one we have remembered for over 2000 years and still remember today. In both meals, a sacrifice is made so that those who partake will know the freedom God’s love offers. Through this bread and cup, we are freed from the power of sin and death and offered the gift of new life through the love of Christ.
I don’t know what holds you down, but each of us has something that binds us and keeps us from knowing God more fully. These elements are the keys that unlock those chains for us and set us free to live the abundant life Jesus offers. Unlike the Passover meal, the instructions here are quite simple. Take and eat. Take a drink. Remember. Let us share in communion together.