October 11, 2020
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Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23
Call to Worship (based on Psalm 106)
Leader: Praise the Lord!
People: God’s love is good; God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Leader: Who can utter the might doings of the Lord?
People: Happy are those who do righteousness at all times.
Leader: Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people.
People: Help me, O God, when you deliver your children.
Leader: That I may see the prosperity of the ones you love.
People: That I may rejoice in the gladness of belonging to you.
Gracious God, we come before you as people who have fallen short of your glory, who have sinned against your goodness, who have ignored the image of you in others. And yet, you still call us here as your people, claimed and forgiven, to hear our praise and to share your word with us. Our ears, our eyes, our hearts are open, Lord. We commit ourselves to you once again. Amen.
Moment for Stewardship
Those sinful Israelites! They had the leadership of Moses right in front of them, and yet their impatience causes them to forge a golden calf to worship instead of waiting on the Lord to provide. They take their gold and turn it into an idol, worshipping the very resources that made them wealthy in the first place. Good thing we never do that!
Actually, our golden calves are too numerous to count. Anything that gives us status is potentially a symbol of worship, something to which we’ll pledge our faith and fight to guard. When we worship things of our own making, selfishness always wins out over generosity. “This is mine!”
And yet, we know none of it is ours. That’s what it means to be steward, to watch someone else’s possessions. In this case, God calls us to be stewards of God’s resources, using them as God would use them. God doesn’t build idols; instead God is building a kingdom and invites us to join in the labor. That may mean giving up some of our gold instead of worshipping it, but we might just find that true happiness doesn’t come from bowing down to our idols, but in opening our hands to share what we have. Let us now collect our tithes and offerings.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Holy God, you have given us so much, and yet we are never satisfied. Forgive our greed and impatience and help us remember that what we have isn’t to be worshipped, but to be used to serve you by serving others. May we recognize your blessing and your call in our lives. Amen.
Invitation to Communion
“Do not worry about anything,” says Paul. That’s almost laughable. Maybe Paul is so serene because he’s already tested negative for COVID. I think a more appropriate rendering of this verse for today’s world would be, “Try not to worry about everything!” And yet, Paul says, “Do not worry.”
When we come to this table, we come filled with worry. There’s just so much going on that causes us to tremble. And yet, these elements haven’t changed. Regardless of what happened in our lives this week, the table is still set. Still bread. Still cup. Still the same invitation of welcome and inclusivity. Still the same message of forgiveness and grace.
Communion is not a magic elixir that will take away all our worries. Instead, it’s a tangible reminder that there’s someone on our side who’s bigger than our worries, someone who walks with us into this week filled with unknowns, someone who promises us the kind of peace that will guard our hearts. And when we given into worry this week…still bread. Still cup. You’ll still be welcomed here. Let’s share in communion together.