November 1, 2020
Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37
I Thessalonians 2:9-13
Call to Worship (based on Psalm 107)
Leader: O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good.
People: God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Leader: Let the faithful thank the Lord for God’s wonderful works.
People: For God satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry.
Leader: God turns a desert into pools of water.
People: The Lord turns a parched land into springs of water.
Leader: God blesses us with more than we need…
People:…so that we can be a blessing to others.
Loving God, we thank you that you have blessed us with an abundance of so many good things. During this time together, we commit ourselves to you once again and ask you to put a call in our hearts to be your people in this world. We are here, we are listening, we are yours. Amen.
Moment for Stewardship
This faith thing can be hard sometimes. Paul knows that, which is why he implores the Thessalonians to stick with it, even in the face of adversity. Paul asks them to remember how he cared for the Thessalonians, “urging and encouraging you and pleading that you live a life worthy of God.”
We need that same kind of cheerleading because living out our faith in today’s world can feel like an uphill battle. How do we preach peace in the midst of such division? How do we live as one body when we fight amongst ourselves? How do we witness to God’s love when we are surrounded by hate?
One way is through our generosity. When we give of what we have been given, we testify to God’s continued work in this broken world. A life worthy of God includes the sharing of our resources so that others may know what the kingdom of God looks like here on earth. Let us fulfill our calling as God’s children as we collect our tithes and offerings.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Gracious God, we come to you humbled, blessed beyond measure, to say thank you with our lips, our hearts, and our resources. Please receive these offerings as an expression of our gratitude and use them and us to share your good news in a world that is so full of bad news. May your light shine through us. Amen.
Invitation to Communion
This week is a momentous one for our country. On Tuesday, we’ll participate in an historic election, one which is fraught with conflict and uncertainty. While it will be the end of the voting, it won’t be the end of the election or the process to determine who our president will be. It also won’t be the end of the name-calling, hatred, and division this election has generated.
That’s why we need this table now more than ever. We need to be reminded that before we are Republicans or Democrats, before we are pro- this or anti- that, we are the body of Christ. We are woven together, not despite our diversity, but because of it, stitched like a rich, colorful tapestry that embodies God’s creativity and grace. We are not here as a group of individuals; we are here as one body.
This meal convicts us of our divisiveness and separation. The person who votes differently, thinks, differently, speaks differently – they are also invited to this table. During communion, we are no longer adversaries; we are table mates, breaking bread together and sharing a cup, the most sacred and intimate of acts. And we do this thanks to the gift of Jesus Christ. May this meal remind us that on Wednesday, we are still the body of Christ, called to be his hands and feet together in this world. Let us share in communion together.