February 7, 2021

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

February 7, 2021
Epiphany 5

Isaiah 40:21-31

Psalm 147:1-11, 20c

1 Corinthians 9:16-23

Mark 1:29-39


Call to Worship 
(from Isaiah 40)

One:  We’re waiting!  Actively waiting for the Lord!
Many:  Our strength renewed, no longer weary and faint!
One:  For our God does not faint or grow weary,
Many:  but gives power and strength to those who wait.
One:  Beyond the Zoom, the quarantine, the COVID, the cold,
Many:  we’re gathered to lift our eyes to the everlasting God,
All:  Creator of the ends of the earth!

Opening Prayer 

God, Creator of all that is,
We’ve come together (both in this place and virtually),
eager to connect to you and to one another.
While it may seem we’re at a dead stop, with little happening,
we pray you’ll fill us with your Spirit, so we might be like
restaurant waiters in a “slammed” restaurant…ACTIVELY waiting!
Draw us close to you in this worship hour, that we might rejoice,
for you give power to the faint and you strengthen the powerless.
Bind us together, so we will go from this place prepared
to run and not be weary
to walk and not faint as we live each day as disciples of your Son,
Jesus, the Christ, in whose name we pray.  AMEN

 Moment for Stewardship 

All around us we know of people who seek out mentors, models, and those who mark the way. Medical students apply for residencies.  Law students want to clerk with top justices.  Student teachers hope for placement with excellent educators.

In Mark’s Gospel, we’re continuing the story of Simon (Peter), Andrew, James and John.  All four, called by Jesus, see him healing those who were sick, casting out demons, praying and preparing to proclaim the message of God’s Realm.

What about for us, today?  How are we setting aside our weariness in order to model our lives on the life of Jesus?  If we are his disciples, what will we offer back today?  How will you express your gratitude for the place you’ve landed, with Jesus as your mentor, model, and marker on the Way?

Especially in these days, facing challenges brought to us by the COVID pandemic, what will you offer?  (make clear the many ways offerings may  be shared; web-site?  Phone?  Mailed?  Placed in an offering tray?)    

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Generous God, you continue to provide us with so much.
Today we give you thanks for the gift of Jesus, who showed his disciples the Way of Love.  As 21st century followers of Jesus, we offer these symbols of our lives, that the Good News might continue to be proclaimed.  Inspire us to use these gifts, and all our lives, as we gladly claim and express our identity as disciples (Disciples) of Christ.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion 

It’s such a simple descriptive story.

Jesus goes with Simon Peter and Andrew to their home, where he heard Simon Peter’s mother-in-law had a fever and was in bed.  Jesus took her by the hand and lifted her up.  The fever left.

And she began to serve them.

Today I invite you to join me, stepping directly into this story, as we gather around this Table. For here is a place Jesus offers his own life.  We may not feel the warmth of his hand in ours, but we know the sense of being lifted up.

Jesus invites you, and me, to be raised up with him.
He offers his own life to us in these gifts of bread and juice.
With these symbols, we take into our own bodies the gift of Jesus,
which he offers to each at our own point of need.

For some, he offers his presence when we feel staggeringly alone.
For others, Jesus provides deep encouragement
when our life seems shallow.
For yet others, this meal strengthens us to face what seems overwhelming.

When we’ve shared this Table, received these gifts,
been assured of God-with-us,
we, too, are released in order to serve.

So come!  Let us share these emblems, and be raised up to service in Christ’s name!

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