Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving
January 17, 2021
(if you’re going to focus on “follow” as a service theme,
consider using this Sister Act clip as intro, following the opening prayer or as part of the sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPpd-6X3tEo
Call to Worship (from John 1)
One: In the beginning of this new year, we stake this claim:
we ARE disciples of Jesus Christ.
Many: With eagerness, we join with the early disciples, to “come and see”.
One: Let’s unite our hearts as those who have decided to follow Jesus,
Many: as we lift our voices, saying: “where you lead us, we will follow!”
One: We offer our thanksgiving to God, as we pray:
Good and gracious God, thank you for gathering us this morning, that we might worship you in spirit and in truth. Guard and guide us in this hour, strengthening us to step into a new week of discipleship. Challenge us to help point the way for others, encouraging them to grow into followers of Jesus Christ, the One who came to show us your love. AMEN
Moment for Stewardship
What does it mean to follow Jesus?
The story is told of a hard-working man who realized it wasn’t enough to have a thriving business, a beautiful home and a loving family. When he acknowledged his sense of emptiness, a colleague invited him to come along to church.
Within a few weeks, the businessman decided he wanted to be immersed and become a follower of Jesus. He visited with the minister and they arranged a baptismal date. However, when the day came, the two stepped into the baptistery. Just before being plunged under water, the man pulled his billfold out of his pocket and held it above the water.
After they walked out of the water, the minister asked “what was THAT about?” And the man replied, “I’ll happily give my life to Jesus, but my finances are another thing!”
What does it mean to follow Jesus?
Not just parts of our lives, but our finances, too; all we have been given is just that – a gift — for us to use as faith-filled stewards.
Today, consider how you can demonstrate your discipleship with your offering, your gifts, your tithe. (describe the appropriate ways to share: on-line, phone, in person, by mail)
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Holy God, like the first disciples, we have heard the call to follow Jesus!
As we’ve brought our tithes and offerings to you this day, make us bold in following:
giving more readily, loving more deeply,
showing mercy and compassion more extravagantly,
and seeking justice for others courageously.
Help us, today and each day, truly walk in the Way of Jesus. Amen.
Adapted from www.umcdiscipleship.org/worship-planning/follow-me/second-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-b-lectionary-planning-notes/second-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-b-offertory-prayers
Invitation to Communion
As we welcome in a new calendar year, we come to the Table knowing we’re accompanied by so many who have gone before us. That includes those disciples called by Jesus in John 1; Peter, Andrew, Philip and (only in John’s Gospel) Nathanael.
When Nathanael questioned “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”, Philip responded “Come and see.”
Then, as now, the invitation is personal and specific. It’s an invitation we continue to offer, especially at the table of the Lord.
“Come, TASTE and see.”
(use CH #419 All Who Hunger as your hymn, or invite folks to hear you read or sing … ”you that yearn for days of fullness, all around us is our food.
Taste and see the grace eternal. Taste and see that God is good.”)
Commissioning and Benediction
Go now. Listen for the voice of the Lord
and follow wherever it leads.
And may God be with you and speak through you;
May Christ Jesus be one with you and raise you to life;
And may the Holy Spirit dwell within you and make you holy.
Adapted from © 2002 Nathan Nettleton, http://www.laughingbird.net/