January 31, 2021 (Epiphany 4)

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

January 31, 2021
Epiphany 4

Deuteronomy 18:15-20

Psalm 111

1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Mark 1:21-28

Call to Worship  (inspired by Psalm 111)

One:  This is the day to praise God!
Many:  With whole hearts, we come to give thanks to the Lord,
One:  for God’s works are great; God is gracious and merciful!
Many:  Holy and awesome is God’s name.
One:  So let’s use this worship time to practice honoring God.
Many:  Rejoicing in our time together, let’s praise God!

Opening Prayer  (an acrostic prayer in the model of acrostic Psalm 111)

Abundant God,
Believing you show us your power,
cast us not away from you, but
deliver us into full awareness of your presence.

Eagerly we wait,
fully expecting time to practice our faith.
Give us this time,
help us focus.
Inspire us in these moments,
just as you inspired the psalmists.
Keep us mindful of your
Mold us.
Name us once more as your own beloved children.

Open our minds and hearts, that we might
praise you fully!
Quiet the whirlwinds within us.
Restore to us the joy of our
telling us Good News once more, from down below and from
up above, from without and within,
voicing your
wisdom, that we might
YOU – from A to
Z!     AMEN 

Moment for Stewardship 

In the scripture from Mark 1, we hear the astonishment of Jesus’ disciples when they heard Jesus speaking.  They recognized he was teaching “with authority”! 

Jesus offered what he had, in that moment.  Even the unclean spirit inhabiting one of those in the synagogue recognized the power of this teacher. 

What is this?!

It’s precisely what we’re invited to do.  As disciples, we’re following Jesus when we bring the gifts we have and whole-heartedly put them into the service of God. 

Is that sacrificial financial giving?  Is that speaking with authority as a truth-teller?  Is that sharing your faith with those around you? 

Let your offering this day be enough to astonish others, if they have eyes to see and ears to hear. 

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Generous God, thank you for offering Jesus as a sign of your presence in the world.  Receive our offering, now, as we share these gifts with full expectation they will show your presence in the world as they are used in the ministries and outreach of this congregation.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion 

On this last day of January, many of us are sitting in our own homes, hearing music, prayer, scripture and sermon from our computer, television or phone.  Some of us may be sitting “socially distanced” and masked in the sanctuary, knowing when the last “amen” sounds, we’ll be walking out without hugs or hand-shakes.

But wherever we are, we take these moments to bring ourselves, the best we can, to sit “at table”.

Wherever you are, come!  For this is a table of remembrance.  

Remember when you held broken bread and passed it to someone sitting next to you? 

Remember when you poured the cup and offered it to the lips of a person who could not hold his (her) own cup?

Remember when you “passed the peace” in order to get right with someone before you both communed?

This is the table of remembrance.

So pull those memories, and re-connect them.  Re-member the Upper Room, where Jesus, saying “this is my body”, passed the broken bread even to loud-mouthed Peter and to Jesus’ betrayer, Judas. 

Bring your memories into this time and place.  Re-member Jesus, pouring a cup of wine, offering it to his disciples:  saying “I will never again drink (it) until that day I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”  (Mark 14:25).

Re-member, and be renewed as we share at this table of remembrance.