June 6, 2021

June 6, 2021

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Pentecost III

 Genesis 3:8-15

Psalm 138 

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

Mark 3:20-35

Call to Worship  (from Psalm 138)One:  Come!  Let us praise the Lord our God!
Many:  Whole-heartedly, we thank God for steadfast love
                     and faithfulness.
One:  God answers our calls, and increases our strength
Many:  Great is God’s glory!
One:  God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Many:  So come!  We’re gathered to give God thanks and praise.

Opening Prayer             

With the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts, 
     we come to offer our thanksgiving to you, God.
We believe you did not create and then abandon your creation;  
      rather we rejoice when you stretch out your hand,
renewing and delivering life from all that would destroy us.
Hear our praise and receive our worship of you,
     Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.  AMEN  

Moment for Stewardship  

In South America, Africa and Asia, hunters learn a very effective way to trap monkeys. 

The plan is deceptively simple: 
   take a gourd, 
   drill a hole just large enough for a monkey’s hand to pass through, 
   add some weight to the gourd with sand or pebbles,
   place a nut or fresh fruit inside, 
   put the gourd where a monkey will find it.

Here’s what happens: the monkey reaches in the hole to get the food — but the hole is too small for the monkey’s hand to pass through while it’s holding the treat, and the gourd is too heavy for the creature to carry. 

Because the monkey will not let go of its prize, it becomes trapped. 
The animal gives up its freedom to hold on to a small piece of food.

Sometimes we, humans, act much the same!

Our offering is a weekly opportunity for us to move beyond holding tightly to our wealth/treasure, trapping ourselves with what can be seen.

Good news!  What we SEE is not all there is to God’s creation!  Let’s open our hands to make our morning offering, knowing by sharing, we’ll find freedom!  For in 2nd Corinthians, we hear “look not at what can be seen (temporary), but look at what cannot be seen (eternal)”.  

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Loving God, you offer us so much!  
Thank you for modeling the eternal truth of abundance, 
     even when we mostly see scarcity.
Receive our gifts this day, freely given.  
Free the hands and hearts of those not yet able to give.
Open us all to see beyond the compulsive grab-ability of what traps us in this present moment.
Use these gifts, and use us, to find ways to share your Good News.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  

A woman engaged in ministries with those experiencing homelessness in Atlanta, Georgia, continues to teach many who “just want to help”.  She encourages the erstwhile “helpers” to come share time and conversation with those on the streets, rather than showing up at a corner, standing by a car trunk, tossing out sandwiches as tho’ offering bread crumbs to the birds. 

This woman helps others understand what’s more valuable:
   relationship, rather than charity.

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus and the disciples were in the midst of a crowd when Jesus’ mother, sisters and brothers appeared, seeking to “help” Jesus.  However, when he was told of their arrival, Jesus looked at those pressing close to him, claiming “here are my mother and my brothers!  Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

When we come to this Table, we’re claimed in relationship to Jesus.  Though we may not always know how best to live out that relationship, we continue to grow in our understanding of what it means to do God’s will as we pray, worship and seek to serve.

Today you are invited to come to this feast, rejoicing in the relationship we have through baptism into Christ.  May these gifts of bread and juice become for us the power to grow in knowing and living the will of God,
for this week,
in this place,
with all those whom we encounter.