July 25, 2021

Worship Resources for Pentecost X

Call to Worship  (from Ephesians 3)

One:  Rejoice!  For Christ dwells in our hearts!
Many:  We’re rooted and grounded in love,
One:  and we’re strengthened with power in God’s Spirit.
Many:  So we open our hearts to be filled with the fullness of God.
One:  Let’s give GLORY to God here and now.
Many:  Glory be to the One who fills our hearts!

(consider using some “camp” songs with “heart” in worship today: 
“Into My Heart”, with the line “shine into my heart, Lord Jesus”
“Lord, I Want to be a Christian”, with the line “inna my heart, inna my heart,
        Lord, I want to be a Christian, inna my heart”.)

Opening Prayer 

Shine into our hearts, Lord Jesus. 
We’re grateful for this opportunity to gather to worship our Creator.
Let the light of your love fill us to overflowing,
  so all we think, say and do
 will be pleasing to you, God of our lives.

Then, shine OUT of our hearts, Lord Jesus.
Let our lives be signs of your abundant life,
   demonstrating your desire for a whole world
         of justice, gratitude and peace,
even as we pray this day through the strong name of Jesus.   AMEN

Moment for Stewardship 

An old song has the lyrics “such as I have, I give you, willingly”.

That describes the gifts of the nameless boy in John’s Gospel who brought five barley loaves and two fish with him when he came to hear Jesus teach and watch him heal those who gathered.  Willingly, he put what he had into Jesus’ hands.  Look what happened!

As we come to the time of receiving our morning offering, let’s imagine what could happen if each one of us would act on these words: 
“such as I have, I give you, willingly”.

(use the specifics from your own situation, or use these ideas, below)

What time would you give to share God’s love in our congregation?
In our tutoring program?
In our Vacation Bible School?

What talents would you offer to spread the Good News beyond these walls?
Your IT skills?
Your musical talent?
Your ability to build a ramp for someone unable to leave their home because the stairs are too steep?

What treasure would you place in the offering plate,
    or text,
    or give on-line through our web-site, today?
How will you offer the treasure of your time and talent?
What will you offer to add to your will
    or leave as an inheritance for this congregation.

Such as you have, will you give, willingly?

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God of abundance,

We give you thanks for all you provide for us, day by day. 
Thank you for these gifts, now offered back to you
    from the lives of your gathered people.
Please accept them, and help us find the best ways to utilize them,
that our living faith will be marked by the same generosity
   as that young boy offered.

Such as we have, we give you, willingly.          AMEN

Invitation to Communion  (from John 6:1-15)

With the Olympics beginning this week, many of us have watched to see who is able to do their best in this challenging set of competitions.  These are many of the best athletes in the world.  Some of them have been training for years to win in contests which last only a few minutes.

And all of them, gathered together, must find ways to be nourished each day.  Can you imagine the challenge of feeding this many international visitors? 

John’s Gospel tells the story of Jesus feeding the masses who had come to hear him on the seashore.  No chefs, refrigerators or massive tents available.  Not the well-trained athletes coming from around the world.  Instead, Jesus faced a mass of humans who had walked to where Jesus landed, who now were hungry.

What joy there is when we’re confident our hunger will be met, whether we’re half way around the world or right here in our everyday church home!

Our joy, today, comes from knowing we are not in competition,
 but we ALL are invited,
       we ALL are welcome,
       we ALL will be fed, nourished, and
    there will be enough that nothing/no one will be lost.

Come!  Come with joy!

(use CH #420 “I Come with Joy” as your communion hymn, or as
 communion music)

(This meditation was inspired by Carolyn Brown’s writing:  http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2012/07/year-b-proper-12-17th-sunday-in.html)