Consider using this simple choral arrangement of Psalm 124 as a video, a solo, or with your choir: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVTB4IpkDHI
Call to Worship
(from Psalm 124)
One: Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Many: Life could be much more challenging, but the LORD is on our side!
One: Our help is in the name of the Lord!
Many: The waters do not sweep us away.
One: Our enemies have not swallowed us.
Many: So let’s give thanks to God!
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
With thanksgiving we lift our voices to praise your name, Lord God Almighty.
From the beginning of time, you have created and called your people to lives of witness and service.
You have stood with us. You have stood by us. You have stood up for us!
Thanks be to you, Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer.
Accept our sacrifice of praise this day,
then send us out to declare your goodness,
even in the midst of all the chaos which surrounds us. AMEN
Moment for Stewardship
(from James 5:13-15)
The Psalmist wrote “Our help is in the name of the Lord”.
We hear in James, “…call for the elders of the church and have them pray… in the name of the Lord”
Here’s the thing about names (quoted from J. Carlyle Gill)
The truth is: we are our names. That simple. Biblical people knew this
without any explanation. A name was presence. So when they talk
about the name of God, they are talking about the presence of God.
Name – presence. Presence-name.
Today, we have the opportunity to make a gift “in the name of the Lord”. What we bring to share is not just payment to keep the lights on, or pay the minister. What we bring is an offering because we’ve gathered in the presence (name) of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
In gratitude, we now offer our gifts, our financial support, demonstrating our desire to live and stay in God’s presence.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
God, we offer these gifts that they may be used to declare your presence in all the earth. Receive them, and receive us as your beloved sons and daughters, eager to work alongside you in building your Realm on earth.
We pray “in the name of the Lord”, AMEN
Invitation to Communion
(from Mark 9:30-37)
Can you imagine how challenging it must have been to be one of the first of Jesus’ disciples? The Gospel writers record so many times when the disciples just did not comprehend what Jesus was doing, or understand what he was saying.
In Mark 9, Jesus is teaching the disciples that he would be killed and raised to new life, “but they did not understand”. And when they walked on, Jesus knew they were arguing among themselves. However, when he asked, they were silent, because they were not focused on the news Jesus was going to DIE, but they’d been arguing about who was the greatest disciple.
2000 years later, when we come to this table, what is it we’re focused on? So often, I find I’m focused on who forgot to step forward as a deacon, or how the flowers seem to overwhelm the chancel. Sometimes, I might be trying to corral a fidgety toddler or glaring at the giggling teens. Other times, I might be imagining how I stack up as a disciple. (I may not be “the GREATEST”, but surely I’m at the top of the list J.
Today, I invite you to simply push all that out of your mind and heart.
This meal is not designed as a feast for the “A” list stars. Rather, it’s a simple opportunity to claim our places around the table, seeking to welcome every powerless, position-less child in Jesus’ name.
There’s something about that name!
(consider playing/using “There’s Something About that Name”, CH #115 as communion music)