February 13, 2022

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Epiphany +6

Jeremiah 17:5-10

 Psalm 1

1 Corinthians 15:12-20

Luke 6:17-26

Call to Worship  (from Psalm 1)  (consider using this image from Australia:
These are cabbage tree palms and other trees growing in the Finke River Gorge in Central Australia.
This is desert country with trees growing beside the river bed whether there is water on top or not.
They send their roots down deep.


One:  We’re gathering for worship, but where is it we are rooted?
Many:  We want to be deeply rooted — not in this place, but in God.

One:  Happy are those who are planted by streams of water,
Many: like trees with leaves that do not wither.
One:  In this hour, let’s sink our roots into God’s law and love,
Many:  so we can drink deeply and produce good fruit!

(adapted from http://www.bruceprewer.com/DocC/C15epip6.htm)

Opening Prayer

Prosper us, God of Grace.
Encourage us to stay planted in your Word and in the Body of Christ.
Help us rejoice, like trees planted by streams of water.
Watch over us, even as we seek to be rooted deeply enough to stand steady in the face of all the challenges of our world.   In the strong name of Jesus, we pray, AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  (inspired by 1 Corinthians 15:20)

Long ago, people of faith were invited to share their “first fruits” as an offering of praise and thanksgiving to God.

Growing up, perhaps some of you lived in homes where the first portion of each paycheck was designated as an offering, to be taken to church each Sunday.  There may be some here who continue to make their regular gift to the church as the first of all that is paid…whether that’s on-line, with a check, or actually bringing cash to put in the offering tray.

When we make a conscious decision to share some of our finances,   creating a habit of giving proportionately and regularly, this becomes a significant way to identify ourselves as people of faith.  How we spend our income shows what’s vital to us.  (Most of us recognize we put some of our money toward what is most important to us…cue the cars we drive, the homes in which we live, the phones we carry.)

Paul, writing to the church in Corinth, identifies Jesus as “the first fruits of those who have died”; the resurrected Jesus — offered back to God as the first of all who are to be raised up.

What are your first fruits?  And where do you offer them?

With joy, let us bring our offerings, clearly indicating the priority we give to Jesus and his church.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

With gratitude, God, we offer these gifts.  You pour out blessing upon blessing for us.  Now we celebrate this opportunity to return a portion of what you’ve first given us.  Accept this offering, and help us use these funds to further build up your Realm on earth.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  (inspired by I Corinthians 15)

Often when we come to this Table, we recall the gathering of Jesus and his disciples in the Upper Room.  We speak Jesus’ words to his disciples on the night he would be betrayed by one of his own followers.  It often is a somber time for us to consider how we, too, find ourselves betraying Jesus.

Yet today, I invite you to come to this table in a spirit of celebration, recognizing the truth: Jesus has been raised from the dead!
There is JOY in our hearts as we claim the resurrected Lord as the first fruits of those who have died!

This meal, then, becomes a rehearsal for the time when we ALL will be gathered at the Table with Jesus as our host.
People from every tongue and nation,
people from every age,
people of all walks of life,
are welcomed here to celebrate with this bread and this cup,
for Jesus who was crucified has been raised to new and ever-lasting life!

Friends, let us rejoice in this Good News:
God continues to raise us all,
and hold before us the promise of resurrection,
following the “first fruits” of Christ.