Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving
Martin Luther King, Jr. remembrance
Call to Worship (inspired by Psalm 36, from The Message)
One: Rejoice! God’s love pours over us and all creation!
Many: How eager we are to be filled with God’s banquet,
One: to taste the wonder of God’s spring water!
Many: We look to God, a fountain of cascading light,
One: and offer our praise when God opens our eyes.
Many: Let us worship the Lord our God, who welcomes each, and all!
Fountain of Light,
In the midst of winter darkness, we turn to you, ready to offer you our praise. As we worship, open our eyes to see the wonder of YOU, and your abundant grace.
As Jesus made the Cana wedding feast a time of delight, so may this hour lift us up. Fill us here and now, so we will be strengthened to face the challenges before us in the coming week. AMEN
Moment for Stewardship (inspired by John 2)
When we come to this moment in our worship, we often try rationally to encourage generous giving by each person.
Looking to the story of Jesus and his Mom at a wedding feast, however, we see how this mother pushed Jesus into an act of generosity (even if it was to get his Mom off his back!). A contemporary poet puts it this way:
What Makes You Think You Don’t Need It?
This Jewish mother knew the score;
She knew her son could do much more
Than just sit back, all uninvolved;
And so, this ponderer resolved
That she’d weigh in, and speak her mind,
E’en though, this son of hers, unkindly
Sometimes you need a push
To get yourself up off your tush;
And if that’s true of even God,
Perhaps for you, it’s not so odd.
Scott L. Barton
Consider this your push to act out the generosity which God models for us each day: give to strengthen and encourage those who will receive a blessing from your gift!
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Thank you for challenging us today to get off our tushes (or soften this language, i.e.: “challenging us to do all we can do to share our treasure.”)
Please accept these gifts. Inspire each of us toward true generosity, and use what is provided to accomplish far more than what any one of us could, or would, do alone.
We offer this prayer because of Jesus, who turned water into wine, and inspires us to turn our bottled-up natures into ever-flowing springs. AMEN
Invitation to Communion (remembering MLK, Jr.)
On this third Sunday of January, we come to this Table of remembrance, filled with gratitude for the ministry and mission of Jesus. We celebrate all who have decided to follow Jesus with their lives. Today we lift up the extraordinary ministry of Martin Luther King, Jr., who challenged Christians everywhere to practice justice, not revenge, and bless others rather than curse them.
So as we prepare to eat this bread and drink from this cup, let us join with MLK to act out our faith, preparing to bless others as we live in Jesus’ light and love. Remember:
“darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
hatred cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Come! Follow Jesus! Join with MLK and all the company of those who are Jesus’ disciples as we share in this meal of light and love.
(If you can, use CH #469 “I Am the Light of the World” as solo, choir music or congregational singing for communion)