January 23, 2022

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Epiphany 3

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10  

Psalm 19

1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

Luke 4:14-21 

Call to Worship (inspired by Luke 4:14-21)One: The Spirit of the Lord!
Many:  Come!  Let’s tune our hearts and minds to the Spirit.
One:  The Spirit anoints Jesus’ followers.
Many:  That’s US!  We are Jesus’ followers.
One:  The Spirit of the Lord promises good news to the poor,
            release for the captives, and setting free the oppressed.
Many:  May our worship embolden us to action!

Opening Prayer  

Great God, Giver of the Spirit, and Creator of all life,

In the midst of winter, when so many of us seek warmth, comfort and quiet,
open us to the opportunity we have to live out Jesus’ teachings.  When we would close our eyes to the poor, blame the captives and jail the oppressed, pour out your love to fill our hearts.  Challenge us in this hour to pledge one action in the coming week to provide good news for the poor, release for the captives or freedom for one who is oppressed.

Hear our prayer!    AMEN

 Moment for Stewardship  (inspired by I Corinthians 12:12-31a)

Less than a month after Christmas, I wonder if you can name the greatest gifts you received?  

Writing to the people of the Corinthian church, Paul reminds the believers to “strive for the greater gifts”.  Why?  Because the gifts we’ve RECEIVED are also the gifts we’re challenged to put to use.

Some of us would love to have different gifts, but this scripture in I Corinthians 12 instructs us to recognize it takes many members with many different gifts to make up the whole body.

(use specific references to well-known gifts in your own congregation)
As we come to a time of sharing our gifts, 

we recognize not everyone is able to give great plumbing ability, but ______ shares that with us.

Not everyone has a gift of welcoming newcomers, yet we’re grateful for _______, who helps first-time visitors find their way.

Not everyone is able to lift us to the heavens with music, but we are so often raised up when __________ shares her/his gifts.

Here’s the thing.  YOU are the body of Christ, and individually members of it.  Not everyone can do everything.  Not everyone can write a check for $1000 (well, at least one which will not bounce [ 🙂 ] , but if that’s your gift today, we would be delighted to receive such a gift!

But each of us, and all of us, are able to share because of the gifts God has given each one.

Today, let us offer our gifts with glad and generous hearts, grateful for the ways we’ve received grace upon grace.  

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Generous God, we thank you for instilling each of us, and all of us, with gifts to help build up the body of Christ.  Receive what we’ve offered today.  Bless each one in our giving.  Help us use all these gifts to strengthen the body of Christ known as _______________ Church.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  

(use CH#429, “You Satisfy the Hungry Heart” as communion hymn)

Week by week when we come to the Table, we find it set with gifts of bread and juice.  For those communing at home, as you take something to eat and something to drink, you join in recognizing these emblems as symbols of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

For the Lord of Life, who came as an infant, 
                             who lived as a refugee, 
                             who grew into a teacher/healer/preacher, 
                             who died at the hands of those who mocked him
                                               and nailed him to a cross,

we remember this Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying “take, eat, this is my body, which is (gifted) for you”.

And he took a cup, after they had eaten their meal, blessing and sharing it, saying “this cup is the new covenant, poured out in my blood.  Do this in remembrance of me.”

The gifts of God, for the people of God.

Thanks be to God!