January 30, 2022

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Epiphany +4

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 71:1-6

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Luke 4:21-30

Call to Worship  (from Psalm 71)

One:  Come!  Let’s gather our minds and hearts to worship God.
Many:  God is a rock of refuge in the land of anxiety where some languish,
One:     refuge from the grasp of the cruel, where many fight COVID,
Many:   refuge from the hand of the wicked where danger abounds.
One:   We gather to lean on God, who is our refuge.
Many:  Praise God, in whom we hope and trust!

Opening Prayer  

Rock of Ages, we give you thanks for your strong presence.  As we share in this time of worship, tune our hearts to abundant consciousness of you.  
As you stood with Jeremiah and with Jesus, stand now with us.  Call us anew to your service. Then support us today and each day as we act out your love, providing refuge for those in need.  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  (from Luke 4)

Luke describes a time when Jesus came back to his own home-town, stepping into the synagogue to give from his own talents:  to read scripture and to teach.  

In a whip-lash switch, at first, the people who saw and heard him were filled with delight! (Can’t you imagine them whispering “It’s our own Jesus!”?)  But they quickly changed their tune when Jesus declared hard truths!
They formed a mob, took him to the edge of a cliff and were ready to toss him over.

Thankfully, we’re not asked to face a mob.  But we are invited, and expected, to give from our own talents, time and treasure.  

As followers of Jesus, what do you bring?  

Some regularly offer a tithe, or some portion of each paycheck.  Thank you!
Some give financially as they recognize the need to pay bills and provide care for our neighbors.  Thank you!
Some share time and talents, teaching, working with our youth, singing in the choir, counting the offering, (list a few specifics for your congregation) …
You may want to write a note to place in the offering tray, describing the time and talents you are willing to share.

Then, giving thanks to God, who is our rock and refuge,
in gratitude for Jesus, whose teaching continues to inspire our lives
     and in whose death we find a call to life abundant and eternal,
and with thanksgiving for the Spirit, 
     infusing us with God’s love for all of creation,

let us joyfully bring our tithes and offerings!

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Giver of life and all the goodness of our lives,

Please accept these gifts.  
Renew in us an eagerness to share what you’ve first given us.  
Help us work to multiply this offering and use it to build up your Realm
   in _________ (name your community) and in the world.
Fill us with gratitude and send us out to share the Good News of your love,


Invitation to Communion 

Truth-telling Jesus is not always easy to accept.  We know that from scripture (including in his synagogue appearance in Luke 4).

But truth-telling Jesus is the one we meet when we come to this Table, week by week.  Jesus showed his welcome for people of all walks of life when he called his first disciples.  He later responded in love to Mary and Martha, told a parable lifting up a good Samaritan, and included Judas at the table on the night Judas would betray Jesus.  

And that same Jesus invites you, and me, to this Table.  No matter our age, our gender, or who we love, the old hymn says it well,
           “Just as I am, thou will receive,          
             will welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve
            Because thy promise I believe,
            O Lamb of God, I come, I come”

We’re known, bu accepted anyway.
We’re loved, and given this opportunity to bind ourselves once more to the truth-telling Jesus who will not let us go.

You have a place at Jesus’ table.  The feast is prepared.