August 7, 2022

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Proper 14C

Isaiah 1:1, 10-20 

Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23 

Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16

Luke 12:32-40

Call to Worship  (inspired by Hebrews 11)One:  Gathered as people of faith, we come, seeking our true homeland.
Many: Claiming our identity as people of faith, we desire a better country,  
One: recognizing we are strangers and foreigners on the earth.
Many: Grateful for God’s preparation of a promised place,
One: we rally our strength to follow all who have only seen from afar
          what God is preparing.
Many: So let us worship the Lord, our God, 
           who is faithful and continues to call us home.

Opening Prayer  

Ever-loving God, we stand in a long line of those who have gone before us.  Like Sarah and Abraham, we’re eager to step into the blessings you’ve created and promised to your beloved children.
So fill us with your presence in this hour.  
Encourage us with scripture and song, with sermon and celebration, for we yearn to stand with you and know we’re no longer strangers, but have been welcomed home.  AMEN

(consider using “I’m Just a Poor, Wayfaring Stranger” for a meditative prayer-in-song.  One possibility is

Moment for Stewardship  (inspired by Luke 11:33-34)

So often we want only to hear words of encouragement and support from scripture.  We love to focus on the “Jesus loves me” positives.  Yet much of the Bible challenges readers with hard teaching and difficult directions.  

Luke records some of this in Jesus’ teaching found in Luke 11:33-34: 
“sell your possessions, and give alms (offerings for the poor) … 
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

How counter-cultural is this?  

For so many of us, we delight in adding to the possessions we own.  And we’re often flummoxed by the idea of creating treasure in heaven.  In addition, surely there are moments when most of us question why it is we should give money to those who are poor.

Yet Jesus points out giving alms to the poor is one way to build up treasure in heaven.

So you are invited to share financial gifts today, knowing some of what you give will, in fact, go to those who are poor (here name at least one of the specific ways your congregation gives to the poor).  Your freely-offered gift will serve both _________ and will allow you to build up treasure in heaven.

With gratitude for the challenge in Jesus’ teaching, let us receive our morning offering.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Generous God, you give us so much! 
Thank you for giving us Jesus, who challenged his followers with so much of what he taught.  
Thank you for giving us the promise of your Realm, which is already here, but not yet fully known.  
Thank you for this opportunity to give, allowing each of us to act out our desire to have our treasure and our heart in perfect alignment.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  

Jesus’ instructions for his disciples included his blessing for followers who were prepared and alert when the master returns from a wedding banquet.  In a radical word picture, Jesus declares the master will have these vigilant slaves sit down to eat, and the master will serve the servants!

How blessed WE are, when we receive an invitation to come to this Table!  

This is a feast prepared for Jesus’ followers, with the Risen Christ as our host.  Are we prepared?  Are we alert and eager for Christ to enter here?  

Friends, come as guests, invited to share in this meal of remembrance!

(use CH#386, “We Come as Guests Invited” for your communion hymn)