August 21, 2022

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Proper 16C

Jeremiah 1:4-10 

 Psalm 71:1-6 

 Hebrews 12:18-29

Luke 13:10-17

Call to Worship  
(from Ps. 71)One:  Come!  Let us worship the One who is our rock and fortress
Many:  God is our hope, and the One we trust.
One:  From our birth, thru’ all the challenges of life,
Many: the Lord is our rock and fortress!
One:  Praise God!
Many:  May our praise pour out in song and prayer.
All:  Let us worship the Lord our God!

Opening Prayer  

Holy Lord of Life and love,
You are with us in each moment of our days, 
    you stand with us in our joys and in our sorrows.
Thank you!  You are our hope every step of the way.
Accept all we bring to you today, and touch us with your peace,
  that we might be renewed 
  and filled with energy to share the Good News of your love,
  made known in Jesus the Christ.  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  (inspired by Luke 13:10-17)

Luke records the story of Jesus healing a crippled (bent over) woman on the Sabbath, in the synagogue.  What a gift!

When the one in authority griped about Jesus “working” on the Sabbath, Jesus responded with an appeal to ordinary actions everyone took on the Sabbath (leading animals to water), and an acknowledgement of the woman being set free from bondage as a similar action.

Jesus gave what he had:  both the capacity to teach, and the capacity to heal.  

Today, each of us is invited to give what WE have.  

Some of us may offer the work of our hands, perhaps on a Sunday, or perhaps on another day of the week. 

Some of us may offer to share a talent:  creating new banners, playing an instrument for worship, visiting in the hospital, reaching out to visitors, cooking for our neighbors (list specifics which are part of YOUR particular setting).

And all of us are invited to share from our finances.  Whether your gift is $25 or $2500, we invite you to make an offering to support the work of this congregation and to confirm your understanding that ALL we have is a gift from God…so we return a portion of that gift, as our way of saying “thank you”.

As we make our offering, may each of us experience being set free from the bondage we’ve known (particularly from the bondage of such addictive attachment to our time, our talents and our treasure that we’re loathe to share).  

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Release us, God, from the bondage of holding too tightly to “our stuff”.  Receive these gifts, and help us use them wisely.  
Receive the intention of our hearts to model our lives on the life of Jesus, who poured out his time, his talents and his love, 
 always seeking to lift up the least, the lost and the left-behind.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  

The end of the story about Jesus healing the bent over (crippled) woman is a note declaring “the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things (Jesus) was doing.”

Somehow we’ve become habituated to this meal as a somber, quiet, reflective time.  However, it’s also a meal of JOY!  

Today, I invite you to call to mind the wonderful things Jesus (or “the Spirit”) is doing.  
Here are some I would name:
bringing people together at one table, 
helping us become aware of the great cloud of witnesses who surround us 
providing comfort in our times of despair or grief
challenging us to act out our love for others, even those who are difficult
(name two or three “wonderful things”, or invite the congregation to call out
 some, or share 1 or 2 with someone near them).

Let us join that long-ago crowd, rejoicing at all the wonderful things Jesus is doing, as we share this bread and drink from this cup.