August 28, 2022

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Proper 17C

Jeremiah 2:4-13 

Psalm 81:1, 10-16 

Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16

Luke 14:1, 7-14

Call to Worship  (inspired by Psalm 81)   
     invite the worship leader to encourage folks to SHOUT!One:  Sing aloud!
Many:  Let’s shout for JOY!
One:  God brought the Hebrews out of bondage in Egypt.
Many:  Remembering, let’s shout for JOY!
One: God’s eager to welcome us to freedom in Christ.
Many:  Grateful, let’s shout for JOY!
One:  God’s eager to bless us as the chosen people were blessed,
             with finest food and sweet honey,
Many:  As God’s beloved people, let’s sing our praise!

(let the opening hymn/song be lively, joyful and perhaps accompanied
  by maracas, drums, or rhythm instruments handed around to whoever 
  is willing to play.)

Opening Prayer  

Mighty Lord,
You are the one who freed the Hebrews,
                               sent Jesus to live on earth as brother and Messiah,
                    and daily offers to walk with us in our joys and in our sorrows.
Thank you for your presence with us!
Grant us courage to joyfully respond
     in our minds, our hearts and our actions,
     today and every day.  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship (from Hebrews 13:16)

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God”

(tell your own short story of sharing, or use this one)

In another congregation, a man came to my office and asked if we could talk.  “Of course”, I responded, and showed him to a seat.  Before sitting down, he pulled his wallet out of his back pocket.  

Jumping right into the reason he had come, he declared, “I was given an unexpected bonus at work, and I want your help, to pay some bills.”

“I’d be glad to help.”

“I want this to be anonymous.  Would you take this cash to the utility company, and pay for a month of utilities for Elizabeth and another month for Thomas?”

Dumb-founded, I saw he was handing me several hundred dollars to pay bills for two members of our congregation!

I agreed to be the courier, and assured him this gift would be anonymous.  
He smiled, got up, lit up the room with his grin, and declared, “I think this is something that would make Jesus smile!”

As we share our tithes, gifts and offerings, consider how you are doing something good as you share what you have.  

Imagine how your sharing will be pleasing to God!  
(or “Imagine how this moment would make Jesus smile!”)

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Holy Giver of Life, thank you for Jesus!  Thank you for the teaching we continue to receive through the words of scripture.  And thank you for this opportunity to “do something good”.  

May our gifts, and our lives, be sacrifices which are pleasing to you.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  

In a world where many people feel lonely and left out, this Table shines as a symbol of our connection with God, with one another and with a great cloud of witnesses.  

Did you hear, in the reading from Hebrews, a refrain from Psalm 118:  
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can anyone do to me?”

Friends, we do not exist as lone rangers!  

Time after time, God promised God’s people “I will be with you”/”I will not fail you or forsake you” (Deut. 31:6, Joshua 1:5).  

And in Jesus, God acted to SHOW “God-with-us”!

Jesus welcomed all the disciples to his last supper – even Judas.  Even Peter.  At this Table, you are welcome.  There’s a place for you, no matter if you’re knit into the fabric of friends and family, or if you find yourself a solitary set-apart single, completely alone.

Come!  May Christ be made known to each of us and to all of us 
in the breaking of the bread, and the drinking of the cup.