July 23, 2023

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Pentecost +8    Proper 10A

Genesis 28:10-19a 

 Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24 

Romans 8:12-25

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Call to Worship  (inspired by Ps.139)

One:  Friends, we’re here because God already knows us.
Many:  God knows our coming in and our going out.
One:  God’s presence is in all places.
Many:  So we gather, grateful God knows us,
             and still eagerly leads us to abundant and eternal life.
One:  Here — in our music, our praying, our thinking and our sharing,
Many: in this very place, God holds each of us and all of us
           by God’s own hand.
All:  Together, we come to worship the Lord our God!

Opening Prayer 

Investigating God, we give you thanks for the ways you seek out each of us, and know us both inside and out. With gratitude, we salute you for the knowledge you have of our very essence.
In this time of worship, help us rejoice, knowing you’ll always guide us on the abundant and full road of life in your presence.  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship (inspired by Romans 8)

One of the legal realities of adoption in the United States is that the person being adopted becomes an equal heir with others born to or adopted bythat family.  The law sees a legal adoption as the mechanism by which the adoptee is seen in the same relationship as a child born into that family.

So when Paul uses language of adoption, it’s to assure Gentiles they have the same status before God as Jews. We are ALL children of God.  That makes each of us an “heir”, and joint heirs with Jesus. 

Of course, not all families are the kind of family we might want to claim. 
But God’s family takes us away from fear, slavery, and living as debtors to the flesh.  In God’s family, we no longer live in futility, but we’re set free, by adoption, to redemption and salvation.  These big words mean we can live our lives buoyed up by HOPE.

Claiming this as our truth leads us to a natural inclination to want to offer our thanks to God.  That may come in a variety of ways, but it certainly includes an eagerness to share what we’ve been given with the Giver.  We can give our time, our energy/talent, and our finances as offerings to the God who has created us and claimed us in Christ Jesus.

So this Sunday, and EVERY Sunday, is a day to offer our gifts.  With joyful hearts, filled with gratitude that we’ve been adopted into God’s family, let us share our gifts.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Gracious God, you’ve named us, claimed us, and call us “my beloved daughters and sons”.  With thanksgiving, we return to you these symbols of our live. 

Help us breathe in the assurance of our adoption, which will inspire us to offer all we are and all we have to your service.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion 

(check out “Come to the Table Again” by Andra Moran, in Chalice Praise, #13, as a communion hymn fitting in with the Romans 8 text for today)

Beloved ones, we’ve been given the Spirit of God, through which we are claimed as children of God!  Each of us has a place at Christ’s table.  All of us are invited to share in God’s love feast, eating the bread and drinking from the cup, remembering Jesus, the Christ.

A song, written by the contemporary Disciple composer, Andra Moran, reminds us “We’re all chosen. 
                  We’re all God’s children. 
                  We’re all hopeful as we come to the table again.”

So bring your hope, your joy and your identity as a beloved child of God, as we come share in this meal, remembering Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.