September 17. 2023

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Pentecost +16

Exodus 14:19-31

Psalm 114

Romans 14:1-12
Matthew 18:21-35

Consider using the traditional “Dayenu” from the Jewish Seder, and add verses or lines as works for you.  Check the explanation for this here:
or hear it here:

Call to Worship  (inspired by Exodus 14)One:  We’ve come together, filled with gratitude for all God has done
               and is doing!
Many:  “Dayenu!”  It would have been enough!
One:  It would have been enough if God had led the Hebrews out of Egypt!
Many:  Dayenu!  It would have been enough!
One:  It would have been enough if God had opened the sea and led the
        people through on dry ground. Dayenu!
Many: It would have been enough.  Today, we give thanks for all God
          continues to do for God’s beloved ones!

Opening Prayer 

Holy God, we do give you thanks for all you do!  You will not leave us comfortless, but continue to bless us today and every day with the presence of your Spirit.  You open our eyes to see the wonders of our world and fill

our lives with love.  You inspire us to be the hands and feet of Jesus, caring for the least, the lost, the lonely.  You challenge us and still call us into life-giving relationship with you.  Dayenu!  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  (in response to Matthew 18)

In Matthew’s Gospel we hear the story of the slave who pleaded for forgiveness of an impossible debt, but refused to forgive the much smaller debt of a fellow slave. 

Standing before the symbols of Jesus (a cross?  A Christ candle?), we’re reminded of the ways we have been forgiven and made new. 

Take a moment and bring to mind what great or what small debts of your life have been forgiven. 

While not every person here has a dramatic faith story of being forgiven, we all know the stories of SOME whose lives dramatically turned for the better because of an encounter with our forgiving and ever-giving God.
(choose one to tell).            

It’s because we KNOW we are forgiven that we respond by giving back.  Today, remember all you’ve received!  Now, let’s respond with gratitude as we share signs and symbols of our lives, grateful for the forgiveness in which we live and the gifts we can give.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Holy God, it would have been enough if you had just breathed into each one of us and given us life.  It would have been enough if you had sent Jesus to show us the Way of Love.  It would have been enough if you had poured blessings into our lives and challenged us to be a blessing. 

And yet…you continue to lead us into lives of gratitude and service.  Thank you for this opportunity to share a portion of what we’ve received.  Help us be spurred on to greater acts of giving and forgiving.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion 

Across America, people have grown more and more accustomed to consuming huge quantities of food and drink.  Travelers stop to grab a 32 ounce drink from the gas station, salads appear in serving bowls, and billboards across Texas invite people with “eat our 72 ounce steak in an hour and it’s FREE!”

When a young minister from Texas went to Italy (his first trip out of the USA), he encountered a vastly different reality. He stepped into a coffee shop and was given a small espresso.  Sitting with some new Italian colleagues, he found the little cup was to be sipped!  After nearly an hour of conversation and one espresso, he marveled at the difference between slurping down a “Big Gulp” at home, and savoring a small cup, sip by sip, in Italy.

At this table, we’re invited to share the taste of bread and the sip of juice;
to savor the moment, and the meal, as we remember Jesus.