October 22, 2023

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Pentecost +21

Exodus 33:12-23 

Psalm 99 

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Matthew 22:15-22

Call to Worship 
(inspired by Psalm 99 The Message vocabulary)

Leader:  This is our day, this is our time, to celebrate God.
People:  We’ve gathered to honor the Lord, strong and mighty!
Leader:  God’s love for justice both blesses and challenges.
People:  Just and holy, God over all.
Leader:  Lift high God’s holy name.
People:  Rejoice, for God RULES!                        

Opening Prayer 

Mighty God, we rejoice in this time of worship, as we honor and praise your name.  In a world where many seek to grab the headlines, you are ever-present, and ever-vigilant, seeking all that is right and true for your creation.  Open our ears, our eyes and our hearts, that we might turn full
attention to you.  Inspire us to step fully into your ways of justice and equity both in our hearts and in our actions.  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship (inspired by Matthew 22)

Matthew sets up a time of conflict between the Pharisees (religious leaders) and Jesus in chapter 22, with the Pharisees trying to trick Jesus into denouncing the Roman emperor.  Jesus answered their question in a way which amazed them, and foiled their plan to discredit Jesus.

When asked for the coin which was used to pay taxes, Jesus asked a question about whose image was on the coin.  However, good Jews would recognize the human image shown on the coin was someone made in the image of God.  This coin could be easily understood as both available for taxes (serving the emperor) AND for God (and all that builds up God’s Realm).

As we come to our offering, remember!  We are stewards/care-takers of all  God has provided.  Each one of us decides how best to use the resources we have.  What will you bring today for the on-going work of this congregation and in response to the needs of our community and our world?

With joyful hearts, let us share our tithes, our gifts and our offerings, that God’s Realm will be blessed by these resources.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Holy God, receive this offering, filled with symbols of our lives in coin and check and notes for our electronic gifts.  Accept all of it as a sign of our desire to give back a portion of what you’ve first given to us, for you are holy and call us to holy lives of service and thanksgiving.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion (inspired by I Thessalonians 1)

Paul, writing to the church in Thessalonica, commends the believers for their work of faith, labor of love, and steadfastness of hope in Jesus Christ. 

Wow!  As we gather around this table of remembrance, I invite you to take a few moments to give thanks for people of faith you know or have known. 
(If this would work in your setting, invite people to call out names in each of the following three categories.  Otherwise, simply ask folks to remember…)

Bring to mind someone whose works of faith have inspired you.
Call up memories of someone whose labor of love has shown you the way to model your own life.
And picture the person or people who remain steadfast in their hope in Jesus Christ.

With these remembered ones, bring to the forefront your love for God, as we prepare to share in this feast of remembrance.

Come, eat the bread.  Come, drink the cup, giving thanks for Jesus, the Christ, whose life, death and resurrection continue to bring life to believers.