October 29, 2023 (Proper +22)

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Pentecost +22
Also All Saints Sunday

Deuteronomy 34:1-12 

Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17 

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

Matthew 22:34-46

Consider singing “O God, our Help in Ages Past” as an opening hymn, which uses some language from Psalm 90
Call to Worship 
(inspired by Psalm 90)

Leader:  Today, look! This is the day God’s steadfast love brings us together.
People:  Today we rejoice in God, who has been our dwelling place
                           in all generations.
Leader:  Before today, even before the earth was formed, God already lived.                          
People:  How time flies! A blink, and a lifetime is nearly over. 
Leader:  Still, God is!
People:  So we come to offer our praise, filled with gratitude
                           and eager to ask God’s blessing on us and on our work.    

Opening Prayer

Holy God, even as we count our days and number our years, we give thanks that you are from everlasting to everlasting.  

Before we came into life, and a thousand years after we die, you were creating and will still be caring for this cosmos.  

So make yourself known to us in these moments. 
Share your face with us in ways we can recognize you. 
Show us your steadfast love both here,
     and throughout this war-torn and weary world,
     that, with your “hesed”, the work of our hands might prosper
        and move us all closer to true Shalom.  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship (inspired by Matthew 22)

Gary Chapman wrote a book for couples, and another for children, identifying “5 love languages”.  In these books, Chapman demonstrates how learning the language of your loved one/s and acting out your love in that particular way demonstrates your deep connection.  The five languages are physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time and gifts.

When Jesus was asked about which commandment was the greatest, his answer came in 2 parts: “love God” and “love your neighbor”.  I want to use Chapman’s languages as a way to help us consider an answer to “HOW do I act out my love of God and neighbor?”

We can demonstrate our love with physical touch:  Shaking hands, providing a hug, squatting down to be on eye level with a child and responding positively if that child wants to come sit with you in worship!

Words of affirmation:  in our worship, our prayers, our meditations,
and in our encounters with others on the street, at school, at work, or in our home, words of affirmation speak our love: “well done!”  “you’re the best!”
“you make me happy”  “you fill me up”

Acts of service:  coming early to host at church, stepping up to serve a meal, helping an elderly person get their leaves raked, bringing cold water to the charity walk participants

Quality time:  focused time in worship, Bible study, Sunday School,
one-on-one time at home, at work, or on “date night”

Gifts: a simple flower, a thank you note, and yes, your weekly offering of a portion of what God has first given you.

How will you show your love for God and neighbor as we receive our morning offering?

Prayer of Thanksgiving

All things come from you, O God. 
Receive and accept the gifts we now offer you.  Help us use them wisely, that our love for you and for our neighbor might be made known as we
utilize these gifts in the ministries of this congregation.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion

While many will be dressing up in costume today, or Monday or Tuesday, to celebrate All Hallows Eve (more usually called Halloween), we’re invited to a “come as you are” party given by our host, Jesus.

No need to dress up, or pretend to be what we are not.  Rather, this is a time and place where we’re invited to turn away from all that distracts us, and turn toward the Way of Jesus.  It’s the Way of Love – love for God and love for neighbor. 

All who seek to live in the Way of Love, come find nourishment! 
All who yearn to be wrapped in the steadfast love (hesed) of God,
    most clearly made known in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus,
    come to share these gifts of bread and cup as we remember the One
    who called fisherfolk and tax collectors, women and men,
    poor and those who lived with plenty.

Come!  The table is set, and there’s a place for you,
   just as you are, just as you pledge yourself to become.