February 4, 2024

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Epiphany +5

Isaiah 40:21-31

Psalm 147:1-11, 20c

1 Corinthians 9:16-23

Mark 1:29-39

Call to Worship (inspired by Psalm 147)
One:  Gathered to worship God, let’s sing our praise!
Many:  (singing!)  Praise ye the Lord, hallelujah! (1 line or whole chorus)
One:  We sing with thanksgiving, for the Lord rejoices in all who
               hope in the steadfast love of the Lord.
Many: Our God is gracious.
One:  Our God heals the broken-hearted.
Many: So we stand to sing our praise and raise our prayer to the Lord!


Use the Psalter setting for Ps. 147:1-6 in the Chalice hymnal, p. 767

Opening Prayer  

Mighty God, thank you for the ways you provide for us and for all. 
You are great!  You are abundant in power!
We praise your holy name!
Build us up in this hour, that we might be made whole,
   and offer our praise to you, though our words and our actions.

Moment for Stewardship  

Already in the middle of the very first chapter of Mark’s Gospel, we’re hearing how Jesus put his gift of healing into practice. 
Simon’s mother-in-law had a fever; Jesus lifted her up and she was able to serve those who had come home with Simon. 

At sundown, when the Sabbath limitations were ended, a crowd gathered, bringing Jesus many who were sick or had demons (evil spirits).

But by the next morning, Jesus was “prayed up”, and clarified for his new followers “It’s time to move on, time to share the Good News (gospel) of God’s Realm coming near.  Time to call others to repentance.”

As one part of Christ’s body on earth, this congregation has gifts to share both within our own community and to the ends of the earth.  Your financial support makes possible __________________ (name one or two ways your congregation is sharing “Good News” … thru’ your worship service on line?  Thru’ your food pantry?  Thru’ your Bible study?  Thru’ your standing up against racism?)

Knowing the good our gifts can provide, let us contribute our coins, checks and cash for our morning offering.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Holy God,

You’ve given each of us abundant gifts in our own lives.  
Please receive the gifts we’ve brought, and all we’ve contributed on-line, to make possible our witness of Jesus’ Good News to this community and to the wider world.  Just as Simon, Andrew, James and John found ways to use their gifts to build up the work of Jesus, may we use these financial gifts to demonstrate your love to this hurting world.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  

(on this first Sunday of Black History month, consider introducing communion as one opportunity to acknowledge gifts of African Americans, 
then invite the congregation to pray this Great Thanksgiving Prayer:

God of hope and grief,

God of power and strength,

God of the widow and the orphan,

God of the imprisoned and impoverished,

God of the poor in spirit, the merciful, the mourning…

God who sees the proud and arrogant,

God who does not forget those who turn away from the one in need,

God who waits to be greeted in prison, in hunger, in hospital, on the corner,

God who grieves the word spoken in hate and the action that excludes…

You are the one true God and it is our gift and right and duty to call upon you here.

We praise you for your faithfulness in history.

We praise you for your prophets who have shouted the truth.

We praise you for your saving action in leaders, in the church, in the community

And for what You have done sometimes in spite of them.

With all faithful people of Christ, with all your children across the world, with all the saints we name now [insert names appropriate to your congregation regarding Black History Month and local observances], with the whole creation, we praise your name and join the unending hymn.

[Insert whatever form of Holy, Holy, Holy you may choose]

God, with our sighs too deep for words, we come to this table

And we remember when it has been closed.

We remember when the invitation was not open.

We remember when the feast was in part, but not the whole.

With gratitude and thanksgiving, we celebrate in our spirits and our bodies that the barriers people erect cannot withstand the Holy Spirit.

With gratitude and thanksgiving, we celebrate in our spirits and our bodies that the prejudices that people hold will not withstand the Holy Spirit.

With gratitude and thanksgiving, we celebrate in our spirits and our bodies that the ignorance people profess will not withstand the Holy Spirit.

We gather here today and we remember Jesus gathered with those whom he loved.

They celebrated the first Passover, that event that marked the move of the people from slavery into freedom.

As they ate and drank their celebration, their actions anticipated the second Passover- from death into life, from fear into joy, from resignation into resurrection.

Jesus took the bread, a food that they as Jews had in common with all people, gave thanks to you, O God, broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said:

“Take, eat; this is my body – given for you.

Do this in remembrance of me.”

After supper, he took the cup- filled with wine-

A drink they had in common with all people.

He gave thanks to you, O God, gave it to his disciples, and said:

“Drink from this, all of you; this is a new covenant in my blood,

 shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this in remembrance of me.”

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,

You have brought us thus far and we trust that you will not leave us.

Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts

That they may strengthen us in the faith, in the fight, and in our freedom in Christ.

Draw us together and bring us ever more fully into being the people you have created us to be.

Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty God, now and for ever.  AMEN

(This is free and open for use in any congregation with attribution to Pastor Julia Seymour, Lutheran Church of Hope, Anchorage, AK.) 
found at https://lutheranjulia.blogspot.com/2017/02/great-thanksgiving-for-black-history.html