July 14, 2024

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Pentecost +8

2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19 

Psalm 24 

Ephesians 1:3-14

Mark 6:14-29

Call to Worship  (inspired by Ephesians 1)

One:  Welcome to worship, where we’ve been blessed by God!
Many:  We’re here to honor the One who chose us, adopted us,
             and is redeeming us in Jesus Christ.
One:  God lavishes grace for each and for all – a free gift!
Many:  We’re each given an inheritance, for we are beloved children of God.
One:  So let’s rejoice in the way we’re blessed by God’s Spirit.
Many:  Rejoice!  Celebrate!  We are God’s people, filled with the Spirit!
All:  Let’s speak out our joy, as we pray:

Opening Prayer  (unison)

Abba, God, we’re filled with joy as we gather to praise you.
You’ve claimed us, named us, and called us into full life
    through Jesus, the Christ.  
Thank you!
Accept our worship today. 
Fill us with your Spirit,
    and help each of us know how to set our hope in you
    even as we claim once more our identity as your beloveds.  AMEN 

Moment for Stewardship  (thinking of Mark 6:22)

The text from Mark 6 speaks of a powerful man’s desire to respond with generosity when his daughter danced to entertain the guests at his birthday party. 

Herod, the King, was trapped when the daughter’s request was for the head of John the Baptist!  He did not want to upset his daughter, his wife, or his guests.  He did not want to be seen as someone who did not follow through on his brash proclamation (“whatever you ask of me, I will give you”).

Thinking through this text, as we come to our time of offering, we have an opportunity to be both cautious and generous. 
The cautionary word is “be realistic about what you’re willing to give”.
The generous word is “be lavish in what you offer!”

When we recognize the abundance God lavishes on us every day (air to breathe, water to drink, food to nourish us, our congregation to nurture us…), we’re eager to offer the best we have!

What will you offer today? 

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Generous God, thank you for all you provide for us in this life. 
Thank you for your promise of full life in Jesus Christ.
Thank you for planting in us the seed of generosity which grows as we give.

Please accept the gifts we’ve offered today.  Encourage each of us to grow
to offer the best of what we have.  May we, together, continue to build up your Realm on earth, as it is in heaven. 


Invitation to Communion 

After reading of Herod’s birthday bash and banquet, we come to THIS table  
   for a more simple feast. 
Here we mark not the king’s birth day,
   but the night before Jesus’ death day. 
Here we come not to give presents to Herod (the king),
but to receive the gifts of bread and juice symbols of Jesus’ body and blood.
Here we focus on the One who does not demand our allegiance, but the One who offers himself as our teacher, healer, redeemer and Savior.

Come, then, to partake.
Remember, as we touch and taste, these emblems are given to each one as gifts to build us up into the likeness of Jesus, the Christ.

All is prepared!  Let us feast.