Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture Readings: Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15:(10-20) 21-28
CALLS TO WORSHIP
Call to Worship #1:
L: Welcome today to a celebration of God’s love!
P: We are grateful for this welcome.
L: Feel the loving power of God flow into your lives.
P: We open our hearts and lives to receive God’s blessings.
L: Come, let us worship God who is always with us.
P: Lord, be with us today as we listen for your words of hope. AMEN
Call to Worship #2:
L: Each one of us here is different.
P: We are unique individuals.
L: We come from various backgrounds.
P: We come with differing needs and dreams.
L: Yet the Lord calls us to worship in unity.
P: Praise be to God who blesses our diversity and our unity. AMEN.
Call to Worship #3:
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2224, “Make Us One,” offer the following call to worship as directed.]
L: Though we come from different circumstances
P: The Lord will make us one in worship.
L: Though we have traveled different paths of struggles and successes
P: The Lord will make us one in healing.
L: Though each one of us has struggles and strife, as well as joy
P: The Lord will make us one in hope.
Congregation: singing “Make Us One” through twice
Call to Worship #4:
L: Sometimes we get the feeling that we are the only ones that the Lord loves.
P: Open our hearts to see all the people who are loved by the Lord.
L: We want Jesus to be our sole possession.
P: But Jesus reaches out to all others in need.
L: Lord, forgive our selfishness.
P: Open our hearts to find healing and restoration that we might be better disciples. AMEN.
PRAYERS, READING, BENEDICTION
You have drawn us together this day from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, hopes, and dreams, Lord. Be with us as together we experience your presence and your healing love. Open our hearts and our spirits to receive strength, encouragement, and peace. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.
Prayer of Confession
Lord, we always want to “capture the moment” when something special happens. We have multitudes of photographs that remind us of special times, but they cannot truly capture the feeling in our hearts. We hunger and thirst for your loving touch and your presence. We sometimes think that we should be the only ones who receive these blessings, and we turn our backs on those in need, either by refusing to help or by pretending that the needs do not exist. But you have heard the cries of all who are in need, and you turn to each one with your healing love. Forgive our selfishness and stubbornness. Heal us and turn us again toward pathways of compassion for all your people. For we offer this prayer in Christ’s Name. AMEN.
Words of Assurance
You have reached out for the Lord, seeking God’s healing power. It is given to you through God’s awesome love. Receive the love of God. Reach out to others with that same compassion. AMEN.
How beautiful is the diversity present here today! Lord, you have blessed us with such variety in this gathering. You have not demanded that everyone be the same, have the same degree of faith, offer the same service. You have given freely of your healing love to each one of us. Today we have offered many names in prayer for healing, restoration, hope, and peace. Some of these names have been spoken aloud in this gathering, while others remain in our hearts and our minds. Yet you have heard each cry for healing. You have heard all the prayers we have offered. Now let us place our trust in your compassion. Let us remember that your blessings extend to all people. Strengthen us in this time to be witnesses to your love and servants in ministry to all your people. For we offer this prayer in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.
[This reading is actually a monologue for one woman. It may be done as “readers’ theater,” using this script, or it may be memorized.]
They called me a fool for pestering Jesus. I didn’t know what else to do. All the healers, all the prayers, all the incantations over my daughter did nothing. I was going to lose her. Her torments seemed to be getting stronger with each moment. I feared for her life. I love her so much. I needed help. And then Jesus came to town. I knew of the wonders that he had performed. Word gets around. And I wondered if he might be able to help me. I’m not an Israelite. I am a foreigner in this land. My faith background is not the Israelite faith. And they said that I shouldn’t even be there. Who did I think I was? They kept shouting at me. “Get away from Jesus,” they said. You don’t belong here. You are not one of us. I didn’t listen to them, or at least didn’t follow what they wanted. I came to Jesus and tugged on his robes, pleading for my daughter’s restoration. And he looked at me. Even his disciples said that I should be sent away." Please, please, Lord. Please heal my daughter!” He looked at the crowds and said that he was sent to the lost sheep of Israel. I didn’t care. I took a risk. “Please, help us, Lord." He said that the bread was for the chosen people, for the children of God. “It was not fair to take their bread and throw it to the dogs.” I couldn’t believe it. A dog? I was a dog? So I summed up all my courage and told him that even the dogs get the crumbs that are dropped under the table. I wasn’t asking for the whole thing, just some healing for one little girl, that’s all. With compassion in his eyes, he looked at me and said “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish!” Amazed, shocked, I felt as though I was floating! Let it be done for me as I wish? My daughter would be healed? Oh my God! It is true. She is healed! She is well! She is whole! And so am I. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for having compassion on me, a foreigner in need. Thank you. Thank you.
Jesus’ love and compassion has been poured out for you today. Go into the world in confidence, bearing forgiveness and love for all God’s people. Go in peace. AMEN.
The traditional color for this Sunday is: GREEN
Place two risers on the worship center. One about 6” high in the upper right side of the worship center; the other about 3” high in the lower left side of the worship center. Place a riser in front of the worship center about 6” lower than the level of the center.
Cover the entire worship center in green fabric, making sure that it drapes to the floor. On the riser on the left, place a 12” square of green fabric in a slightly different shade than the main color. Place another 12” square of green fabric on the riser in front of the worship center.
Place a 10” pillar candle to the left of the riser on the upper right of the worship center. Place a 10” pillar candle on the riser in front of the worship center
In the upper left side of the worship center you may place a green leafy plant. Place a large plant on the floor in front of the worship center to soften the lines of the fabric.
Not necessary for this setting.
Place a brass cross on the 6” riser on the upper right of the worship center. Place several loaves of bread on the center of the worship table, with one of the loaves on the top of the 3” riser. Place a broken loaf on the riser in front of the worship center so that the broken pieces and the break in the loaf are clearly visible, sort of perpendicular.