Worship Elements: October 29, 2017

September 29th, 2017

21st Sunday after Pentecost

Color: Green
Scripture Readings: Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8; Matthew 22:34-46

Theme Ideas

God cares for us, and we are called to show God’s love by caring for one another! That message comes through clearly in each scripture reading. Even in the poignant story of Moses’ death, we are reminded that it is God who sent Moses to rescue the Hebrews; it is God who delivered them to the Promised Land, and it is God who continues to provide after Moses is gone. Indeed, God’s love has been at work in the world since the beginning of time—from everlasting to everlasting says the psalmist. So how do we respond? The epistle illustrates mutual support and nurture changing lives within the community of faith. As Jesus shows us, the requirements are very simple: Love God fully, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Call to Worship (Psalm 90)

God, we know you are with us.
From everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
You have showered your love upon all generations,
since the beginning of time.
From everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
Guide us now through this time of worship,
and into the week ahead.
From everlasting to everlasting, you are God.

Call to Worship (1 Thessalonians 2)

We do not gather in vain,
for God is working in our hearts.
The love of Jesus Christ calls us together.
Our worship strengthens and empowers us
to share the gospel.
The love of Jesus Christ shines in our lives.
Proclaim the good news with boldness.
The love of Jesus Christ is at work in the world!

Contemporary Gathering Words

Welcome to the house of God’s love.
Is this the right time?
Is God’s love available now?

God’s love is always here, always ready.
But what about emergencies?
What if the system crashes?

God’s love has been around since the beginning,
and it will be here after the ending.
We’re ready to live in God’s love, 24/7!

Praise Sentences (Deuteronomy 34, 1 Thessalonians 2)

This is the promised land of God’s love!
Look around and see God’s love reflected on each face.
This is a place where people are cared for and nurtured.
You are loved here.
This is the promised land of God’s love!

Praise Sentences (Psalm 90, Message)

God, you’ve been our home forever.
From “once upon a time” to “kingdom come”—
you are God!
We know you’re there, God.
Surprise us with love at daybreak!
We’re ready to dance in your love all day long!

Opening Prayer or Prayer of Confession

Everlasting God,
you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
Since the creation of the world,
you have nurtured us with your love.
And yet we shamefully acknowledge
that we do not always share your love with others.
We are selective about who we choose as neighbors. . .
only those who are clean,
who look like us,
who talk right,
who seem safe.
Loving God,
teach us to love you more fully.
For in loving you, our lives will show love to all others,
even as your love encompasses all your creation,
in all generations.
We pray in the name of your greatest gift of love,
Jesus Christ. Amen.

Opening Prayer

God, you are God forever.
This alone is cause for celebration,
but we also know that we are your people!
As we feel your love washing over us now,
may we love you with every part of our being:
heart, mind, body, and soul.
We celebrate your love in our lives,
and we ask for your help
as we try our best to boldly share the good news
    of your love with others.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ,
who models the way for us. Amen.

Benediction

Go to celebrate the God who is our home forever.
God’s love goes with us!
Go to follow Christ’s example in loving God, self,
and neighbor.
God’s love goes with us!
Go with the Holy Spirit to change the world with love.
God’s love goes with us!

Benediction

As you leave this place, may God’s love surround you,
uphold you, and empower you to be agents of love
in this world. Amen.

From The Abingdon Worship Annual, edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © Abingdon Press. 

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