SCRIPTURE READINGS: 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10; Psalm 48; 2 Corinthians 12:2-10; Mark 6:1-13
CALLS TO WORSHIP
Call to Worship #1
L: God’s greatness is wondrous to behold.
P: Everywhere we look, we can see the imprint of God.
L: From the loftiest mountains to the crashing waters of the sea,
P: There God’s greatness stands majestically.
L: God’s greatness can be within the human heart.
P: Let us honor and praise God with acts of loving kindness and compassion. AMEN.
Call to Worship #2
L: Come! Listen to the word of the Lord!
P: Help us to receive God’s word and direction for our lives.
L: Proclaim the goodness of God’s love!
P: Let our voices and our actions be filled with love.
L: Come, now is the time to worship.
P: Open our eyes, our hearts and our spirits this day, Lord. AMEN.
Call to Worship #3
[Using THE UNITED METHODIST HYMNAL, p. 505 "When Our Confidence Is Shaken" with the tune LAUDA ANIMA (p. 100 "God Whose Love Is Reigning O’er Us"}, have the choir sing the following verses as instructed below.]
L: We are called by Jesus to be in ministry and mission to this world.
P:But we wonder if we are going to be able to do this mighty work.
Choir: (singing verse 1): "When our confidence is shaken in beliefs we thought secure, when the spirit in its sickness seeks but cannot find a cure, God is active in the tensions of a faith not yet secure."
L: As we have listened to Jesus’ words of teaching, seen the healing ministry, so we must place our trust in the call to go and serve.
P: Lord, prepare us this day to truly be the disciples you would have us be.
Choir (singing verse 4): "God is love, and thus redeems us in the Christ we crucify; this is God’s eternal answer to the world’s eternal why, May we in this faith maturing be content to live and die. AMEN."
Call to Worship #4
L: Let God’s praise be heard in the midst of the congregation.
P:Shout praise to the Lord of hosts!
L: Let God’s praise be whispered in the spirits of the people!
P: We give you thanks for the many ways you have loved and guided us.
L: Let God’s praise be proclaimed wherever we are.
P: May we praise God in all that we do and say AMEN.
PRAYERS, LITANY/READING, BENEDICTION
Lord of mystery and community, you have called us here this day to remind us of the mission journey you set before us. Help us to pay attention to the words of Jesus as he sent out his disciples on a mission of healing and compassion. Remind us that success is not measured in the cures, but in the striving. Enable us to truly be your disciples in this world. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Puzzling God, we hear in the Gospel Message that Jesus was questioned and rejected by his own hometown, friends, and relatives, and we wonder how he was able to continue in ministry with such a lack of support. We want to enter our endeavors with full support and acclamation. We are afraid to begin a task if even our families, friends, and hometown folk belittle it and also us. So rather than face degradation, we back down. Forgive our lack of faith and vision. Empower us to be in service to you, even when we do not feel the support of our family. Let us trust in your power and presence with us. Heal us. Guide our lives and our journeys all our days. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
Do not be afraid of the derision of others. Place your trust in God’s call and guidance. Know that the Lord is with you always, even to the ends of the earth. AMEN.
When we are brand-new disciples, we can hardly wait to be sent out on mission for Christ. We are eager to proclaim, to shout God’s praise to the people, to comfort, guide, and heal. But time takes its toll on us. We begin to let doubt assail our enthusiasm. And then we hear Mark’s gospel message. Jesus is ridiculed by his hometown people. They can’t imagine that one of their number could actually be God’s chosen One. They are focusing on what they know....that he is a carpenter, the son of a carpenter, and brother to James, Joses, Judas, Simon and several sisters. He reminds them that they are short-sighted. And with sadness he recalls that even the prophets are not honored or respected in their hometowns. That is the world into which Jesus is sending his disciples, cautioning them to take nothing extra with them. He suggests that they rely on the hospitality of people, and when it is not present, to shake the dust off their shoes and move on. We have trouble with that because we want everyone to like and support us. Lift us up from our fears. Place us squarely on the path of service. Guide our feet and our hearts in your direction, merciful God. As we have lifted up the names of people and situations near and dear to us, let us also remember that this world, which is hurting and scarred, needs our prayers and our service. Point us in the direction of service to you, for we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2214, "Lead Me, Guide Me" have the choir sing the refrain in the spots suggested below]
Reader 1: Before I make a commitment to serving God, I want to be assured that this mission will be successful. I want to know what I will get out of this. Will there be a testimonial for me? How about a dinner honoring the work that I have done? An engraved plaque would be appropriate for me, after all I will have been very faithful.
Reader 2: Lord, I don’t know if I can do this, but I will go where you lead.
Reader 1: I want to know if there are benefits. What about insurance? Travel expenses? What about appropriate clothing and luggage? These things are important.
Reader 2: Lord, all I need is your word and I will proclaim your love to all the people.
Reader 1: Transportation! Now how is that going to be covered? Do I take my own car, if I have to you will have to pay mileage or I won’t go. You know the price of gas and the wear and tear on my vehicle. If you want me to serve, Lord, I want to know the perks.
Reader 2: Lord, you have blessed my life. I am so grateful for all you have done and continue to do. Lead me, guide me......
Choir (singing the refrain, begins softly): "Lead me, guide me, along the way, for if you lead me, I cannot stray. Lord, let me walk each day with thee, Lead me, O Lord, lead me."
Reader 1: I don’t know. I may have to think about this. I’ll see what the family says. After all, if you don’t have the support of the family, what do you have?
Reader 2: I’m ready, Lord. Lead me.
Choir (singing the refrain): "Lead me, guide me, along the way, for if you lead me, I cannot stray. Lord, let me walk each day with thee, Lead me, O Lord, lead me."
Go in confidence. Know that God goes with you to give you words of hope, comfort and peace. May God’s love flow through you to all those whom you meet. AMEN.
The traditional color for this Sunday is GREEN
Note: I recommend putting a brief paragraph describing or explaining the symbolism used in your visual display. These become good teaching tools for a congregation.
Note: This is a wonderful Sunday to play with the imprint of hands and feet, as symbols of mission and service. Using muslin fabric or room darkening fabric (the kind purchased in upholstery/home decor stores - often used to back draperies), about a week prior to this worship service, have adults and children (if you choose) place hand prints and foot prints, using acrylic paint (which washes off skin with soap and water) on the fabric. If you are using muslin, make sure that you have placed a painter’s drop cloth under it so that the paint won’t soak through. Be very careful where people step. You may want to just use handprints, which is simpler and easier to clean up. This fabric should be about 12 feet in length.
SURFACE: Create several levels, using risers of various heights on the worship center and in front of the worship center.
FABRIC: Cover the worship center with landscaper’s burlap (you can purchase this by the 50 foot roll from garden centers - however, before you use it, air it out!). Using green fabric, drape it through the worship center as though it was a stream, letting it puddle on the floor in front of the worship center. Take the 12 foot hand and foot printed fabric, and run it down the middle of the worship center, spilling out onto the floor in front of the worship center.
CANDLES: Use two 8-10" white pillar candles on either side of the cross.
FLOWERS/FOLIAGE: This setting would welcome leafy plants, but flowers would detract from the imprinted panel.
ROCKS/WOOD: Use smaller stones at various places in the setting, to give it some textural emphasis.
OTHER: Other than the imprinted panel, listed in the beginning note, only a brass cross would be needed to be placed on the top riser on the worship center.