Worship Elements 2: September 25, 2016

August 15th, 2016

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15; Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16; 1 Timothy 6:6-19; Luke 16:19-31

THEME IDEAS

We can trust God in all circumstances and with all aspects of our lives. In the midst of enemy occupation and on the brink of exile, the prophet Jeremiah trusts that God has a promising future for the Hebrew people and their homeland. A seemingly irrational act in enemy-occupied territory, Jeremiah buys the deed to a piece of property as a statement of radical trust in God. Psalm 91 is a litany of trust in the face of dangers—a trust answered by God’s own words of reassurance. Timothy reminds us that even in settled times, wealth and status, rather than war and physical danger, often lure us away from placing our faith in God. Luke emphasizes this point through the caricature of a rich man who does not trust God. The unnamed rich man is so wrapped up in his status and wealth that even in the torment of death, he still is trying to take charge of his life and of God. Trusting in God, we find the peace that passes all understanding and the strength to heed Christ’s call.

INVITATION AND GATHERING

Call to Worship (Psalm 91)

Those who love God,
God will deliver.
Those who know God by name,
God will protect.
Those who call out to God,
God will answer.
We gather this morning,
as those who trust God.

Opening Prayer or Prayer of the People (Jeremiah 32, Psalm 91, 1 Timothy 6)

Almighty God,
you create, redeem and sustain us,
every moment of our lives.
In you we place our trust.
When we face illness, conflict, and fear,
you are our steadfast protector.
When we suffer setback and loss,
you restore us through your love.
When our lives prosper and we are comfortable,
you move us to share our blessings with others.
In times of hardship and plenty,
you alone are the source of the life
that really is life.
Holy God,
in love and trust,
we live the power of your resurrection,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

Prayer of Confession (Jeremiah 32, Psalm 91, 1 Timothy 6, Luke 16)

Triune God,
you call us to trust you
in every circumstance of our lives,
yet far too often,
we do not.
In times of oppression and strife,
we lose hope in our future.
When enduring natural disasters,
suffering illness, or facing death,
we often grow bitter and forget your love.
Stripped of the idols of our wealth and status,
we try in vain to control our lives.
Eager to be powerful and successful,
we wander away from you,
falling into the pain of addiction, greed,
and blind ambition.
Absorbed by our wants and desires,
we are blind to those around us who need our care.
Forgive us, O God.
Forgive our despair, our bitterness, and our fear.
Turn our hearts to you,
that we may taste fullness of life
and trust your promised salvation.

Words of Assurance (Psalm 91)

God’s loving presence never abandons us,
not even when we abandon God.
God delivers those who seek and love the Lord.
All we have to do is call, and God answers us.
God answers us with rescue and honor,
forgiveness and mercy, life and salvation.

Passing the Peace of Christ

We call out to God and God answers us. Invited into the shelter of the Most High, we rejoice and greet one another with the peace of Jesus Christ.

Introduction to the Word (Jeremiah 32:6)

God, help us to say with Jeremiah,
“The word of the LORD came to me.”
I know this is the word of the Lord.

Response to the Word (Jeremiah 32, Psalm 91, 1 Timothy 6, Luke 16)

God, your holy word invites us to place our trust in you.
May the words we have heard here today,
take root in our lives.
May the words we have received in our hearts,
strengthen us to live more boldly in faith,
that we may trust you in disaster and boon,
in good times and bad, in death and in life.
“The word of the LORD came to me.”
I know this is the word of the Lord.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Invitation to the Offering (1 Timothy 6)

Wealth, status, and success are uncertain, but we can trust God’s abundant provision, and God’s desire that we enjoy what we have. Let us respond by working for justice, living generously, and sharing with others.

Offering Prayer (1 Timothy 6)

Beloved God,
who richly provides for our needs and enjoyment,
thank you for your many gifts.
You have trusted us with our lives, with this world,
and with your love.
May the gifts we offer you today
be used for your service and your glory.
Help us store up for ourselves
the treasure of a good foundation for the future,
that we may take hold of the life
that really is life.
We offer these gifts,
trusting in our savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

SENDING FORTH

Benediction (Psalm 91, 1 Timothy 6)

Pursue righteousness, godliness,
faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.
Live boldly, trusting God with everything you are
and everything you have.
Take hold of the life to which God calls you.
Go forth, rejoicing in God.
Thanks be to God!

CONTEMPORARY OPTIONS

Contemporary Gathering Words (Psalm 91)

Come and worship the Most High,
our shelter from the storm.
We will trust our God!
God delivers us from temptations and troubles.
We will trust our God!
God heals us when disease and disaster strike.
We will trust our God!
God protects those who call out for help.
We will trust our God!
God offers us eternal life and shows us our salvation.
We will trust our God!

Praise Sentences (1 Timothy 6)

We trust our God,
who alone gives us life.
We trust our God,
who gives us life in Jesus Christ.
We trust our God,
who gives us life in the Spirit.
Give blessing and praise to our God,
who alone deserves every honor!


From The Abingdon Worship Annual edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © Abingdon Press. The Abingdon Worship Annual 2017 is now available.

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