Worship Elements: September 13, 2015

July 24th, 2015

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Proverbs 1:20-33; Psalm 19; James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-38

THEME IDEAS

Words, words, words, words —  collection of letters but what power they have. The readings today all speak to the effects and consequences of what we say, what we proclaim, how we use our tongues. We can praise God, confess Jesus as the Christ, speak words of wisdom — or we can ignore wisdom and speak folly, curse God, and deny the costs of discipleship. What we listen to and what we proclaim makes all the difference in our lives.

INVITATION AND GATHERING

Call to Worship (Proverbs 1, Mark 8)

Wisdom cries out in the streets.
We hear and struggle to understand.
Come and listen to the words of life and love.
We hear and proclaim our faith
in the one who brings life.
Let us worship the God of life and wisdom
whose words guide our life on the right paths.

Opening Prayer (Proverbs 1, Psalm 19, James 3, Mark 8)

Loving and caring God, we come this morning seeking wisdom and guidance for our lives. Open us to your words of life and love and truth. May we proclaim with our tongues what we know in our hearts. In this time of worship, help us more fully understand what it means to truly be a disciple, a follower of the way of Jesus, a follower of the path of wisdom. May the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to you, our rock and our redeemer. Amen.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

Prayer of Confession (Proverbs 1, Psalm 19, James 3, Mark 8)

Wisdom cries in the streets, but we do not listen or understand. The words of your law are spoken, but we rarely pay heed or obey. You call us to declare who Jesus is for us, but we can’t seem to get the right words out. Our tongues engage before our brains do. We want so much to be a people who are faithful to your word and led by your guidance, but we are so easily distracted by the cacophony of words and sounds Forgive us when we are quick to speak and slow to understand. Forgive us when we do not hear your wisdom in all the ways you speak to us. Forgive us when we do not even try to truly understand what it means to be your disciples. Lead us back to the path of wisdom and life, that we may truly live. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Proverbs 1)

Those who listen to the words of wisdom will be secure and live in ease. Know that our God never ceases to reach out in love and forgiveness, guiding us on the path of life and righteousness, calling us to claim our true identity as disciples and beloved sons and daughters of the living God.

Prayer of Preparation (Psalm 19)

Let the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you, O God,
my rock and my redeemer.

Response to the Word (Proverbs 1, Psalm 19, Mark 8)

For the wisdom in your word,
for your call to faithfulness,
for your gift of promise,
we give you thanks.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Invitation to the Offering (Proverbs 1, Mark 8)

We are called to listen to the words of wisdom and to re-spond with our whole lives. Let us give thanks to God with all that we are and all that we have — in word, thought, and action.

Offering Prayer

God, we hear and we respond
to your words of wisdom,
your words of call and life.
May these gifts, not only of our money,
but of our very selves—
our words, our thoughts, our actions—
be acceptable to you, and help spread your words
of life and love. Amen.

SENDING FORTH

Benediction (Proverbs 1, Mark 8)

Go forth with the words of wisdom crying in your ears.
Go forth with songs of hope singing in your heart.
Know that you are called to be faithful followers
of the One who will always be near you,
will always guide and encourage you
to walk the path of life. Amen.

CONTEMPORARY OPTIONS

Contemporary Gathering Words

Come from wherever you are
and hear the words of wisdom
from our living, loving God.
Listen, rejoice, and follow.

—OR—

Contemporary Gathering Words (Proverbs 1)

Can you hear it?
What?
Wisdom is crying in the streets.
What does that have to do with us?
We are called to listen, to respond, and to obey.
We’ll open our ears and our hearts to God’s words.
Come, let us worship the God of wisdom and life.

Praise Sentences (Psalm 19)

The heavens are telling the glory of God!
The law of God revives the soul.
The way of God rejoices the heart.
The word of God endures forever. 


From “The Abingdon Worship Annual 2012,” edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © 2011 by Abingdon Press. “The Abingdon Worship Annual 2016” is now available.

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