Worship Elements: June 18, 2017

May 21st, 2017

Second Sunday after Pentecost

Color: Green
Scripture Readings: Genesis 18:1-15, (21:1-7), Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19, Romans 5:1-8, Matthew 9:35-10:8, (9-23)  

Call to Worship

L: The Lord bore you on eagles' wings to enter into a covenant with you. Now therefore, if you will obey the Lord and keep the covenant, you shall be the Lord's own possession among all peoples.
P: We will obey the Lord's voice and keep the covenant.
L: The Lord bore you on eagles' wings to establish a colony of heaven on earth. Now therefore, if you will obey the Lord and keep the covenant, you shall be the Lord's ambassadors to all peoples.
P: We will obey the Lord's voice and keep the covenant.
A: All that the Lord has spoken we will do.

Invocation

Out of deep need, we enter your holy temple, O Lord, seeking your presence and your guidance. As Jesus charged his waiting disciples, deliver now your charge to us. And lead us, as he led them, into the fields white unto harvest, that we may become faithful laborers in your vineyard.

Litany

L: O God of Peter and Andrew, Mary and Martha, you change simple people into powerful disciples.
P: The reign of God is at hand. Let us proclaim the good news in word and deed.
L: O God of St. Francis, you teach us to minister to the poor by taking your place at their side.
P: The reign of God is at hand. Let us proclaim the good news in word and deed.
L: O God of John Wesley, you turn fields into pulpits and streets into sanctuaries.
P: The reign of God is at hand. Let us proclaim the good news in word and deed.
L: O God of Mother Teresa, instead of waiting for them to come to you, you take your hospice to the sick.
P: The reign of God is at hand. Let us proclaim the good news in word and deed.
L: O God of nameless ones who would become your disciples if we would but lead them in the way of the Lord, help us no longer to obstruct their path.
P: The reign of God is at hand. Let us proclaim the good news in word and deed.

Prayer for One Voice

O God of grace abounding and love unlimited, we thank you for your infinite mercy. It has been the source of our life and faith through all our days, and before that, through the days of our ancestors. When the whip of Pharaoh held Israel in bondage, you broke the yoke of the tyrant, and the prisoners escaped. When the exiles in Babylon trembled before their captors, you raised up a deliverer, and the refugees returned. And when their descendants believed their sin had doomed them to life without hope, you sent your Son, and the hopeless rejoiced. Not only did you redeem them from their sin, but you reconciled them in the midst of their sin. We thank you, dear Lord, that where sin abounds, grace much more abounds.

You call us to be a priestly people and a holy nation, but we, like lost sheep, go astray. We know that peace comes through openness to our neighbors, but we make little effort to crash the walls between us. We know that the soft answer turns away wrath, but we greet our enemies with hard words and even harder looks. We know that self-giving breeds self-givers, but we refuse others the grace with which you treat us. We criticize fellow believers for not patterning their lives after Jesus, yet we do not mirror his life. Forgive us, O God, for our betrayal of your call. Let us take our place at the foot of the mountain of revelation. Open our ears that we might hear your commandments, and transform our hearts that we might keep your covenant. Let us now, as when we first believed, exclaim, "All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient."

As we think of your other sheep who have gone astray, we think of ourselves as your instruments for bringing them home. If they tarry for a sympathizing tear, let us shed it without shame. If they wait for a soothing word, let us speak it without hesitation. If they desire a cup of water, let us offer it without delay. If they hunger for a decent meal, let us provide it without suspicion. Remembering that you are not impressed by gracious words unaccompanied by generous deeds, make us the instruments of your grace in speech and in action.

We are your people, O God; grant us the wisdom to affirm your claim upon us. We await your revealing word; grant us the sensitivity to hear your demands in clear and compelling language. We long to do your will on earth as in heaven, our Heavenly Father; grant us the courage to fail neither you nor your children.

Benediction

The fields of peace and justice and love are not ripe unto harvest. They have been plowed and planted, but they have yet to be cultivated with care and diligence. Send us forth into those fields, O God, as laborers in your service. Let them be made ready for the harvest. Let us and our neighbors around the globe live in love and peace, with justice for all.


Adapted from Litanies and Other Prayers, Copyright © 1992 Abingdon Press.

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