Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost/Reformation Sunday
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Job 42:1-6, 10-17; Psalm 34:1-8 (19-22); Hebrews 7:23-28; Mark 10:46-52
CALLS TO WORSHIP
Call to Worship #1
L: Welcome today to a service of re-formation.
P: Change is our constant companion. What does God have in store for us?
L: God seeks to form our lives anew, as lives of love and service.
P: We are ready to hear God’s word and do God’s will.
L: Open your eyes, your ears, your hearts to God’s awesome love.
P: Come, O Lord, and transform our lives. AMEN.
Call to Worship #2
L: Come, take refuge in the Lord, for God is good.
P: From the storms and struggles of life we come.
L: Come, rejoice in the Lord, for God will provide peace for you.
P: From fear and anxiety, we come to find peace.
L: Come, open your hearts to the Lord and you will be given blessing.
P: Thanks be to God for the many ways in which we are blessed. AMEN.
Call to Worship #3
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2173, "Shine, Jesus, Shine" , offer the following call to worship as directed]
L: In the midst of darkness, there is light.
P: In the midst of blindness, we will be given sight.
L: Our Savior, Jesus Christ, brings healing love to us.
P: Let the light of Jesus’ love, breakthrough our blindness and fill our world with glory.
All: Singing verse 1 of "Shine, Jesus, Shine"
L: Tear away the bonds that trap us in darkness, Lord.
P: Wipe away all our fears so that we may boldly proclaim your Love.
L: Give us courage to stand for truth and justice.
P: Give us wisdom to reach out in compassion to others.
All: Singing verse 2 of "Shine, Jesus, Shine"
L: Transform our lives.
P: Re-form our souls.
L: Bring us to a new day in your kingdom, O Lord.
P: Bring us to a new way of serving you with great joy, O Lord.
All: singing verse 3 of "Shine, Jesus, Shine"
Call to Worship #4
L: Are there people who have influenced your life in negative ways?
P: There are people who only want to see the sorrow and sadness.
L: Are there people who have tried to bring you into despair?
P: There are people so entrapped in their own misery that they cannot think in other ways.
L: Come to the Lord, whose brightness and truth, will give you new light and insight.
P: Bring us to your Light, Lord Jesus, that we may be strengthened to withstand the darkness and bring that light to others. AMEN.
PRAYERS, LITANY, BENEDICTION
Open our eyes, Lord. Help us to see Jesus as he reaches out to heal our blindness. Help us to let go of all those things that keep us in darkness. This day, as your word is proclaimed, let our hearts and souls respond with joy. Transform and Re-form our lives to do your will. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.
Prayer of Confession
We think that we want to be healed of our blindness, gracious God, but actually we have become so comfortable in our darkness that we fear the light. It is as though we are living in a cave, and rather than take a risk to face the light, we prefer to face the dark wall. Give us courage to take risks which will result in not only our own transformation, but also the transformation opportunities for others. Forgive our stubborn insistence on living in darkness. Take our hands and lead us to the light. Help us to be ready for your reformation. AMEN.
Words of Assurance
Turn and see the light of God’s love. It is lavished upon you. You have been healed and made whole in God’s love. Be at peace and rejoice!
Why is it that we are afraid to cry aloud out need to God? We sit in our darkness and cry and complain about the dire circumstances that have overtaken us. Yet, when given the opportunity to approach the Savior who offers us light and healing, we cower in the darkness, not daring to believe that healing and light are possible for us. The darkness of our souls is invades all of our lives; it colors our attitudes and determines our actions. Lord Jesus, come and shine your light not only on us, but in us and eventually through us. Break the barriers we have erected against peace, freedom, and hope. Bathe us in the light of love, and we shall become bearers of that incredible light for others who dwell in darkness. As we receive the light from you, give us courage and confidence to reach out in compassion and service in your name. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2080, "All I Need Is You", have the choir sing as directed]
Choir: Singing "All I Need Is You" through one time.
L: Tangled and tied up in knots, we sit in our darkness.
P: Shine your light on us, Lord Jesus.
L: We weep and wail about out plight.
P: Shine your light on us, Lord Jesus.
L: Hear our cries. Your are our only hope.
P: Shine your light on us, Lord Jesus.
Choir: singing "All I Need Is You" through one time.
L: Bring hope to our lives.
P: Break the darkness of our souls.
L: Bring peace to our troubled spirits.
P: Break the bonds of fear that entrap us.
L: Bring strength and courage to our spirits.
P: Break the chains of doubt that have held us down.
All: singing: "All I Need Is You"
Darkness has been banished. Sight has been restored. Your lives are re-formed in Christ’s love. Go now in peace to serve with great joy. Bring the love of God with you so that the light which has re-formed and brightened your life may shine for others. Go no, beloved, to serve. 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.
Risers refer to any structure or support which will raise a portion of the worship center above the main level. Some risers may be a stack of books, others may be made from wood or whatever will give the necessary support to the object which is going to be placed on the riser. I have used pieces of 2" x 4" wood, stacked on top of each other to achieve the height I desired. Most risers will be covered with fabric.
Worship Center: Because so many churches have different worship spaces, I have chosen to call the main space for worship display (worship center). It may be called an altar, a communion table, a platform - whatever is the focal point of the worship area.
Flowers/plants: I am not a "purist" if the definition means having only real flowers and plants in the chancel/worship area. I believe that there are some really beautiful silk flowers which will suffice in times when real plants are not available. However, go with the tradition of your local church. Generally speaking I like to use foliage plants (minimal or non flowering) as accent pieces. "Spiky" plants such as sanseveria, mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plant, are good when you are looking for a harsh, hard, angular effect. Fern (particularly asparagas or Boston) are wonderful along with some ivys, to soften the effect.
Puddling the fabric: Currently interior decorators use the technique with draperies of letting the fabric spill to the floor in a heap, sort of a puddle. It is a less formal design. Puddling the fabric means not creating even edges with the fabric, which is drawing a line, but rather softening the look by creating a "puddle".
SURFACE: Place five risers on the worship center, varying in heights from 1" high to 6" high. The tallest of the table risers should be placed in the center back of the worship table, the others may be placed at your discretion, but not in a row (stagger them). Place two risers in front of the worship center: one riser should be one foot lower than the surface of the worship table and should be placed slightly to the left of center. The second riser should be 6" lower than the other riser and be placed, slightly overlapping the taller riser, and slightly toward the center.
FABRIC: Although the traditional color is Green, I would recommend using very dark navy blue or black fabric to cover the entire worship area, including the risers in front. The fabric should be long enough to trail out from the worship center about 3-4 feet, not lying perfectly flat, but bunched somewhat.
CANDLES: This set requires lots of candles. Using a 10" white pillar candle, place it on the tallest riser in the center of the worship table. All the next pillar candles should be 6" high. If you can find candles in varying colors, you might want to consider placing a light blue candle near the white candle, and gradually shade the candles from light to dark blue and even black, if you can find it. Be sure that you have enough candles to put at least two on each of the risers in front of the worship center, and three candles on the trailing fabric on the floor. These will resemble a gradual path of light to the Christ Candle.
FLOWERS/PLANTS: I do not recommend flowers or plants for this setting
ROCKS/WOOD: You may use small bunches of stones placed here and there throughout the worship center. This is mostly for texture, however they can also represent the pain and barriers that we erect against movement toward the light.
OTHER: Although some may want to place a cross on the worship center, I would recommend leaving it off and having the candles be the focus.