Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Lamentations 1:1-6; Psalm 137; 2 Timothy 1:1-14; Luke 17:5-10
The readings from Lamentations and Psalm 137 speak of the reversal of fortune. They speak of a people who have lived in comfort and wealth but who must now endure poverty and displacement in exile. In many places in the world today, war and natural disaster have brought many people accustomed to the good life face-to-face with the reality that no human institution can guarantee either safety or security. Nothing can guard our earthly treasures, and no person can promise world peace. But the grace of God in Jesus Christ guarantees the eternal treasure that has been entrusted to us. Jesus is the author and guarantor of true peace.
INVITATION AND GATHERING
Call to Worship (Lamentations 1, 2 Timothy 1)
The promises of the world turn to ashes and dust,
but the promises of God last forever.
The Holy One calls to us: “Come!”
We come to rekindle the gift of God
ablaze within us.
Opening Prayer (Lamentations 1, 2 Timothy 1)
Source of grace and peace,
you call us into being;
you keep us in safety;
you hold us in life.
Far too often, we turn from you,
placing our trust in the frail promises
of other human beings
and the insecure security of wealth.
Be with us now.
Bring us into your presence.
Comfort our pain.
Challenge our pride.
Enter into our prayer and our praise,
that our worship may be pleasing to you.
We pray these things
in the name of the one who loved us first,
PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE
Prayer of Confession (Lamentations 1)
With the weepers we weep.
With the warriors we yearn for peace.
With the exiles we wander far from home,
for our hearts wander far from you.
We live in an uncertain world—
time and again we turn to people
who promise us security.
But God, you are our only source of safety.
Help us turn to you,
our heart’s true home.
Call us again and lead us home.
Author of peace,
teach us to seek our peace in you.
Source of every blessing,
forgive us for the multitude of our transgressions.
Rekindle a spirit of love and self-discipline within us,
through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
Words of Assurance (2 Timothy 1)
Our Savior Jesus Christ abolished sin and death
and brought life and immortality to light.
By the grace of the Eternal One,
we are forgiven in the power of the Holy Spirit
living within us.
Passing the Peace of Christ (2 Timothy 1)
Hear the words of Jesus: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” The peace of Christ is ours, through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.
Response to the Word (2 Timothy 1)
May we be people of living faith. May we live as people
of gospel power. May we embody the spirit of selfdiscipline
and love—the spirit that is ours by the grace
and power of God, through Jesus Christ.
THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION
Invitation to the Offering (Lamentation 1)
What will buy us peace? What is the price of security? What do we have, what can we hold onto, that will ensure that we will live all our days in comfort? What do we own that is not a gift from the One of abundant grace? Nothing we can own will buy true peace. Real security is priceless. Only the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, can assure us that we will be comfortable or comforted. All things come from the One of abundant grace. Let us give generously, in token of the abundance of our thanks.
Offering Prayer (2 Timothy 1)
Fount of blessing,
you pour upon us
the abundance of your grace.
Bless us and these gifts,
that they may be a source of blessing to others,
in the name Jesus Christ. Amen.
Benediction (2 Timothy 1)
God has given us a spirit of power and love.
Let us go forth into the world
in the power of God’s Spirit.