Worship Elements: May 26, 2024

April 1st, 2021

Trinity Sunday

COLOR: White
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Isaiah 6:1-8; Psalm 29; Romans 8:12-17; John 3:1-17


All of our texts this Sunday speak of God in mysterious and ultimate terms. They speak of the God of power and splendor who conducts cosmic business in the lofty courts of heaven, who reveals truth through the sign-doer and riddle-maker Jesus, and who moves through the elusive Spirit Wind. What mystery! Our words—yes, even our Trinitarian stammering—buckle beneath the weight of transcendence our words attempt to convey. What majesty! And yet, each text also points to places in life where ultimate and unlimited reality brushes up against, and impinges upon, our limited lives for powerful,  lifechanging experiences. These experiences proclaim that we—the lowly, the enslaved, the woeful—are drawn into the cosmic story line of God’s immense life and intentions. Trinity Sunday is the Sunday to celebrate God as the mystery that shimmers in our lives.


Call to Worship (Psalm 29)

(Ask the congregation to “speak up”!)
The voice of the Lord flashes flames of fire.
Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness!
Worship the Lord in holy splendor.
The Lord sits enthroned as sovereign forever.
In God’s congregation, all say, “Glory!”

Opening Prayer (Isaiah 6, Psalm 29)

O Sovereign of the universe,
we stand in your temple,
proclaiming your splendor and majesty.
You are the Holy One!
You are full of glory!
You speak,
and the oaks whirl
and the cedars fall!
We stand in your presence
in awe and humility.
We stand in your presence
with boldness and courage.
We look and listen
for your presence here today. Amen.


Prayer of Confession (Isaiah 6, John 3)

We know much about earthly things,
but so little about heavenly things.
We stand in your presence, O God,
but fail to see the hem of your robe
in our midst—
much less your presence,
far above, upon the throne of heaven.
We do not often see your seraphim
in flight around your throne.
We do not often hear their voices
or feel the very foundations about us
tremble at their loud praise.
Open our lives to your mystery,
power, and glory.
Open our lives to you, O Holy One. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Psalm 29, John 3)

Today we will hear of heavenly things
that can transform our lives forever.
We will hear of God’s miraculous presence
with us and among us and for us.
In God’s temple, let all of us say, “Glory!”

Passing the Peace of Christ (Romans 8)

Hear this mystery: we are all the children and heirs of the Holy One. Welcome your brothers and sisters with the peace that God has given us through Christ Jesus.

Response to the Word (Isaiah 6, Psalm 29, John 3)

Sovereign of the universe,
touch us with your splendid presence.
Reveal yourself to us, O mystery that beckons.
Draw us into your hopeful plans,
for us and for all,
through Jesus Christ our Riddle Maker and Savior,
and through the Spirit Wind, Midwife unto new life.


Invitation to the Offering (Romans 8)

Through the miracle of new life given to each of us, we have been adopted into the family of God. More than this, we are heirs to the blessings of God’s power, wisdom, and love. So let us share our bounty with others, that we may welcome more into our family. Let us give to our brothers and sisters, in the name of Jesus Christ, our eldest brother.

Offering Prayer (John 3, Romans 8)

It is only because of Jesus Christ
that we are bold enough
to call you Father and Mother,
O Sovereign of the Universe.
We do so now,
to remind ourselves of our many sisters and brothers,
your many children, who need hope and care.
Use our gifts to reach others
with the story of your great love
for our world. Amen.


Benediction (Isaiah 6, Psalm 29, John 3, Romans 8)

(Have three people deliver benediction from three different locations
amidst the congregation or sanctuary.)

Voice 1: Look for the signs of the holy and mysterious
one everywhere!
Voice 2: Listen for the sound of seraph wings and
Voice 3: Feel the trembling beneath your feet that heralds
heavenly voices.
Voice 1: Know that these mysteries have already entered
your very lives and beings, children of
God! More mysteries await you.
Voice 2: May the Holy and Mysterious One visit you
this week.
Voice 3: And may the Holy and Mysterious One give
you every strength and peace.
All: Amen.

Contemporary Gathering Words (Isaiah 6, Psalm 29)

We stand in the presence of God, Sovereign of the
Universe, Lord of Hosts!
The whole earth is full of God’s glory!
God’s voice peals like thunder over the waters,
the deserts, the forests!
The whole earth is full of God’s glory!
Do you hear the angels’ loud praise and feel
the shaking of the very foundations of this place?
God’s presence surrounds us, fills this very place!
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts!

From “The Abingdon Worship Annual” edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © Abingdon Press. 

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