Worship Elements: June 16, 2024

April 1st, 2021

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost 

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: 1 Samuel 15:34–16:13; Psalm 20; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (11-13), 14-17; Mark 4:26-34


God’s call is often unexpected. In this week’s lessons, God interrupts Samuel on his way to Ramah, calling him to go to the house of Jesse, in Bethlehem. While there, God has him anoint David, the youngest child of Jesse, to lead the people. Throughout the readings for this week, the people and their leaders pray for the protection, wisdom, justice, and compassion they need to live by faith. The realm of God is like a mustard seed, tiny as it is planted, but growing mysteriously into something large enough to offer refuge to everyone. We’re called to embrace and nurture life in ways we do not understand. Life is a mystery, and we walk by faith.


Call to Worship (Psalm 72, 2 Corinthians 5)

The Holy One, defender of the poor and needy,
calls us to gather now.
We come, thankful to be a part
of this family of faith.

God knows us well and calls us by name.
We hear our name and respond to God’s call.
The love of Christ urges us on.


Call to Worship (1 Samuel 15, 2 Corinthians 5)

God interrupted Samuel with an unexpected call.
“Here I am, Lord. Send me!”
God surprised Jesse, choosing his youngest son,
David, to be king.
“Here I am, Lord. Send me!”
We join with Christ and are a part
of God’s new creation.
O Mighty God, we come to join the harvest.
Gather us in, O Holy One,
for we would be your people.

Opening Prayer (2 Corinthians 5)

God of every thought and reality,
the holy, prophetic sustainer of community,
we gather here today as your people,
children of the good news.
Assure us of your presence once again,
that we may trust the mystery of life and growth,
as we gather in the name of our Savior,
who is Jesus, the Christ.


Prayer of Confession (Samuel 15, 2 Corinthians 5)

Holy God, you call us to live in mystery,
to walk by faith.
Yet we long for plans with goals and schedules.
It’s hard to live by faith.

You call us to place our trust in you,
to live according to your direction.
Yet we want life to make sense
from a human point of view.
It’s hard to live by faith.

You call us to feel the mystery of life,
to marvel at the power of your love.
Yet it’s not easy to accept your promise
that everything old has passed away.
It’s hard to live by faith.

Forgive us, holy maker of reality.
Forgive us for playing god
instead of accepting our humanity.

Words of Assurance (Mark 4, Psalm 72)

Fear not, for our creator,
the loving maker of all reality,
forgives us, and redeems us from violence
and oppression.
God sows the good news in tiny seeds,
inviting us to tend the soil of community,
and marvel as they grow.
In the name of Jesus, who is the Christ,
you are forgiven.
In the name of Christ, you are forgiven. Amen.

Passing the Peace of Christ (1 Samuel 15, 2 Corinthians 5)

God calls us in surprising ways,
inviting us into a new creation.
Share the good news with one another:
The peace of Christ is with you.
The peace of Christ is with you.

Prayer of Preparation (1 Samuel 15, Mark 4)

Holy God, we want to be like Samuel,
ready to change course when you call,
ready to do our part
even when it isn’t quite what we expect.
O glorious Spirit of Surprise,
open our hearts to your word
in fresh, new ways. Amen.

Response to the Word (1 Samuel 15, 2 Corinthians 5)

Powerful, compassionate giver of mystery,
grant us the courage to say “yes”
to your unexpected call,
and the strength to claim our place with Christ
in the new creation you are cultivating. Amen.


Invitation to the Offering (Mark 4)

These summer days, the earth produces of itself, first the stalk and then the full grain. We celebrate the abundance of our loving God, and offer up a part of that abundance now.

Offering Prayer

Holy God,
magnificent, sustaining farmer of the future,
receive these gifts, we pray.
Through our offering,
help us know in some surprising way
that you are bringing into being
something wonderful and new. Amen.

Invitation to Communion (2 Corinthians 5, Mark 4)

Holy God, we thank you for the promise
of your presence.
You call us to be part of your new creation.
Loving Christ, we celebrate your call
to join you in God’s new creation.
We come to join the harvest, to help carry
your good news out into the world.

Empowering Holy Spirit, we give thanks
that you encourage us to respond with joy.
Come fill us now, as we gather to share
your presence in the bread and cup.


Benediction (2 Corinthians 5)

Life is a mystery. We walk by faith.
God calls us when we least expect it,
inviting us to be in Christ.

Walk out into the world, knowing that you are part
of God’s life-giving new creation.
Life is a mystery. We walk by faith.


Contemporary Gathering Words (1 Samuel 15)

We come to hear God’s call.
Life is a mystery.
We are surprised by what we hear.
We walk by faith.
We are invited to be part of God’s new creation.
Life is a mystery. We walk by faith.

Praise Sentences (2 Corinthians 5)

Praise the One who gives us faith.
Praise the One who walks with us.
Praise the One who shrouds life in mystery.
Praise God.
Praise God.
Praise God.

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

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