Worship Elements: June 23, 2024

April 3rd, 2021

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green

SCRIPTURE READINGS: 1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23) 32-49; Psalm 9:9-20; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Mark 4:35-41


Battles, vengeance, adversity and suffering are plentiful in today’s readings. Those seeking an alternative theme might consider this subtheme: the power of the unexpected and the surprising. An elder, Saul, takes a chance on a confident young David, who wisely sheds conventional armor. In Psalm 9, God takes the side of the oppressed, need, and poor, and is asked to declare nations “only human.” In rebuking a storm, Jesus speaks the word “peace.” In a dispute with the Corinthians, Paul issues an appeal to and from the heart.


Call to Worship (Psalm 9)

Seek God; know God; trust God, O people.
Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion.
Declare God’s deeds among the people,
for the needy are remembered, the poor have hope.
Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion.

Opening Prayer (1 Samuel 17, Psalm 9, 2 Corinthians 6, Mark 4)

Center us, O God,
to worship you this day.
Remove our needless armor.
Be our stronghold.
Grant us calm.
Give us joyful hearts and ready minds,
that we may be open to your grace. Amen.


Prayer of Confession (Mark 4)

Merciful God,
when lashed by life’s windstorms
we often lash out in return.
Forgive us
when we blame you or others
for our troubles.
Teach us to find you
in the eye of the storm.
Show us the calm center
that comes from a word of peace.

Words of Assurance (2 Corinthians 6)

Hear the witness of scripture:
God listens; God helps. Now is the day of salvation.
Open wide your hearts and receive God’s forgiveness.

Passing the Peace of Christ (Mark 4)

A word of peace can have awesome power. Let us share
signs of this peace in the name of the One we follow.
The peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.

Invitation to the Word (Mark 4, 2 Corinthians 6)

Gracious God, great Teacher, Bearer of peace,
we seek your wisdom.
Open our hearts and minds to your word
and to possibilities yet unseen. Amen.


Invitation to the Offering (Psalm 9, 2 Corinthians 6)

With the Apostle Paul, let us not “accept the grace of God in vain.” With the psalmist, let us praise and rejoice in God, our stronghold in times of trouble and need. In gratitude for what we have received, let us bring our tithes and our offerings.

Offering Prayer (1 Samuel 17)

Merciful God,
we thank you for the many ways
that gifts are offered in your service;
we especially thank you for fathers and elders
whose love and wisdom
have touched our lives and our church.
Help the elders among us
nurture the young in our midst,
just as Saul took a chance on young David.
Help the young among us
honor their elders,
even as they are true to their own callings.
Accept our gifts, we pray,
and bless now this morning’s offerings,
that we might do your will
in this place and in all the world. Amen.


Benediction (2 Corinthians 6)

Put obstacles in no one’s way,
but rejoice in purity, knowledge, patience, kindness,
holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech,
and the power of God.
Go in peace.


Contemporary Gathering Words (1 Samuel 17, Psalm 9, 2 Corinthians 6, Mark 4)

You’re not what we expect, O Lord.
Victory without a sword,
windstorms calmed with simple words,
sleepless nights rewarded.
Help us put our trust in you,
unexpected God.

Praise Sentences (Psalm 9)

Sing praise to God, who heeds our tears.
Sing praise to God, who helps the afflicted.
Sing praise to God, who lifts up the oppressed.
Sing praise to God, who remembers the needy.
Sing praise to God, who gives aid to the poor.
Sing praise to God, who is worthy of our thanks!

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

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