Worship Elements: June 5, 2016

May 5th, 2016

Third Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: 1 Kings 17:8-24; Psalm 146; Galatians 1:11-24; Luke 7:11-17


In all her well-known social and economic vulnerability in the ancient Middle East, few biblical characters embody the poor and oppressed more fully than the widow. In today’s stories, it is clear that the widows of the world are precisely whom God cares about. Elijah is sent by the Lord to a widow (I Kings 17); Jesus is moved by a widow’s plight (Luke 7). Both of these prophets of God become agents of miracles, showing holy love for those who have no refuge in society (Psalm 146).


Call to Worship (Psalm 146)

Praise the Lord.
Let all who draw breath praise the Lord.
Happy are those whose help is from God—
the One who made heaven and earth,
the One who created the seas and all that is in them.
Happy are those whose hope is in God—
the One who keeps faith forever,
the One who feeds the hungry
and defends the oppressed.
God will reign forever, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!
Let all who draw breath praise the Lord.

Opening Prayer (Psalm 146)

O God, who lifts us up,
sets us free, and watches over us,
visit us this day.
Lift our spirits,
and free our minds.
Open our eyes and hearts
to your words, your will,
and the miracle of your holy presence,
that we may encounter you
in the meeting of friends
and in kindness to strangers.
Lift us up, and set us free, O God.
Watch over us, we pray. Amen.


Prayer of Confession (Psalm 146, 1 Kings 17)

Merciful God,
you know how we love miracles.
We love your healing, life-giving presence.
We confess that poverty and oppression
are less appealing topics.
Yet, we find you among the poor,
the downtrodden, the widow, the orphan.
In their midst we find you,
your prophets, and your miracles.
Dwell with us,
as we make the struggles of the oppressed
our own struggles.
Join us at your table,
as we join the effort to feed and clothe
those who live in want.
Grant us your compassion, we pray,
that we may truly be your people. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Psalm 146, Luke 7)

Hear the good news:
Those who seek will find help and hope in God.
In Jesus we are raised to newness of life.
Thanks be to God.

Passing the Peace of Christ (Luke 7)

As Jesus drew crowds in Galilee, so he draws us here
today. We are not alone. Let us greet one another with
signs of God’s peace.
The peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.

Response to the Word (1 Kings 17)

Feed us, O God,
from stores that never empty.
Anoint us, O God,
with oils that never fail. Amen.


Invitation to the Offering (1 Kings 17)

A widow in great need shared what she had, and miracles of bread and renewed life ensued. Whatever our means, whatever our needs, we each have something to share. In gratitude to God, let us offer our tithes and gifts to the One who is faithful.

Offering Prayer (Luke 7, Psalm 146)

As crowds spread the word of Jesus’ power, O God,
so may we spread the word of your grace,
as we share these gifts and our very lives
with those in need.
May these offerings be instruments of your healing,
your justice, and your good news,
in this community and around the world.
In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.


Benediction (1 Kings 17)

Elijah was sent to someone in need—
not only to serve,
but that he too might also be served.
Wherever God sends you, go to serve,
but allow others to serve you as well;
and may the peace of Christ go with you.
Go in peace.


Contemporary Gathering Words (1 Kings 17, Psalm 146, Luke 7)

Strangers meet.
Oil and grain turn to bread.
The sick are healed.
The weary are lifted up.
The prisoners are set free.
The everyday becomes a miracle.
This is God’s work.
We are its witnesses.
Let us worship God.

Praise Sentences (Psalm 146)

Praise God! Praise God, O my soul!
As long as I live, I will praise God!
Praise God! Praise God, O my soul!
God will reign forever, for all generations!
Praise God! Praise God, O my soul!
Happy are those whose help is in God!
Praise God! Praise God, O my soul!
Praise God!

From The Abingdon Worship Annual edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © Abingdon Press. The Abingdon Worship Annual 2017 is now available.

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