Worship Elements: July 14, 2019

April 7th, 2019

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Color: Green
Scripture Readings: Amos 7:7-17; Psalm 82; Colossians 1:1-14; Luke 10: 25-37

Theme Ideas

"Who is my neighbor?" It's such a deceptively simple question. In answer, Jesus gives us the beloved story of the good Samaritan, one of the most profound examples of how we should live out our faith in all of Scripture. By nature, we are more like the two who passed by the beaten man on the other side of the road. Indeed, our sins and indifference are clearly and vividly illustrated in the passages from Amos and Psalm 82. Paul reminds us that Christ has mercifully "rescued us from the power of darkness" (Colossians 1:13), with forgiveness and redemption, and with wisdom and understanding to know the Lord's will: to love our neighbor just as we love ourselves.

Call to Worship (Psalm 82)

God delivers judgment in the court of heaven.
God is the true and righteous judge!
How long will there be injustice in this life?
How long will the wicked be favored?
The weak and the orphans, the destitute and the needy,
they all cry out for justice.
Rise up, Lord. Judge the earth!
All the world belongs to you!

Contemporary Gathering Words (Psalm 82, Luke 10) 

Who is my neighbor?
The righteous and the unrighteous,
the just and the wicked.
Who else is my neighbor?
The rich and the poor,
the weak and the strong.
Is anyone else my neighbor?
The great and the small,
the arrogant and the humble.
They are no different than I am!
You must love your neighbor as yourself!

Contemporary Gathering Words (Luke 10)

What must we do to inherit eternal life?
What is written in the Scriptures?
What do they tell us?
You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your strength, and with all your mind.
And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
That is the right answer; it is the key to life.
But do you understand it?
We are not sure. Just who is our neighbor?
Open your eyes and see.
Your neighbor is next to you.
Your neighbors surround you!
Lord, we have been so blind.
Have mercy on us!
The Lord is gracious and merciful;
show this same mercy to all.

Praise Sentences (Colossians 1)

God has freed us from darkness!
Our lives are illuminated by God's light!
Our lives bear the fruit of our hope in Christ!
We belong to the kingdom of God!

Opening Prayer (Colossians 1)

Our hope is in you, Lord,
our hearts belong to heaven.
Our hope comes from the gospel,
the word of the truth
that you brought to us.
May it bear abundant fruit
in our lives.
Let the whole world
be filled with your hope!
As we grow in faith,
help us truly comprehend your grace, O God;
help us understand this amazing grace,
as we seek to lead lives worthy of you, O Lord.
In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Opening Prayer or Prayer of Confession (Luke 10)

Dear Lord,
how often we hear of real-life good Samaritans:
those who would give the shirts off their backs,
those who would do anything and everything
to help people in need.
How ashamed we feel
when we realize how little we do
to seek justice
and to alleviate suffering
in our world.
We are amazed by our own ignorance.
We offer our hearts and hands to help, Lord.
As we feed the hungry, heal the sick,
and shelter the homeless,
may we also be fed by your bread of life,
healed by your gentle touch,
and sheltered by your indescribable love.
Amen.

Prayer of Confession (Amos 7)

You stand beside a wall
with a plumb line in your hand, Lord—
the wall that I have built.
What once was a straight, strong wall of protection,
a sanctuary against all that might harm me,
is now revealed as a bowed, bulging,
weak wall of separation
that I have used to conceal myself
within a dark prison of my own making.
I know that your perfect judgment
finds me wanting.
Free me, Lord;
I am my own worst enemy.
Level my feeble fortress,
and rebuild me in the strength of your love
and your forgiveness.
Lead me from my darkness
into your light. Amen.

Prayer of Confession (Luke 10)

We see them daily, Lord.
We see them everywhere
as we go about our business:
the weak and the helpless,
the abused and the homeless,
the victims and the vanquished.
We are no different than the men in your story—
the ones who refused to help the beaten man
on the road to Jericho.
We too have passed by those in need
on the other side of the road.
We too have refused to help
and have consciously chosen
to remain uninvolved.
Forgive our indifference.
May we become like the outcast Samaritan,
who did everything in his power
to help the suffering.
In your holy name we pray. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Colossians 1)

We no longer belong to the power of darkness.
We belong to the kingdom of the Son of God,
Christ Jesus, who has set us free
and forgiven our sins.
Remember the hope stored up for us in heaven—
the hope that flamed into life
when we first heard the good news;
the hope of the glory to come;
the hope we have in Christ Jesus.

Benediction (Colossians 1)

Be filled with all wisdom and spiritual insight.
Lead lives pleasing to the Lord
and worthy of our calling.
Bear fruit in good works of every kind,
as we grow in the knowledge of God.
Be strong in the glorious might of the Lord,
who gives us power to endure everything
with patience and joy.
Give thanks to the One
who has rescued us from darkness,
that we might live forever
in the realm of light. Amen!


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

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