Worship Elements: July 17, 2022

January 8th, 2022

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Amos 8:1-12; Psalm 52; Colossians 1:15-28; Luke 10:38-42


The theme of hospitality binds all our readings together. Speaking to the social elite, who believe their own lives and welfare are the sole focus of life, Amos describes a community where the wealthy and powerful make life unlivable for the powerless. Amos warns of a time when the Guest will also find life in their midst unlivable. The writer of Colossians describes Jesus Christ as the “firstborn” of all creation—the one who establishes in the faith and his body those who are estranged from God. Luke tells the story of Martha, who welcomes Jesus into her home, but then does not find time to join the Guest, as does Mary. How do we welcome and make space for God and for others in the ways we order our own lives and the life of our communities?


Call to Worship (Psalm 52)

Seek refuge in God!
Like green olive trees in the house of God,
we dwell in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
Seek refuge in God!
We put our trust in God,
because of God’s mighty deeds.
Seek refuge in God!
In the presence of the faithful,
we proclaim God’s holy name.

Opening Prayer (Psalm 52, Colossians 1)

We come to your house
seeking your presence, O God.
For in the mystery of our universe,
you created all things in heaven and on earth
and reconciled all things to you,
by and in Jesus Christ.
So we stand before you
steadfast in the hope
promised by our brother, Jesus. Amen.


Prayer of Confession (Psalm 52, Amos 8, Luke 10)

O God,
we lead busy lives.
Just coming to church on Sunday mornings
often seems like a sacrifice.
There’s so much to do,
so much to worry about.
We read about being an olive tree
planted in your house, green and flourishing,
under the care of your presence.
Yet, our roots feel planted most anywhere else:
in our duties; in our business relationships;
in our family plans; in our volunteer commitments;
in our efforts to make it in this world.
When we forget who we are,
when the soil of our lives becomes barren,
plant our roots in your goodness and wisdom,
that we may welcome you into our lives.

Words of Assurance (Psalm 52, Colossians 1)

Trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.
Claim the hope promised by the good news:
God welcomes all to this house,
even those who have been estranged from God!

Passing the Peace of Christ (Colossians 1)

The fullness of God dwelled in Jesus Christ our brother, who showed us the ways of love and peace. As the body of Christ in the world, let us share his love and peace with one another.

Response to the Word (Luke 10)

Holy God,
you care for our needs
with your compassionate presence
and teachings.
Holy God,
be our Guest,
accept our seeking presence,
and bless us with understanding. Amen.


Invitation to the Offering (Amos 8, Colossians 1)

As Amos observed long ago, in our world the poor are too often sold for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals. But we can live a different ethic—our lives can embody the love of God. Let’s make room for others through our giving, that they may also know God’s love and hope.

Offering Prayer (Amos 8, Psalm 52)

The vast inequities of our world
grieve you, O God.
Use our gifts
to lift up those who suffer injustice
and who need your hope and presence. Amen.


Benediction (Psalm 52)

We leave the house of God,
but not the presence of God.
Let us root ourselves deeply in God’s holy presence
and live out God’s love for all.
Trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.


Contemporary Gathering Words (Psalm 52)

Be like olive trees in the house of God—
green and flourishing, full and verdant.
We will grow strong in the house of God—
deeply rooted, well watered.
Be like olive trees in the house of God—
seeking God’s refuge, trusting God’s care.
We will dwell in the house of God,
and proclaim God’s name forever!

Praise Sentences (Colossians 1)

Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation!
In Christ, all things hold together!
Trust in Christ’s love forever!
In Christ, all things are blessed!
Trust in Christ’s love forever!
Thanks be to God!

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

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