Worship Elements: October 23, 2022

March 20th, 2022

20th Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Joel 2:23-32; Psalm 65; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; Luke 18:9-14


Those who think boldly about Reformation Sunday might find here an invitation to re-form an ancient Judeo-Christian vocation of caring for the temple. What if the temple is God’s bountiful earth? What if the earth is the temple where God’s people should be satisfied, where a righteous prayer of confession is offered? What dreams, visions, and prophecies might lead humanity to repent of
habits that worsen this dwelling place, reclaiming instead the bounty and goodness of God’s house.


Call to Worship (Psalm 65, Joel 2)

Praise is due to you, O God, O you who answer prayer.
Happy are those who live in your courts—
those who are satisfied with the goodness
of your house and your holy temple.
You are the hope of all things, Holy One,
from the ends of the earth to the farthest seas.
You make the gateways of the evening
and the morning shout for joy.
Rejoice in God, O people, and be glad.
Let us shout and sing together for joy.

Opening Prayer (Joel 2)

God of all generations,
on this Reformation Sunday,
we remember mothers and fathers in the faith
who took bold steps in new directions
to re-form your church.
Pour out your spirit upon us,
that we too may dream dreams, see visions,
and view the whole created order
as your bountiful temple.
With responsibility and joy,
we pledge ourselves to renew this temple,
in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Prayer of Confession (Psalm 65, Joel 2, Luke 18)

Creator God,
we confess this day to engaging in habits
that diminish the bounty of your creation.
Not satisfied with the goodness of your holy temple,
your seas and mountains, your rain and soil,
we have fashioned a system of sustenance
that seems good to us,
but cannot be sustained.
Be merciful to us, for we have sinned.
Answer us with awesome deeds of deliverance,
O Hope of the Earth.
Give us vision and a prophetic spirit.
Renew our vocation,
as stewards of your creation. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Luke 18, Psalm 65)

Do not lose heart.
Those who humbly admit their sins
find favor with God.
For God answers prayer, and forgives transgression.
Believe this good news:
We are forgiven and freed to newness of life.

Response to the Word (Psalm 65)

Enrich us with wisdom,
and bless us with growth,
O God of our salvation.


Invitation to the Offering (Psalm 65)

Aware of the bounty of God’s created earth, we are invited now to give generously from our abundance. Let us share God’s blessings, as we collect our tithes and offerings.

Offering Prayer (Joel 2)

Whatever challenges we face, O God,
we have also known your many blessings—
threshing floors full of grain,
vats overflowing with wine and oil.
Accept these gifts as tokens of our thankfulness,
that they may be used to prophesy in your spirit
and to share your bounty with those in need.


Benediction (Psalm 65:12-13, Joel 2)

Breathe in the words of the psalmist:
“The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.”
Let these words fill you as you go forth,
inspiring you to do no less.
Dream dreams, see visions, renew God’s temple,
God’s church, God’s earth.
Go in peace.


Contemporary Gathering Words (Psalm 65, Joel 2)

Here is your invitation.
Unplug in this moment from daily life:
from display screens and overload,
from earphones and isolation.
Reconnect to visions and dreams:
meadows and pastures, hills and valleys,
mountains and seas.
Reconnect to the bounty of God.
Be glad and rejoice in God.

Praise Sentences (Joel 2, Psalm 65)

Men and women, old and young,
see God’s visions, dream God’s dreams.
Young and old, women and men,
feel the Spirit fall like rain.
People everywhere on earth,
join creation, shout for joy:
Praise is due you, O God,
for all that you do,
for all that you have done,
for all that you promise to do.

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

About the Author

Hans Holznagel

Hans Holznagel has worked as a newspaper reporter, chief operating officer of a theater, and on the staff of the read more…
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