Worship Connection: July 5, 2020

May 28th, 2020

Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

Color: Green
Scripture Readings: Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67; Psalm 45:10-17; Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30


Call to Worship #1:
L: Come to the Lord, all you people!
P: We come, seeking God’s healing love.
L: Make your hearts ready to discover God’s power in your lives.
P: We open our hearts and spirits to receive God’s loving gifts.
L: Hallelujah!

Call to Worship #2:
L: Welcome this day to a time of rest.
P: We come, bearing burdens and cares.
L: Place your lives in the loving hands of God
P: May God heal our spirits and strengthen us.
L: Trust in God who is always with you.
P: Lord, this day we come to you in faith and trust for your healing mercies. AMEN

Call to Worship #3:
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2215, “Cares Chorus,” offer the following call to worship as directed.]

L: What shall we do? Our hearts are heavy; our spirits are worn with care.
P: To whom can we turn for soothing and healing?

Soloist: singing “Cares Chorus” through one time

L: Bring your cares to the Lord
P: God hears our cries.

Small ensemble: singing “Cares Chorus” through one time

L: Come, now the time is ready for worship.
P: We bring our lives to you, O Lord. AMEN.

Call to Worship #4:
L: Has it been a rough week for you?
P: In some way, it has.
L: Do you feel burdened and exhausted?
P: Yes. This is supposed to be a season of relaxation, but our spirits feel dragged down with cares and concerns.
L: Bring your cares to the Lord, for God will surely offer healing balm for you.
P: Thanks be to God who listens to our cries and heals our spirits. AMEN.


Opening Prayer
Lord of love and mercy, we come to you this day, at the beginning of the summer season. This should be a time of relaxation and restoration, but our spirits still carry the burdens of the year. Please give to us your healing love. Strengthen us. We offer our cares and our prayers to you in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession
Wise and loving God, you know how we are. We have spent so much time getting ready for the summer months, planning when and how we shall relax and gain some peace in our lives. We have rushed around, and now we are exhausted. Our need for rest is so important, but we have let plans and schedules crowd in, shouting their demands on our time and energies. Forgive us, Lord, when we have focused so much time on these things and have not sought your healing, restoring love. Be with us as we enter into this summer period. Give us peace. For we ask these things in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Words of Assurance
Come to the Lord, all of you. There is healing and rest in the Lord. You are given love and peace by God for all of your days. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer
Lord of the seasons and of all life, we come to you this day with so many cares and concerns on our lives. We have planned for the summer months as times of relaxation and refreshment. We need to take some time to stop the frantic running around, to focus on your healing love, to let go of all those demands that weigh us down. Heal and restore us, O Lord. Help us be the church in times of leisure as well as in times of work and stress. As we have brought our cares to you in our prayers, let us bring our lives to your healing mercies. Strengthen and heal us, Lord. Get us gently ready for all the joyful opportunities that stretch before us. We ask these things in Jesus’ Name. AMEN


Reader 1:

Man! I am so tired! I can’t seem to get any rest! I have spent all of my time this year being enslaved to my calendar. Look at this! I have every minute scheduled! I even have to put my family on the schedule! And they all have plans and need their own time. I am exhausted! I feel like I could just crumble, right here and now.

Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Reader 1:
I doubt that anyone can help me. I got myself into this mess; I’ll just have to get myself out.

Come to me; I will take your burden. You will find rest for your spirits.

Reader 1:

It’s so hard for me to let go of these things. I’ve carried these burdens for so long.

I will take those burdens. You can lay them down. Here you will find rest for your soul.

Reader 1: I’m not sure about this, but I’ll try. I am so tired, and I do need your help, Lord.

You will always have my help and my healing love. Place your burdens and cares in my hands.

Reader 1:
Thank you, Lord.

No problem!

God, who has given you rest and peace, will go with you as you leave this place. Feel the healing love of God in your life. Bring the good news of God’s love to all whom you meet. Go in peace. AMEN.


The traditional Color for today is: GREEN

[Note: One of the best known portions of scripture is in the closing of our Gospel lesson today: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). The summer is a time for relaxation, restoration, and reflection. The Gospel writer refers to the yoke of Christ, and images of an ox yoke, used for beasts of burden, come to mind. It is in this light that I have chosen the following references. You may substitute other items that, for you, symbolize burdens. One might be a large calendar torn in half, with the communion symbols coming through the torn portion, giving healing and hope.]

Place a riser in front of the worship table.

Cover the worship center with burlap fabric, including the riser in front of the table. Place a 6-foot runner of green cloth from the upper left corner of the worship table, down over the front riser, and let it puddle onto the floor

Use a 10” pillar candle, on the upper left corner of the worship table. You may place several smaller candles (no taller than 3”) clustering around this candle.

Use Boston ferns, or other green leafy plants on the worship table, to the right and left of the center cross. Place leafy plants on the floor in front of the worship table, on either side of the front riser, and one smaller plant in front of the riser near the green cloth. You may want to consider using trailing ivy.

You may place some rocks on the worship center, near the candles, and also on the riser in front of the worship table.

If you can borrow an ox yoke from an antique store or a farm, place it on the riser in front of the worship center. Place a chalice with grapes surrounding it and a loaf of uncut bread in front of the yoke. In place of the yoke, find other objects that remind you of burdens. Place them on the worship center and also on the front riser.

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