Worship Elements: July 12, 2020

June 1st, 2020

Sixth Sunday After Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Genesis 25:19-34; Psalm 119:105-112; Romans 8:1-11; Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Call to Worship 1

L: Come, let us worship the Lord our God,

P: For the Lord is our God, and we are the Lord's people.

L: As we wait upon the Lord, let us open our ears,

P: That we might both hear and heed the word of the Lord.

L: As we wait upon the Lord, let us open our eyes,

P: That we might both see and perceive the will of the Lord.

L: As we wait upon the Lord, let us open our hearts.

P: That we might understand with our hearts and turn to the Lord for healing.

Call to Worship 2

Leader: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

People: And also with you.

Leader: Pray as a little child. The Spirit who adopts us as children of God enables us to pray with confidence to our heavenly Father.

People: We will pray with all the ease and familiarity of small children to earthly parents.

Invocation 1

We have listened to the words of the street corner and the marketplace. And we have heard the words of our friends and neighbors. These words have often left us confused. They have not pointed the way to a dear and compelling goal. So we come to you, O Lord, in search of the Word that will give direction and meaning to our lives.

Invocation 2

"Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, Look upon a little child;
Pity my simplicity, Suffer me to come to thee."
Heav'nly Father, hear my prayer, Grant me only what is fair
As to others you would give: Life eternal let me live.
Holy Spirit, fresh'ning wind, Blow away all thoughts of sin,
Mind of Christ within me leave; Childlike innocence retrieve." Amen (First two stanzas, Charles Wesley, "Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild"; additional stanzas by the author.)

Invocation 3

God of old stories and new beginnings, open our lives today to the new that you long to accomplish in our lives. As you called Abraham and Sarah to walk faithfully with you, speak our names today, call us to higher purposes, fill us with your Spirit that we may worthily praise you and magnify your holy name. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.


L: You who are thirsty but do not have the money, come and drink,

P: That the word of the Lord might accomplish its purpose.

L: You who are hungry but do not have the price, come and eat,

P: That the word of the Lord might accomplish its purpose.

L: You who labor but do not get your reward, come and consider,

P: That the word of the Lord might accomplish its purpose.

L: You who scatter seed but do not reap the harvest, come and plant,

P: That the word of the Lord might accomplish its purpose.

A: Let us drink the water of life and eat the bread of heaven. Let us sow our seed in good soil, that others might reap the fruit of our labor.

Prayer of Confession 1

Persistent Word-Creator, patient Teacher, persuasive Spirit, you are tireless in speaking to us, but we find it easy to close our minds, to refuse to hear what would require painful change, to reject the truth because it is inconvenient. Forgive deliberate denseness of mind, fearful resistance to change, stubborn insistence that our way is the best way. Continue your speaking until we hear. Try new parables on us until we think and understand. Argue with us until we do your will. What else will your love in Christ allow you to do? Amen.

Prayer of Confession 2

God of life, Lord of mercy, we confess that, like Esau and Jacob, we selfishly make decisions that do not honor you or others. Believing ourselves wise, we foolishly follow our own way, falling short of your glory. Our pride keeps us from being honest about ourselves, our sin, and our needs. Forgive us, we pray, and grant us the gift of your healing grace. Restore again both the joy of knowing you and the freedom of being known by you. Make us new and lead us in the way of life everlasting. Amen.

Declaration of Pardon

Pastor: Friends, hear the Good News! All who are moved by the Spirit of God are children of God.

People: We are heirs of God's splendor with Jesus Christ.

Pastor: Friends, believe the Good News!

People: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Words of Assurance

Our gracious and loving Lord is the essence of generosity and patience. Rest in and rely on God’s love and forgiveness. Amen.

Prayer for One Voice

We bow before you, O God, in awe of your creation. Its vastness staggers our imagination. Its beauty kindles our excitement. Its mystery defies our understanding. As Jesus spoke to the crowds in Galilee in parables, sometimes you speak to us in parables. Your words are loud and powerful, but their meaning is not always clear.

Yet we sense the heartbeat behind your handiwork. In Jesus you have revealed your face, and we are delighted by what we see. We see power restrained by goodness. We see nature guided by humanity. We see purpose directed by love. We thank you, O Great Communicator, for the revelation of yourself in Jesus. At first we thank you for lowering yourself to our level. But as we look more closely at Jesus, we see that, instead, you raised us up to your level.

We grow uncomfortable in your company. Our humanity drags us down again to the level from which we ascended. Unlike Paul, we break under the weight of today's problems. We are constantly on the lookout for the quick fix. When our neighbor speaks to us harshly, we answer in kind without pausing to ask why. When given a chance to close a quick sale on dubious terms, we promise to be more ethical next time. When some foreign people opt for a system different from our own, we are quicker to denounce their choice than we are to study their history.

For this rush to judgment, we ask your forgiveness, O God. We pray for the rebirth of patience, that we might think beyond our present circumstances. Give us the grace to weigh our actions in light of their consequences on people yet unborn and on people in other lands. Let us hope for a world that we cannot yet see a world in which we are as quick to bestow freedom as we are to claim it—and grant us the courage to labor for the world of our hope.

When we think of the degree to which our hope exceeds our grasp, we also remember the multitudes who ding to hope because hope is all that remains. We pray, O God, that you will move us to act in their behalf, that both we and they might obtain the liberty of the children of God.


Do not be content simply to do what comes naturally. Live on the spiritual level as a Christian in whom Christ dwells by the Spirit.

Prayer of the Day

God of mystery, Sharer of Divine Secrets, Spirit of God's whole family, enable us to hear what you speak, to see what you disclose, to respond as to a parent in our prayers, that we may be strengthened to share the suffering of Christ, our brother, and live free from fear until the day of splendor comes. Amen.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Creator of the visible and the invisible, divine Deliverer, Life-sustaining Spirit, all that is depends upon you and rejoices in your praise. You blot out our sins and free us to live as your children in love and helpfulness. Your Spirit both inspires our prayers and promotes our growth in Christ. All whom you deliver from sin and death praise you in your household. We especially rejoice in the reassuring voice of the Spirit, calling us into one loving family with you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

Holy God, you relieve us from the burden of our guilt and save us from the loneliness that isolates us from others and from you. With these our offering, we pledge our vows of service in the company of this holy family, in the spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Benediction 1

Today, O God, we have turned to you in search of direction for our lives, and you did not turn us away. You have opened our ears to your word, our eyes to your purpose, and our hearts to your presence. Now send us forth as people who hear with their ears, see with their eyes, and understand with their hearts, that your word might bear fruit within us and through us.

Benediction 2

The time of our gathering has come to an end; the moment of our parting is at hand. God of gatherings and partings, lead us from this place of worship to the many places of service and need that we, gathered and sent by your Spirit, may be your people of grace and truth. May God— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—fit us for every good work to the glory of your name. Amen.

Adapted from Litanies and Other Prayers Year A, Copyright © 1989, 1992 by Abingdon Press; Prayers for the Seasons of God's People Year A, Copyright © 1998 by Abingdon Press, and The Abingdon Preaching Annual 2011, Copyright © 2010 by Abingdon Press; 

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