Worship Elements: July 30, 2017

June 20th, 2017

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Color: Green
Scripture Readings: Genesis 29:15-28; Psalm 105:1-11, 45b; Romans 8:26-39; Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Theme Ideas

In the midst of summer, when our thoughts seem occupied with relaxation and fun, we find ourselves confronted with the difficult task of faithful living. Today’s texts abound with hard work and treachery and puzzling images of the kingdom God. Yet these texts are tempered with deep love, love of another person and of God. These texts help us to see that no matter what happens in our lives nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Call to Worship (Psalm 105)

Give thanks to God and call on God’s name.
Sing to God; sing praises to God!
Make known God’s deeds among the people.
Sing to God; sing praises to God!
Seek God’s presence and God’s strength.
Sing to God; sing praises to God!
Let us worship our God, for God is faithful.

Call to Worship (Matthew 13)

Come and worship God with your whole heart.
We come as mustard seeds of faith.
Come and worship God with your whole being.
We come as leaven for the world.
Come and worship God with your whole mind.
We come as treasures and pearls of great price,
enriching the world with our witness.
Come and worship God with your whole lives.

Contemporary Gathering Words (Romans 8)

Come with confidence before our God.
For nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Can hunger?
No!
Can hardship?
No!
Can people who are against us?
No!
Can death?
No!
Can anything in all creation?
No!
Then let us worship this most amazing God.

Praise Sentences (Psalm 105)

Give thanks to God and call on God’s name.
God has done wonderful works for us.
God’s promises are sure.
Sing to God, sing praises to God!
Praise our God!

Praise Sentences (Romans 8)

The Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.
We know all things work together for those who love God.
Because God is for us, none can be against us.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God.

Opening Prayer (Romans 8, Psalm 105)

Our gracious and ever loving God,
we come in the midst of summer
looking for refreshment.
We rest in the knowledge
of the wonderful works you have done for us,
and of the deep and abiding love you have for us
and for all God’s people.
Search our hearts.
Fill our soul with your indwelling Spirit
who whispers to our soul
that all will be well if we but trust in you.
Shine your light before us,
that we may see our path to you
and to your kingdom on earth. Amen.

Prayer of Confession (Genesis 29, Matthew 13)

We pause this morning, O God,
with heavy hearts.
We live in the midst of great and abiding love,
but also in the midst of deceit and lies.
May we be found faithful in all we do.
May we speak the truth in love
and live lives of love each day.
Too often we seek you in the spectacular
and otherworldly.
May we see the many inbreakings of your kingdom
in the everyday, ordinary things of life:
in mustard seeds, yeast,
treasures in fields, and fish gathered in nets.
May we be able to answer with a full-throated yes
when asked if we have understood your teachings
and your call. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Romans 8)

When we are not sure how to pray,
or if we are even able to address God in prayer,
the Spirit intercedes for us
with sighs too deep for words.
Know that no matter what, nothing,
absolutely nothing can ever separate us
from God’s presence and God’s love.

Benediction

With a song of praise on our lips,
we go forth with God.
With the love of God in our hearts,
we go forth with God.
With a commitment to usher in God’s kingdom,
we go forth with God.
With all that we are and all we can be,
we go forth with God.

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

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