Worship Elements: August 23, 2020

July 4th, 2020

12th Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Exodus 1:8–2:10; Psalm 124; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20

THEME IDEAS

The life of faith is lived in community, where many gifts support the body of Christ. In the Exodus account, women work together to oppose injustice and protect life. The midwives disobey Pharaoh and call forth new life. Moses lives because of his mother, sister, and the daughter of Pharaoh. In Matthew, Peter names Jesus for who he is, and a new community, the church, begins to take root.
Paul names the differing gifts that support the community, the body of Christ.

INVITATION AND GATHERING

Call to Worship (Psalm 124)

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
We belong to God.
When we feel overwhelmed,
God is on our side.
When we are afraid,
God will keep us safe.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Blessed be the Lord!

Opening Prayer (Romans 12)

Loving God,
call us together as your people;
transform us with your love.
Transform our hearts,
that we may love generously.
Transform our eyes,
that we may see your grace.
Transform our hands,
that we may serve others.
Transform our spirits,
that we may be the body of Christ,
gathered to worship
and sent out to serve. Amen.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

Prayer of Confession (Exodus 1–2, Romans 12)

Caring God,
you call us to be the body of Christ:
to live in community,
to care for one another,
to use our different gifts.
Instead of working to sustain community,
we follow our own desires.
Instead of trusting in your care,
we think we can do it alone.
Forgive our neglect of others.
Give us obedient spirits,
that we may care for one another,
depend on your love,
and use our gifts for your gospel. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Psalm 124, Romans 12)

The Lord is on our side,
offering words of forgiveness,
protecting us from danger.
We are a forgiven people,
bound together in God’s love.
We are the body of Christ, forgiven and free.

Passing the Peace of Christ (Romans 12)

Jesus is the Messiah, the hope of the world, the one who brings us the gift of peace. Look into the eyes of your neighbor and see the light of Christ reflected there. Recognize each other as the body of Christ. Share Christ’s peace with one another.

Response to the Word (Romans 12)

God of love,
open our hearts to each other.
Give us the courage to resist oppression.
Help us protect the world from evil.
Give us the wisdom to see ourselves as we truly are.
Give us the vision to see you and hear your voice.
Give us the courage to answer your call
Grant us the endurance to use our gifts
for the purpose of your realm.
Work your transforming love within us
that we may know your will
and serve you with joy. Amen.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Invitation to the Offering (Romans 12)

God has blessed us with an abundance of gifts. We are called to offer all that we are to God—our bodies, our spirits, our minds, our time, and our money. As the body of Christ, we are called to be in ministry with others. With true generosity, let us give of ourselves this morning.

Offering Prayer (Romans 12)

Generous God,
you have given us many gifts
and drawn us together into Christ’s body,
the church.
You have blessed us
with generous and cheerful spirits.
May the gifts of our money, time, and talents
support the ministry of your church. Amen.

Invitation to Communion (Romans 12)

Here at the table, we see most clearly that we are part of the body of Christ. We are no longer divided into people of different ages, different ideas, different backgrounds, different gifts. Here unique individuals become a single body, made richer for the multitude of gifts shared. Here, we feast on one bread and one cup, and become one body in service to the world.

SENDING FORTH

Benediction (Exodus 1–2, Psalm 127)

Resist the powers that use people.
Hear the cries of the weak.
Dare to work for justice.
Know that God—Source, Word, and Spirit—
is your help, will keep you safe,
and will bring you new life.
You are blessed by God and sent to serve.

CONTEMPORARY OPTIONS

Gathering Words (Matthew 16)

Who is this man?
This is Jesus!
Who is this man?
This is the Messiah!
Who is this man?
This is the child of the living God!

Praise Sentences (Psalm 124)

The Lord is on our side!
We fear nothing.
God is our help.
Blessed be the Lord.

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

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