Worship Elements: January 21, 2018

December 17th, 2017

Third Sunday after the Epiphany

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Psalm 62:5-12; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

THEME IDEAS

God’s call is clear: “Follow me!” When we are awake to God’s call, we can be led into surprising, unconventional places; we can even turn away from what our culture labels truth. With the realm of God close at hand, the Holy One invites us to be part of the solution. The call is clear and urgent: We are to be ready to turn to this new, unexpected Way.

INVITATION AND GATHERING

Call to Worship (Psalm 62)

The God of all creation calls us.
We come, knowing that our deliverance and honor rest in God.
Power and steadfast love belong to God.
We come to sing and pray, celebrating the presence of this mighty, loving God.

Opening Prayer (Jonah 3, 1 Corinthians 7)

Holy One, God of all Creation,
you call us to be your people,
to carry your vision in this time and place,
to go where you send us
to help welcome your amazing good news.
As we gather in the presence of the risen Christ
to spread the news that your realm is near,
fill us with your Holy Spirit,
O God of all Creation.
Fill us with your glorious Spirit,
that we may share your good news
with a world in need.
Amen.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

Prayer of Confession (Jonah 3)

Holy Fountain of Forgiveness,
the tale of Jonah reminds us
of your never-ending love for all creation.
May we be like the people of Nineveh,
who were able to acknowledge their sin
and open their eyes to your healing presence.
Though you stand ready to forgive our sin,
we find it easier to bite our tongues,
clench our fists,
and cling to our hurts and resentments
rather than let you open our hearts.
We trust you, Holy One;
we pour out our hearts to you.
Receive the pain that lurks in our humanity,
as we offer up what we have hidden
from ourselves and from the world—
those words and deeds
that keep us separated from your love.

Words of Assurance (Psalm 62)

When we repent, our God relents,
lifting us beyond the pain, restoring us to safety,
protecting us in the refuge of eternal love.
In the name of Jesus, who is the Christ,
you are forgiven.
In the name of Christ, you are forgiven.
Glory to God. Amen.

Passing the Peace of Christ (Mark 1)

Jesus calls us to repent and draw near to him, to share the realm of God and the peace that passes all understanding.
May the peace of Christ be with you always.
May the peace of Christ be with you always.

Prayer of Preparation (Jonah 3, Psalm 62, Mark 1)

Holy God, creator of a new reality
just now coming into view,
we have come today to see and touch
and know your presence here among us.
Be with us as we listen for your call.
Help us hear afresh the good news:
that power and steadfast love
arise from you, our rock and our salvation. Amen.

Response to the Word (Jonah 3, Mark 1)

God of new realities close at hand,
open our ears to hear your call.
Give us the insight to know that it is you who calls us.
Grant us the courage to go where you send us
as we journey with the risen Christ. Amen.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Invitation to the Offering (Mark 1)

Our nets are full enough to share God’s bounty. Our hearts are open wide to the needs of others. Let us reach out and share what we’ve been given.

Offering Prayer (Jonah 3, Mark 1)

Holy God, Steadfast Rock of all Salvation,
we marvel at the strength of your compassion
and your ability to offer forgiveness.
We come to you,
hungry to be part of the good news
you are bringing forth,
for we would be part of the realm
you are revealing. Amen.

Invitation to Communion (Psalm 62)

Holy God, we thank you for your steadfast love
that shelters and protects us.
You are our rock and our salvation.
Loving Christ, we yearn for, yet dread,
to hear your invitation: “Follow Me!”
You call us to risk everything
to help you bring good news to the world.
Empowering Holy Spirit, we give thanks
that you fill our lives with joy.
Fill us now as we gather to share your presence
in the bread and cup. Amen.

SENDING FORTH

Benediction (Jonah 3, Psalm 62)

As we go out to meet a changing world,
remember this: God alone is our rock
and our salvation; the risen Christ
is calling each of us to share the good news
of the realm of God.
The realm of God is near,
and we are on the way. Amen.

CONTEMPORARY OPTIONS

Contemporary Gathering Words (Psalm 62)

Where do I turn for help?
God is my rock. I will not be shaken!
Where do I look for forgiveness?
God is my salvation. I will not be shaken!
Where can I find protection?
God is my fortress. I will not be shaken!
Trust in God, our refuge and our hope.

—OR—

Contemporary Gathering Words (1 Corinthians 7, Jonah 3, Mark 1)

The present form of this world is passing away.
The realm of God is near.
When Jonah spoke, the people woke
and changed their ways.
Repent! God will relent!
When Jesus called, they left their nets
and followed him.
The realm of God is near. Repent!
God will relent!

Praise Sentences (Jonah 3, Psalm 62)

Praise the God of all Creation.
Worship the One who calls us—
speaking with a different voice,
offering an unexpected invitation.
Celebrate the presence of our loving God.
Rejoice, the realm of God is near.


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

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