Worship Elements: July 11, 2021

May 30th, 2021

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19; Psalm 24; Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:14-29


The pairing of two dance stories allows us to ponder how human action can be both sacred and profane, depending on context and intention. Psalm 24 reminds us that those with pure intention may come into the presence of God. The Gospel story of a young girl dancing before Herod for the head of John the Baptist reminds us that the beauty and joy of the body can be turned to idolatry. The culmination of the Epistle lesson, that all who believe may live for the praise of Christ’s glory, points us back to David’s dance before the Lord — to praise God’s glory alone.


Call to Worship (Psalm 24, 2 Samuel 6, Ephesians 1)

The earth is the Lord’s!
Everything in creation belongs to God.
Lift up your eyes!
See the mighty works of the Lord!
This is the Lord’s house! All who hope in the Lord
will be called children of God.
Lift up your hearts!
Receive the gracious gifts of the Lord!
This is the hour for worship and song.
Lift up your voice!
Praise the Lord with all your might!


Call to Worship (Ephesians 1)

Hope in Christ!
Hear the word of truth,
the good news of our salvation.
Believe in Christ!
We are sealed with the mark
of the Holy Spirit.
Live in Christ!
We embrace our inheritance,
as children of God.
Live to the glory of Christ!

Opening Prayer (2 Samuel 6, Psalm 24)

God of all creation,
everything that you have made
lifts its unique voice to praise you
in all of your glory.
Even as we worship here,
we join our voices to the one true song —
the song the morning stars began,
the song King David danced,
the song the angels echoed
at the birth of your Son.
Glory to you, Holy God! Glory!
Let this hour of worship
be wholly to the praise of your glory. Amen.


Prayer of Confession (Psalm 24)

Holy God,
as we come into the presence
of your divine holiness,
we confess our many shortcomings.
Our hands are not clean;
our actions do not glorify you;
Our hearts are not pure;
our motivations do not glorify you;
Our words are not true;
our deceitfulness does not glorify you;
Our allegiance is fickle;
our idolatry does not glorify you.
By your mercy, O God,
give us hands that are clean,
hearts that are pure,
tongues that are true,
and souls that worship you alone,
that our whole lives may glorify you. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Ephesians 1)

All you who seek God, and who have set your hope
on Jesus Christ, hear the good news:
we have received forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of God’s grace.
As forgiven and beloved children of God,
let us set our hope on Christ,
and live for the praise of his glory.


Words of Assurance or Response to the Word (Psalm 24:3-6)

Hear the word of the psalmist:
“Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
and do not swear deceitfully.
They will receive blessing from the LORD,
and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Such is the company of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.” (NRSV)

Response to the Word (Ephesians 1)

This is the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation.
Praise to the glory of Christ.


Offering Prayer (Psalm 24, 2 Samuel 6, Ephesians 1)

True God,
accept our gifts: gifts of our lives, our souls, and our treasure.
Multiply and bless these gifts
and consecrate them to the praise
of your glory. Amen.


Benediction (2 Samuel 6, Ephesians 1)

Children of God, celebrate the life
you have been given.
Live your life with all your might,
as a dance to God’s glory.
Live to the praise of God’s glory!


Contemporary Gathering Words (2 Samuel 6)

The Lord is in this house, people of God!
Like King David, let us worship the Lord
with all our might.
Let us dance our joy,
unashamed to praise the Lord of the Dance!

Praise Sentences (2 Samuel 6, Ephesians 1)

Dance and shout with all of your might
before the Lord!
Hope in Christ!
Live for the praise of his glory! 

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

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