Worship Elements: July 22, 2018

June 15th, 2018

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: 2 Samuel 7:1-14a; Psalm 89:20-37; Ephesians 2:11-22; Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

Call to Worship

L: The Lord has restored our fortunes.

P: Come, you thankful people, come; let us rejoice and be glad!

L: The Lord has brought us near, a people once far off.

P: Come, you thankful people, come; let us rejoice and be glad!

L: The Lord has reconciled us in one body through the cross.

P: Come, you thankful people, come; let us rejoice and be glad!

A: Now we all have access to God in one spirit; let us rejoice and be glad!

Invocation

You, O Lord, are the Good Shepherd. Yet we drift like sheep without a shepherd. We pursue goals that demand too little of us, challenge too few of us, and threaten all of us. Deliver us from our aimless wanderings, O Lord, and lead us into paths of righteousness for your sake and ours.

Litany

L: As we come together, we are pushed by our desire for success and pulled by Christ's summons to service.

P: Help us, dear Lord, to resist the push for success.

L: We desire a life of ease and privilege.

P: Help us, dear Lord, to resist the push for success.

L: We covet the power of fame and wealth.

P: Help us, dear Lord, to resist the push for success.

L: Yet we also esteem the call to duty and charity.

P: Help us, dear Lord, to heed the pull of service.

L: We lament the rule of hate and jealousy.

P: Help us, dear Lord, to heed the pull of service.

L: Above all, we long to do your will on earth as in heaven.

A: Help us, dear Lord, to heed your summons in the spirit of Christ.

Prayer for One Voice

O God, your glory fills heaven and earth; your creation is greater than our powers to describe. We are your creatures; and you, our Creator. Who are we that you are mindful of us? The distance between us could not be bridged from our side to yours; so you bridged it from your side to ours. Despite our disregard for you, our contempt for your law, and our violation of your covenant, in Jesus Christ you took upon yourself our human frame. In him you assumed all the limits and braved all the risks of every person born of earth. In him you became a member of our family that we might become members of your family. In him you turned our adoring eyes from the majesty of creation to the love of the Creator. For this, the mightiest of all your mighty acts, we worship you.

We thank you, dear Lord, that in Jesus you rejected our low opinion of human nature: for laying bare our preference for crowns over crosses; and for exposing our habit of sacrificing the joy of eternity for the pleasure of the moment. When we behold ourselves in him, we cannot but exclaim that you have made us little less than God and crowned us with glory and honor.

But when we look away from him to ourselves, we behold a very different creature. We see a king shamelessly pursuing his ambition, ignoring the traditions of his people, to build a great temple. We discover that the enemy we most have to fear is the enemy within: that in our hearts there lurks a breaker of all those commandments designed to protect our neighbors from ourselves. The sight of this demon disgusts us, but we do not have to surrender to its power. Help us, dear Lord, so to fix our hearts upon Christ, that the good we would, we do; and the evil we would not, we do not.

O God, our towns are full of people like the crowds that flocked to Jesus—sheep without a shepherd. Yet we know to which flock they belong, for we know who their shepherd is. Lead us to them, that we might lead them to you: that we and they might become one flock; that you might be the Good Shepherd of us all; and that, with singleness of mind and purity of heart, we might heed your voice.

Benediction

O God, who longs to continue in us the work begun in Jesus, let us who have been reconciled by Christ become reconcilers for Christ. Send us who have found peace in God's house to make peace in God's world.


Adapted from "Litanies and Other Prayers," Copyright © Abingdon Press

comments powered by Disqus