Worship Elements: February 10, 2019

January 1st, 2019

This is a free selection from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2019. This title is available in paperback or through a digital subscription.



Scripture Readings

Isaiah 6:1-8 (9-13); Psalm 138; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11

Theme Ideas

God’s call pervades today’s scripture readings. Isaiah exclaims, “Here am I; send me!” In the Gospel of Luke, James and John leave everything behind to follow Jesus. Paul recognizes that his call to proclaim God’s message is a gift of grace that allows him to do what he was created to do. The psalmist sings of this truth with these words: “The Lord will fulfill [God’s] purpose for me” (Psalm 138:8a NRSV). Throughout this season after Epiphany, scripture reminds us of the myriad ways that God calls each and every one of us. It also reminds us of the challenge we face, even when we gladly answer, and quickly follow, that call.


Invitation and Gathering

Contemporary Gathering Words (Isa 6, 1 Cor 15, Luke 5)

From fishing fleets and busy harbors, God gathers simple sailors.
Through persecution and injustice, God calls brave prophets.
When we least expect it, Christ gathers us in, and calls to follow him.
Let us gather and answer Christ’s call.


Call to Worship (Isa 6, Luke 5)

Called by God, we have come to worship.

Called by Christ, we have come to follow.

Called by the Spirit, we have come to rejoice.

Called together, we will listen and pray.


Opening Prayer (Isa 6, Luke 5)

Holy God, we gather to sing your praise and hear your word.
Speak to us now,

that we may be wise enough to perceive your call.
Strengthen us now,
that we may be brave enough to answer when you call.
Guide us now,
that we may follow
where you would have us go.


Proclamation and Response

Prayer of Confession (Luke 5)

Master, we have worked all day and night, for many months and years.
We yearn for a heavy catch,
a full church, an abundant feast. Forgive us God,
when we are too tired
to cast our nets one time;
when we are too stubborn
to do things a little differently. Have mercy on us,
when we are too afraid
to dive into deep waters and take a risk.
Grant us grace,
that we may proclaim your word, work for your kingdom,
and trust your promises. Amen.


Words of Assurance (Luke 5)

Do not be afraid! Christ has called. Christ has redeemed us.

Christ will save us all.


Introduction to the Word (1 Cor 15, Luke 5)

Hold firmly to the message of Christ. Delve into the lessons of God. Hear God’s word, and heed Christ’s call, and you will live.


Response to the Word (Luke 5)

When all seems pointless, and it’s easy to give up:

We will drop our nets in the deep.

When the harvest is scarce and the needs are great:

We will drop our nets in the deep.

When Christ calls for disciples and speaks to your heart:

We will drop our nets in the deep.


Thanksgiving and Communion

Invitation to the Offering (Isa 6)

Whom should God send? Who will go for God’s people? Here we are, God is counting on us. Let us share our gifts and our offerings in answer to God’s call.


Offering Prayer (Ps 138, Luke 5)

Increase the strength of these gifts,
and the strength of our ministries, O God. Expand the nets of our love,
that we may reach deeply and share abundantly.
In Christ’s name, we pray.


Invitation to Communion (Luke 5)

Come into the deep water of God’s love. Cast your nets into the miraculous waters of Christ’s grace. Drink of the living water, eat of the bread of life, for this is the table of abundant love.


Great Thanksgiving (Luke 5)

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is right, and a good and joyful thing,
always and everywhere to give thanks to you, almighty God, creator of heaven and earth.
In ancient days, you created us in your image, and called us to be your people.
Even when we turned away and ignored your voice, you pursued us and called us:
through the proclamation of your law, the words of your prophets,
and the wisdom of your poets and storytellers.
In the fullness of time, you sent your Son, Jesus Christ to call us yet again:
on the shores of Galilee,
in crowded markets, and on dusty roads, inviting us to risk everything,
and to place our trust in you.

And so, with your people on earth, and all the company of heaven, we praise your name
and join their unending hymn, saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

Holy are you and blessed in your Son, Christ Jesus, who called to his disciples,
even as he shared a final meal with them, calling one and all to remember and reflect
when we eat of the bread and partake of the cup.

“Take, eat; this is my body, given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
“Drink from this, all of you.
This is my life, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

And so, in remembrance of these
your mighty acts of love and grace,
we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Christ has died. Christ is risen.

Christ will come again.


Communion Prayer (Luke 5)

Pour out your Holy Spirit
on all of us gathered here,
that we may answer your call and be your people.
Pour out your Holy Spirit
on these gifts of bread and wine,
that they may nourish and strengthen us to go into deep waters
when you call us to take a risk. By your Spirit, make us one with Christ,
one with each other,
and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory
and we feast at your heavenly banquet. Through Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church,
all honor and glory is yours, almighty God, both now and forevermore. Amen.


Giving the Bread and Cup

(The bread and wine are given to the people, with these or other words of blessing.)

The bread of life, strengthening you, to answer Christ’s call.
The living water, blessing you, to live in faith and grace.


Sending Forth

Benediction (Luke 5)

Listen for God’s word. Answer Christ’s call.
Go into the deep and love courageously. 
Rejoice in the harvest of grace!

Copyright © Mary Scifres. Used by permission.

About the Author

Mary J. Scifres

Mary J. Scifres is a United Methodist pastor, motivational speaker, teacher, and author who brings both read more…
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