Worship Elements: September 27, 2020

August 25th, 2020

17th Sunday after Pentecost

Color: Green
Scripture Readings: Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16; Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:23-32

Theme Ideas

What does being a servant look like? Philippians describes Jesus' servanthood as one of humility and obedience to God. In Matthew, John's servanthood comes from faithfully preparing the way. The servanthood of the two sons is judged, not by what they said they would do, but by what they did in the end.

Invitation and Gathering

Call to Worship (Philippians 2)

Come, let us bow before the holy One.
Come, let us confess God's might.
Come, let us feel God's mercy.
Come, let us live in God's light.
As God's people, we lift our voices in praise.
Glory to you, gracious and loving God!

Opening Prayer (Matthew 21, Philippians 2)

Gracious Lord,
how shall we do your will today?
Will it be in acts of praise, in gifts shared,
in prayers lifted?
Who will you lead us to serve?
Help us trust you.
Help us listen.
Bless this community
as we come together in worship.
Encourage us, comfort us, unite us,
make our joy complete. Amen.

Proclamation and Response

Prayer of Confession (Philippians 2, Exodus 17, Matthew 21)

God of patience,
your people grow weary.
We complain and question.
We put you to the test.
Our mouths say yes,
but our deeds say no.
When we wander off your path,
when we fail to follow through on our good intentions, when we give our attention to trivial things;
gently call us back to you.
Empty our hearts of anger and pride.
Empty our souls of greed and selfishness.
Empty our minds of envy, doubt, and mistrust.
As you poured out your very self
through your beloved Son,
pour your Spirit into our hearts today.
Forgive us our wrongdoing.
Reclaim us with your love.

Words of Assurance (Exodus 17)

Friends in Christ,
our God is patient, steadfast, and understanding.
Christ hears our cries of repentance.
The Lord knows our hearts, inside and out.
The One who created us promises to care for us,
even when we turn away.
Hear these words of forgiveness.
Be strengthened to walk as disciples.
Trust in God's mercy. Amen.

Invitation to the Word (Psalm 78)

Speak to us, Lord, through these scriptures.
Remind us again of your everlasting power.
May we know your story and our place within it.
May we remember your mighty works and deeds,
that we might know that you are the God of all ages.
May we claim your promise and share your love.
We are listening, Lord; speak to us today.

Thanksgiving and Communion

Unison Prayer

Loving and merciful Lord,
by your word we are nourished,
by your hand we are fed.
Turn our hearts to you now,
as we lift our prayers to you.

Offering Prayer (Exodus 17)

God of abundance,
you fill us with good things;
you satisfy our thirst;
you meet our every need.
From your rock,
our blessings flow.
Accept what we give in return:
our hearts, our hands, our gifts, our love.
Use them to answer the cries
of a world in need. Amen.

Sending Forth

Benediction (Philippians 2)

May you go forth with humble hearts,
ready to serve your neighbor and a world in need.
Amen. Lead us, O God!

Contemporary Options

Contemporary Gathering Words (Philippians 2)

Bend your knees!
Bow your heads!
The Lord, great and merciful, is coming!
The Lord, great and merciful, is here!
Open your hearts to God.
Open your arms to God's embrace.
For the Messiah calls you by name
and claims you as his own.
O Jesus, we exalt you.
O Jesus, we exalt you.

Praise Sentences (Philippians 2)

Praise Christ, who came as a servant.
Praise Christ, who was glorified by God.
Praise Christ, who reigns as Lord.
Praise Christ.

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

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