Worship Elements: May 29, 2016

May 1st, 2016

Second Sunday After Pentecost

Scripture Readings: 1 Kings 18:20-39, Psalm 96, Galatians 1:1-12, Luke 7:1-10
Color: Green 

Call to Worship

L: Spread your open hands toward heaven—

P: Sing to the Lord a new song!

L: The Lord is like no other God—

P: Sing to the Lord, all the earth!

L: Come together to pray and praise:

P: The Lord has made us—Hallelujah! To the Lord we be long, forever—Amen!

Invocation

O Lord, hear us in your habitation; listen to us in your dwelling place! Whatever our age, or race, or homeland, or class, or gender, or intelligence, or ability, or creed, you have promised to show us love: to heal us when we are wounded, to protect us when we are vulnerable, to come to us when we are alone. We stand now in need of your steadfast love; do not disappoint us!

Litany

Leader: O Spirit, help us so to serve you, that all the world might hear and rejoice in the greatness of your name:

Women: Lord of hosts, God of gods, Ruler of glory, Judge of earth, Lover of justice, Avenger of wrong;

Men: Upholder of life, Lifter of heads, Parent to the orphan, Protector of the weak;

All: Maker, Savior, Redeemer, Deliverer, Helper, Shepherd, Keeper, Midwife, sheltering Wings, forgiving God!

L: O Spirit, help us so to serve you, that all the world might hear and rejoice in the greatness of your love:

W: The love that opens, stretches forth, anoints, lifts up, rescues, saves;

M: The love that leads, abides, receives our spirits, helps, holds our times;

A: The love that holds the cup of agony—a strong love, exalted, high, but forgotten!

L: O Spirit, help us so to serve you, that all the world might hear and rejoice in the greatness of your love:

W: The love that creates the heavens and earth and all who — dwell therein, that performs great signs and wonders;

M: The love that rules, that triumphs, that scatters the wicked and makes them still;

A: The love that brings slaves out of bondage, that gathers the lambs and all who are scattered—the love that is bared before all the nations!

Prayer for One Voice

Eternal God, who in Jesus Christ redeems us from the sin that drives us apart and reconciles us with the love that brings us together, we thank you for him who has made us your partners in covenant. We bless you for the vision with which you bless us through him: for the vision of yourself, whose love for all does not diminish your love for each; for the vision of us as individuals, whose move away from you does not slow your move toward us; for the vision of the community of believers, whose history of division does not alter your desire for union; and for the vision of the world, whose clamor for power does not silence your demand for justice.

O God, grant us the faith of Solomon's prayer: the faith that calls the temple not by the builder's name but by your name; the faith that looks not within the temple but beyond for your dwelling place; the faith that longs for the temple to become a house of prayer—not for one people but for all the peoples of the earth.

Unfortunately, our faith in Christ has often been no match for Solomon's prayer. We sing of Christ for all the world, but the world we have in mind is much smaller than the world for which Solomon prayed. It is not the world of "all the peoples of the earth," but only some of them—those of them who think as we think, feel as we feel, worship as we worship, and live as we live.

Forgive us, O God, not only for shrinking your world to the size of our prejudices, but for reducing Christ to the level of our preferences. Too often we turn your Christ into a Christ of our own creation: a Christ too narrow to tolerate any behavior we do not approve; to sanction any belief we do not hold; to welcome any person we do not like; to permit any worship we do not practice.

O God, you have made us in your image. Forgive us for remaking the world in ours. You have made Christ the church's one foundation. Forgive us for trying to build it on another. Transform us, O Lord. Grant us the grace so to represent the Christ you have sent that the world might receive your glorious gospel, obey your great c and worship your holy name.

Benediction

As we leave this place, let us be committed to living the gospel, seeking not human favor but divine approval. And let us remember that it is not submission before God, but devotion to God, to which we are called in the name of Christ.

About the Author

Ministry Matters

Ministry Matters™ purpose is to equip, connect, and inspire visitors through articles, interviews, blogs, videos, read more…
comments powered by Disqus