Worship Connection: July 21, 2019

April 8th, 2019

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Amos 8:1-12; Psalm 52; Colossians 1:15-28; Luke 10:38-42

CALLS TO WORSHIP

Call to Worship #1:
L: We gather this day from a week filled with needs and demands
P: We come to find rest and renewal of our spirits.
L: Open your hearts in love to hear the voice of God.
P: We want to quietly rest in God’s presence, free from the clamor of the world.
L: This is the day that the Lord has made.
P: Let us rejoice and be glad in it. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2:
L: How are you this morning?
P: It would be easy for us to say “fine, thank you”, but the truth is that there are lots of things going on in your lives, lots of time crunches and pressures.
L: You have come to the right place. Rest for a minute. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Just relax and let your heart be open to God’s word for you.
P: That sounds good to us.
L: Feel the healing, soothing power of God’s love for you.
P: Lord, we rest our minds, spirits, and hearts in your compassionate love. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3:
[Using THE UNITED METHODIST HYMNAL, p. 377, “It Is Well with My Soul”, offer the following call to worship as directed]
Choir: singing verse 1 of “It Is Well with My Soul”
L: We come this day having been tossed about on the sea of life - feeling overwhelmed by the waves of time and needs.
P: Lord, in your mercy, hear our cries.
L: Help us to place you in our sights - to see and feel your presence with us.
P: Give us courage and strength to listen and learn from you.
All: singing verse 4 of “ It Is Well with My Soul”

Call to Worship #4:
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2164, “Sanctuary”, offer the following call to worship as directed]
L: Let go of the demands of this day. Rest in the quiet of this sanctuary
P: The noise of those demands rings in our ears.
Soloist: singing “Sanctuary” through once
L: There will always be needs to be met, demands on our time, but now is a time to rest.
P: Help us to understand the resting time, that it is a time to be at peace and grow in God’s love.
Congregation: singing “Sanctuary” through once.

PRAYERS, LITANY/READING, BENEDICTION

Opening Prayer:

From the demands and pressures of this past week, we come, O Lord, seeking rest and renewal. Hear the cries of our hearts, our prayers, our needs. Heal and restore us. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession:
Patient Lord, we schedule our lives down to the very second. We crowd in as much activity as we can and then wonder why we are so stressed out and tired. We are afraid to miss out on anything. And when it comes time to be with others we spend our time worrying about details rather than longing for the visit. Forgive us when we get so caught up in the details and miss the opportunity to sit at your feet, learning, listening, growing in our faith. Help us to place ourselves in your care. Slow us down, just a bit, so that we can see the wonders you have placed before us and truly enjoy and share the blessings you have given to us. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Words of Assurance:
On the seventh day of creation, God rested, creating a Sabbath, a time set apart for rest, to learn, to listen, to be quiet and at peace. Let Sabbath take root in your heart and in your life. Be at peace in God’s love for you. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer:
Lord, it is easy for us to sit here, listening to the Gospel story of Martha’s hard work and Mary’s abandonment so that she could sit and listen to Jesus. We know what it’s like to try to get a house ready for company. We want everything to be just right and pleasant. We worry about so many details and seem to tie ourselves in knots. Martha claims our sympathy. She’s the one doing the majority of the work, so we think. She needs some help and there is her sister Mary who is sitting and listening to Jesus when she should be helping. Martha is angry, frustrated, and exhausted. Martha has not found sanctuary but rather slavery. She is a slave to her fears of not having everything done, of not being the good hostess, of feeling that the responsibility for everything rests on her shoulders. We would want Mary to get up and help, but Jesus offers Martha and us a reminder of what is important. He has come to see them, not to inspect the house and judge the hospitality. He has come to share the good news of hope and love. We need to take some time to listen to that news and to fully feel it penetrate our souls, flooding out the pressures and fears. Today we are encouraged to take this time, to breathe deeply of God’s loving spirit. Help us to be open to including Sabbath as a strong part of our lives. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Litany/Reading:
Reader 1: I can’t believe it. I have so much to do. Our guest has arrived and still things are not ready. Oh, No! I see some dust under the table; not all the dishes are put away. There are no flowers in vases. Did I remember to provide fresh towels in the guest room?
Voice: Come and sit here. Rest awhile. There is so much I have to share with you.
Reader 1: Thanks, but I really can’t. I won’t be at peace until I’m sure that I’ve done all I can to make this place presentable.
Voice: It is already presentable - you are here and I want to have some time with you.
Reader 1: You don’t understand. I don’t want you to think I can’t provide for your comfort. I want you to know how much I care by how much I have done for you.
Voice: I know you care. You always care. But right now you need to rest. Come, sit here and let us talk together.
Reader 1: But what about the dust, dishes, flowers, towels?
Voice: Come and rest for now. I will help you with those things later. Come and rest.
Reader 1: I can’t rest. I am afraid.
Voice: Let go of your fears. I have come to be with you. I am not judging you. I want to tell you about God’s healing love. I want you to find some time in your busy life to take a break, take a deep breath, relax. Don’t be afraid; I am always with you.

Benediction:
For just a moment, take a deep breath. That breath is restorative. It is bringing freshness and relaxation to your life. Go from this place in peace and may God’s peace be in your hearts. AMEN.

ARTISTIC ELEMENTS

The traditional color for this Sunday is Green.

Surface:
Place a bench or stool in front of the worship center, slightly to the right. Place two risers on the worship center, one for a cross, and other for a candle.

Fabric:
Cover the worship center with green cloth, but do not cover the bench or stool in front of the worship center.

Candles:
Place one 10” white pillar candle on the riser on the worship center.

Flowers/Foliage:
Place two small flowering potted plants on either side of the cross.

Rocks/Wood:
Not necessary for this setting.

Other:
Place an open Bible on the worship center, leaning against the riser on which there is a candle. Place a single rose on the stool. Place two baskets on the floor near the stool, one containing dirty dishes, the other laundry.

About the Author

Nancy C. Townley

Nancy C. Townley is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. She consults on visual arts, drama, liturgy and read more…
comments powered by Disqus