Worship Elements: August 4, 2019

April 13th, 2019

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Hosea 11:1-11; Psalm 107:1-9, 43; Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21

THEME IDEAS

These readings starkly contrast a life of reliance on wealth with a life of dependence upon God and God’s abundant blessings. Hosea prophesies judgment against Israel’s idolatry and unfaithfulness; yet from a loving parent, forgiveness is offered and deliverance is promised. The psalmist calls for praise and thanksgiving in response to the Lord’s abundant acts of love on behalf of God’s people.
Colossians reveals that through Christ’s life in us, Christians are called to seek the values of heaven over the values of earth. Greed in any form is to be avoided. Because we are the same in Christ, we are to discover our life in Christ and seek to become like God. In the parable of the rich fool, Matthew likewise offers a warning against greed. Although the wealthy man feels secure and comfortable in his earthly riches, such wealth becomes meaningless in death. Christ challenges his followers to seek a
rich relationship with God instead of material wealth.

INVITATION AND GATHERING

Call to Worship (Psalm 107, Luke 12)

O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good.
God’s love and warm embrace last forever.
When we cry out in distress, the Lord hears our call.
Praise the Lord who delivers us
from sin and death.
Christ calls us to clothe ourselves in righteousness.
Worship the One who wraps us with justice,
and helps us grow in the image of our Creator.
Love well, for your heart is where your treasure is.
May our hearts be filled with God’s blessings,
divine provisions that meet our true needs.

Opening Prayer (Hosea 11, Psalm 107)

Loving and forgiving God,
be present with us now,
as we offer praise and thanksgiving
for the abundance we have received
though your grace.
You have gathered us in,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south,
to be your people.
Like a loving parent,
you have sustained our needs—
sharing your love with us,
satisfying our thirst,
and filling our hunger with good things.
Help us, Lord, to heed your call,
that we might find deliverance
through Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

Prayer of Confession (Colossians 3, Matthew 12)

Gracious God,
in our wanderings and selfish desires:
we have forsaken fellowship with our families,
our friends, and our neighbors;
we have neglected our communion with you,
choosing worldly pleasures and desires
over truth, justice, and righteousness.
In a world of plenty,
we have hoarded our earthly blessings,
rather than storing up our heavenly treasures.
Free us from such bondage,
that we may truly reveal
the presence of Christ in our lives. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Colossians 3)

In faith, we call out to a loving and forgiving God,
seeking to put aside our old life and put on Christ.
God surely answers our prayers.
In the name of Christ Jesus, our sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

Passing the Peace of Christ

“Peace I leave with you,” said Jesus. Let us now share this
extravagant gift with one another.
The peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.

Prayer of Preparation (Psalm 107, Colossians 3, Luke 12)

Loving Lord,
open our hearts this day,
as we proclaim your holy word.
As we offer praise and thanksgiving,
in response to your abundant acts of love,
challenge us to seek the values of heaven
over the trappings of this world.
May the words we experience this day
call us to a rich relationship with you,
as we learn to live out the calling of our baptism,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Response to the Word (Colossians 3)
God of love and grace,
send your Spirit upon us
that we may not only hear your words,
but find creative and faithful ways
to put them into action.
Help us, Lord, to be people of compassion,
living out our baptism
as we put on Christ
and turn our hearts to you. Amen.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Invitation to the Offering (Luke 12)

Prosperity is given to the greater community of believers, so that all of God’s children may benefit. Let us demonstrate that we are the body of Christ through our extravagant sharing of God’s blessings this day. And let us give out of our joy, rather than out of a sense of obligation, as we offer to our God the gifts of our hearts.

Offering Prayer (Luke 12)

O God,
we stand before you as a people of faith,
investing our lives and our treasures
for the glory of your kingdom.
Bless these gifts and those who gave them,
in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

SENDING FORTH

Benediction (Luke 12, Colossians 3)
Happy are those who know real treasure
and where to find it.
Happy are those who receive God’s treasure
and share it unselfishly.
Invest your life and your heart in Christ,
just as God has invested Christ in you.
Happy are those whose reward
is found in heaven, not on earth.
Go now in the name of Christ,
God’s ultimate gift of love.
Thanks be to God.

CONTEMPORARY OPTIONS

Contemporary Gathering Words (Colossians 3)

If we have been raised with Christ Jesus,
let us set our minds on heavenly things,
not on the things that are on earth.
The old self is gone.
Let us revel in the Spirit
that strips away the trappings of death,
and dresses us in garments that are new.
As new creations in God,
we are separated and divided no longer.
Christ is all and in all!
Thanks be to God.

Praise Sentences (Psalm 107)

Give thanks to the Lord, for God is good.
God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Those who are wise give heed to these things,
for the Lord is steadfast and true.
The Lord is steadfast and true.
The Lord is steadfast and true.


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

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