Worship Elements: August 18, 2019

June 26th, 2019

10th Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19; Hebrews 11:29–12:2; Luke 12:49-56

THEME IDEAS

The image of the vineyard becomes a metaphor for the people of God—human, flawed, willful, and contrary. Then, as now, we may find ourselves resentful of our need for God’s strong, nurturing, and judging hand. We cry out in pain, feeling abandoned. Yet, when we ask for help, God is there. Hebrews’ “great cloud of witnesses” directs us to look to Jesus as our example, our hope and our redeemer.

INVITATION AND GATHERING

Call to Worship (Isaiah 5, Psalm 80, Hebrews 11, Luke 12)

God of the ages, we sing your praises
in the vineyards of our lives.
Tend the garden of our love.
Where we have become ragged and wild,
prune us in the way we should grow.
Nurture the soil of our hope.
Let your hand be upon us, leading us to Jesus,
the perfecter of our faith.
Heal the roots of our faith.
Bring us rain in drought, shade in scorching heat,
and protection in the wilderness.
Protect the growth of our spirit. Amen.

Opening Prayer (Isaiah 5, Hebrews 11, Luke 12)

Lord of the vineyard,
we ask for your presence
and your guidance.
In your holy wisdom,
tend the vines of our hearts.
Teach us your righteousness,
that our lives may flower with justice.
We come as wild grapes,
yearning to grow fruitful in your love.
Show us the way, through Jesus your Son,
to discern your will, hear your word,
and grow in your ways,
as we deepen the roots of our faith.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

Prayer of Confession (Isaiah 5, Psalm 80, Hebrews 11)

Divine God,
we try to grow happily, patiently, and faithfully
in the soil you have prepared for us.
You feed us, shelter us,
and provide for our daily needs.
Yet, we often fail to offer you
the fruit of our harvest.
We act as though we were abandoned children,
trying to make it on our own.
We feel forsaken, attacked by wild boars,
cut down by our enemies, and neglected
in the wilderness of our lives.
Yet, through it all,
you remain faithful.
Renew our lives once more,
and we will call your name on high.

Words of Assurance (Isaiah 5, Psalm 80, Hebrews 11)

Be assured that God’s love is sufficient.
In the warmth of the sun, the fertility of the soil,
and the refreshment of life-giving water,
we have been given all that we need.
God hears our cries, and comes to save us.
Through Christ we may lay aside our sins;
through Christ, we know we are safe.

Response to the Word (Isaiah 5, Psalm 80, Hebrews 11)

While we may bear wild grapes, going astray in the world, God remains faithful. We call upon God’s help today, sure in the knowledge that it will come.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Offering Prayer (Isaiah 5, Psalm 80, Hebrews 11)

Loving Gardener,
we offer ourselves into your nurturing hands.
Receive the devotions of our labors,
the fruits of our vines,
and all that we are and know,
that we may make a difference:
in our homes, in our communities,
and in our world.
Receive these sacrifices,
as a pledge to live our beliefs,
through Jesus Christ,
the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

Invitation to Communion (Isaiah 5, Psalm 80, Hebrews 11)

Just as the sun shines on all who turn their faces to the light, just as the rain showers upon all who stand on open ground, so God’s grace in Christ comes as a blessing to all. Borne of the sweat of his suffering love, Christ willingly gave of himself, that we might be made free. You, who are willing to offer yourselves to God, come to the table in love and faith. Here we find forgiveness, hope, and the promise of eternal life.

SENDING FORTH

Benediction (Isaiah 5, Psalm 80, Hebrews 11)

Go forth into the world,
singing a love-song in the vineyard of life.
Remember the Gardner who nurtures your faith
and provides for your needs.
Grow into the promise of Christ,
secure in the knowledge that you are loved.

CONTEMPORARY OPTIONS

Contemporary Gathering Words (Isaiah 5, Psalm 80, Hebrews 11)

Sing a song of praise for the vineyard of our beloved.
Give us life, O Lord!
Clear your lives of the stones that hinder your growth.
Give us life, O Lord!
Place your faith in the one who makes you strong.
Give us life, O Lord!
Surrounded by that great cloud of witnesses,
call on the one who comes to save us.
Give us life, O Lord!

Praise Sentences (Isaiah 5, Psalm 80, Hebrews 11)

Holy God, shine your light into our lives,
and we will call upon your name!
Loving Christ, turn your face toward us,
that we may be saved!
Holy Spirit, restore us in your grace,
bless us with justice, and show us the way
to keep your vineyard from harm.


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

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