Worship Elements: September 8, 2019

July 26th, 2019

13th Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Jeremiah 18:1-11; Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18; Philemon 1-21; Luke 14:25-33

THEME IDEAS

God knows our intentions and our hopes, reshaping us when we do what is wrong, and responding to our repentance with mercy. We count the cost of our actions, but Jesus calls us to let go of our attachments and follow him in a life of love and care for others. This mystery is beyond our understanding.

INVITATION AND GATHERING

Call to Worship (Jeremiah 18, Psalm 139)

We come with praise
for the wonderful works of God.
Even before we speak,
God knows us completely.
The Holy One knows us and sustains us,
even in our moments of confusion and doubt.
Who can count the thoughts of God?
They are more than all the sands of the desert.
Like clay in the hand of the potter,
we are shaped into vessels of divine will.
We come with praise
for the wonderful works of God.

Opening Prayer (Jeremiah 18, Psalm 139)

Boundless Shaper of people and nations,
you are beyond our knowing,
yet closer to us than our every breath.
You are before us and behind us,
surrounding us with your love,
and fashioning all of creation
in the secret depths of your heart.
With every thought, with every song,
and with every prayer,
turn these fragile, earthen vessels of our lives,
into the Spirit-filled body of Christ. Amen.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

Prayer of Confession (Psalm 139, Philemon, Luke 14)

God of our lives,
you search us and know us.
We have refused to take up your cross,
to bear the burdens that are ours to carry.
We have not given up our attachments
to possessions or to self.
We have not counted the cost
of walking into an unknown future with you.
Help us turn away from evil,
that we may walk with you once more.

Words of Assurance (Psalm 139)

The Holy One rejoices in our repentance,
reshaping us into vessels of love and service.
In the grace-filled love of Christ, we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

Passing the Peace of Christ (Philemon)

Grace to you, and peace from God, the Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The peace of Christ be with you.
The peace of Christ be also with you.

Prayer of Preparation (Jeremiah 18, Psalm 139)

Holy Shaper of hearts and minds,
as Jeremiah came to know you
in the work of the potter’s hands,
teach us your ways
in the reading of your word.
Lead us into a deeper understanding of your ways,
that we may know and do your will. Amen.

Response to the Word (Luke 14)

Holy Shaper of life and grace,
you have shown us the cost of being your people.
We give you thanks, for the crosses
that are ours to bear,
and for the strength to carry them.
Help us follow the path of Jesus,
who shows us the way. Amen.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Offering Prayer (Luke 14)

With these gifts,
we lay down all that we have
and all that we are,
and take up the cross with Jesus.

Invitation to Communion (Psalm 139, Luke 14)

The bread is ready, the cup is filled,
the table is set.
Let all who are hungry for the love of God,
come and be fed.
Let all who are thirsty for new life,
come and share the cup.
Let all who want to follow Jesus,
come and join the feast.

SENDING FORTH

Benediction (Luke 14)

With empty hands and open hearts,
go forth to follow Jesus
in love and service to the world.

CONTEMPORARY OPTIONS

Contemporary Gathering Words (Luke 14)

We come to take up the cross that is laid before us.
We come with praise for the wonderful works of God.

Praise Sentences (Psalm 139)

How weighty are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
They are more than the sand.
We come to the end and there is only you.


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

About the Author

Deborah Sokolove

Deborah  Sokolove  is  Professor  of  Art  and  Worship at Wesley Theological read more…
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