Worship Elements: September 22, 2019

August 9th, 2019

15th Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Jeremiah 8:18–9:1; Psalm 79:1-9; 1 Timothy 2:1-7; Luke 16:1-13

THEME IDEAS

Stewardship runs through today’s readings. How we manage our time, talents, gifts, and service matters, for all that we have and enjoy in this life are gifts from God. Stewardship is, after all, a kingdom activity. Jeremiah implores us to hear the cry of the poor. The psalmist warns us not to squander God’s inheritance. In Luke, Jesus challenges us to be as wise as the dishonest manager. These are issues worthy of serious study and reflection, issues worthy of thoughtful worship.

INVITATION AND GATHERING

Call to Worship (Psalm 79, Jeremiah 8, Luke 16)

O God, we come into your courts
with praise and thanksgiving!
We come in celebration and song.
We come in gratitude of your inheritance.
We come as those who have received blessing
upon blessing.
We hear the cry of the poor in the land,
and ache to offer them relief.
We come to bring them blessing upon blessing,
in Jesus’ name.
O God, we come into your courts
with praise and thanksgiving!
We come in celebration and song.

Opening Prayer (Jeremiah 8–9)

Gracious God,
your people are suffering.
Where there is woundedness,
help us bring healing.
Where there is discouragement,
help us bring support and comfort.
Where there is dismay and mourning,
help us bring the power of new life
and new opportunities.
Heal us, O God,
for you are our help and our hope,
the One we turn to in times of trouble.
In the name of our Great Physician, Jesus Christ,
we pray. Amen.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

Prayer of Confession (Psalm 79, Jeremiah 8, 1 Timothy 2, Luke 16)

We confess that we find your medicine hard to swallow.
The quick fixes of this world are so much more pleasant,
leaving us free to go back to our usual routines.
But your medicine is powerful.
And if we take it, it will remake and renew our lives.
It will reorient us to you and to you alone.
Turn us toward your love for justice and true worship.
Forgive our sins, for which you weep.
Forgive our hesitation.
Grant us courage to choose you as our physician,
and to serve you and you alone. Amen. (Rebecca Gaudino)

Assurance of Pardon

The God of our salvation,
the God who weeps for us and for our world,
desires everyone to be saved.
Christ Jesus, a human like us,
gave himself as a ransom for all.
Through the love of the one God
and the one mediator,
we are forgiven. (Rebecca Gaudino)

Assurance of Pardon

The God of our salvation,
the God who weeps for us and for our world,
is the God whose compassion
comes speedily to meet us,
and to forgive us. Amen. (Rebecca Gaudino)

Passing the Peace (Psalm 79)

The Lord is the rock of our salvation, the One who delivers us from sin. In God’s name I invite you to stand and greet one another. The peace of Christ be with you.
In the name of the God of our salvation, peace be with you.

Response to the Word (Luke 16)

We seek to serve you, O God,
by serving others:
the poor, the needy, the least, and the lost.
Help us hear anew your words,
that we may become more faithful stewards
of the gifts you give us each day,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Invitation to the Offering (Luke 16)

God, in Jesus Christ, has given us much to be faithful for. Our tithes, gifts, and offerings may seem little in comparison to God’s gifts to us, but we are called to be faithful over all that we have: our time, our talents, our gifts, and our service. When we give of ourselves, we practice the spiritual discipline of stewardship. When we are faithful over a few things in this life, in the life to come we may be faithful over much, much more. May God bless us in our giving, that God’s kingdom may be here with us on earth.

Offering Prayer (Luke 16)

Lord, we got up this morning,
ate our breakfast, got dressed,
and came to church—
all to give you praise and thanksgiving.
May these gifts be a blessing
for those who had no bed this morning
from which to arise;
for those who had no breakfast
and are hungry this day;
for those who have no new clothes;
for those who long to worship you
but cannot.
Take these gifts and use them
as you will, O God.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving (Luke 16, Psalm 79)

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give God our thanks and praise.
It is a right and good thing
to give our thanks and praise to God,
who made heaven and earth and all that is in it.
God commanded humankind
to have dominion over the earth,
to produce from its bounty
a life of sharing and community,
that all may find a saving relationship with God.
Through our sin, we have defiled the earth,
and threaten our own existence with ruin.
Through our greed, ignorance, and hate,
we have defiled God’s gifts to us,
Yet, through it all, God’s love never failed,
even to the point of sending Jesus Christ
to be our new life and salvation.
By delivering us from captivity to sin,
God has remained faithful to us,
tempering anger with grace and mercy.
And so, with your people on earth,
and all the company of heaven,
we praise your name
and join their unending hymn, saying:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one
who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

SENDING FORTH

Benediction (Luke 16)

By our words and deeds, we show God
that we are faithful with the gifts we have received.
Whether over a little or a lot,
we seek to be faithful stewards of God’s gifts.
Take the gifts of God into the world,
remembering the poor, the least, and the lost.
We will take God’s gifts to a hurting world,
spreading a healing balm in all that we do.
Praise be to God!

CONTEMPORARY OPTIONS

Contemporary Gathering Words (1 Timothy 2)

Come to knowledge of the truth.
Come to Jesus, the Christ.
There is one God, and there is one Son,
Jesus, the Christ!
Come to knowledge of the way.
Come to Jesus, the Christ.
There is one God, and there is one Son,
Jesus, the Christ!
Come to knowledge of the savior of the world.
Come to Jesus, the Christ.
There is one God, and there is one Son,
Jesus, the Christ!

Praise Sentences (1 Timothy 2)

There is one God, greatly to be praised!
There is one God, greatly to be praised!
There is one Son, greatly to be praised!
There is one Son, greatly to be praised!


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

About the Author

Erik Alsgaard

Erik Alsgaard is managing editor in the Ministry of Communications for the Baltimore-Washington Conference.  read more…
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