Worship Elements: October 20, 2019

September 4th, 2019

19th Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Jeremiah 31:27-34; Psalm 119:97-104; 2 Timothy 3:14–4:5; Luke 18:1-8

THEME IDEAS

The word of God connects today’s readings. Jeremiah paints a beautiful image of the word being written on the very hearts of God’s people, a foreshadowing of the beginning of John’s Gospel, where Jesus is described as the Living Word come to dwell within us. The psalmist declares the importance of the word as the source of understanding, wisdom, and guidance. Paul writes to Timothy about the word as the basis for sound teaching, reproof, and correction. In Luke, Jesus tells the parable of the persistent widow to teach us about patient, persevering prayer. Throughout these readings God’s word is revealed as the foundation of our relationship with God.

INVITATION AND GATHERING

Call to Worship (Psalm 119, Jeremiah 31)

How beautiful is the word of the Lord!
How wise are God’s commandments!
Through the Lord’s precepts, we gain understanding.
Through God’s wisdom, we find truth.
The Lord is our God; we are God’s people.
God’s word lives within us,
for it is written on our hearts.
Living Word, Great Teacher, lead us and guide us!
Amen!

Opening Prayer (Psalm 119, 2 Timothy 3–4)

Lord,
your words are sweet to the taste,
sweeter than honey;
let them be our daily meditation and our study.
Give us ears to hear,
for we marvel at your instruction.
Train us in righteousness,
grant us patience and persistence,
and equip us for every good work.
Inspire our faith,
and give us voices to proclaim your message.
Guide our feet,
keep us from every false way,
for you alone speak the words of life. Amen.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

Prayer of Confession (2 Timothy 3–4, Luke 18)

From the least of us, to the greatest, Lord,
we want to know you;
we yearn to follow where you lead us;
we need your guidance.
But even as we listen for your direction,
other voices compete for our attention
with teachings that suit our desires.
Our thoughts drift so far from your truth,
that fables and fancies begin to seem real.
Holy One,
open our hearts and minds.
By your Spirit,
convince, rebuke, and encourage us
as only you can;
teach, correct, and inspire us
in the ways of your salvation. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Jeremiah 31, Luke 18)

When we cry out, God helps us without delay.
Do not lose heart, for the Lord forgives our iniquity
and remembers our sin no more.

Response to the Word (Jeremiah 31, 2 Timothy 3 –4)

Lord, your word forms a strong foundation
on which to build our lives.
Like a sower,
you have planted your truth and your law of love
in our very souls.
Watch over what you have planted
and nurtured within us.
Find us faithful, O God,
that we may take what we have learned
and grow to know you.
For you are the One to whom we belong,
the One to whom we pray. Amen.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Offering Prayer (Psalm 119, Jeremiah 31)

Gracious God,
you have granted us wisdom,
understanding, and knowledge
far greater than that of any teacher;
you have given us love and grace
freely from your abundance.
As you have shared your gifts with us,
we share these gifts with you,
that all the world may know you.
As you have led us by the hand,
we offer our hands to your service,
in praise and thanksgiving. Amen.

SENDING FORTH

Benediction (Psalm 119, Jeremiah 31, 2 Timothy 3–4)

May the living word of the Lord dwell with you.
May it live through you.
May it fill your thoughts and deeds.
May it fill your mouth with God’s message of love.
May it sustain you in good times and bad.
May it equip you for a ministry of peace and hope!

CONTEMPORARY OPTIONS

Contemporary Gathering Words (Psalm 119)

Guided by the wisdom of the ages,
we follow God’s path.
Turning neither left or right,
we keep God’s ways.
Understanding the needs of our hearts and minds,
we dwell in God’s word.

Praise Sentences (Psalm 119)

How sweet are God’s words,
sweeter than honey!
How sweet are God’s words,
sweeter than honey!

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