Worship Elements: February 16, 2020 (Option 2)

January 7th, 2020

Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 119:1-8; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Matthew 5:21-37

THEME IDEAS

God calls us to walk in ways that lead to life and abundance. In his final address, Moses urges the Hebrew people to choose life; the psalmist praises those who walk in God’s ways; and Jesus calls for a deeper, more faithful understanding of God’s laws. Jesus calls us to reconcile with one another, to love faithfully, and to speak truthfully. Lest this lead us to think that salvation comes only through human endeavors, Paul reminds us that God alone gives the growth.

INVITATION AND GATHERING

Call to Worship (Psalm 119)

Happy are those who are without blame.
Blessed are those who walk in God’s way.
Happy are those who are faithful.
Blessed are those who seek God.
We will obey your word, O God.
We will praise you forever!

Opening Prayer (Deuteronomy 30, Psalm 119)

Come, Holy One:
teach us your ways,
lead us in your paths,
guide us on our journey.
Speak to us your words of life,
for you offer us direction and wholeness
when we hear your voice
and follow.
You bless us with your love,
shower us with your grace,
and help us grow in faith.
We seek you, O God,
with all our hearts.
Be near us this day. Amen.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

Prayer of Confession (Deuteronomy 30, 1 Corinthians 3, Mark 5)

Loving God,
you call us into community,
teach us your ways,
and bless us with abundant life.
Yet we turn aside to follow other paths:
we take the easy way out,
listening to the world’s call
rather than your call to commitment;
we quarrel with one another,
letting differences divide us;
we cherish our resentments,
shutting off our hearts
from forgiveness and reconciliation;
we cling to petty jealousies,
feeling we deserve more than we have.
Forgive us when we wander from your love.
Draw us into community with each other,
and feed us with the milk of your grace,
that we may grow in faithfulness
and work together in peace. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Deuteronomy 30, 1 Corinthians 3)

God is at work, nurturing our growth
and showing us the ways that lead to life.
God is at work, reconciling us to one another
and teaching us the paths of love.
God is at work, hearing our confessions,
forgiving our disobedience,
and blessing us in love.
Thanks be to God!

Passing the Peace of Christ (Matthew 5)

Christ asks that we be reconciled to one another. The love of Christ reaches out to friend and stranger, touching each life with blessing. Share the peace and forgiveness of Christ with one another.

Response to the Word (Deuteronomy 30, Matthew 5)

Caring God,
nurture the life within us.
You have shown us the ways
that lead to life.
You have challenged us
to move beyond easy answers,
to embrace the hard choices
that come with caring deeply for others.
Give us the wisdom and the courage
to resist evil and walk in your ways of love. Amen.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Invitation to the Offering (Deuteronomy 30, 1 Corinthians 3)

God has given us growth, guided our steps on the ways that lead to life, and provided companions for our journey. Our very lives are a gift from God. With gratitude and praise, we turn to God with obedient hearts to offer back our gifts, that others may find life and wholeness.

Offering Prayer (Deuteronomy 30, Matthew 5)

Loving God,
you have shown us your ways
and led us in the paths of abundance.
You have blessed us and kept us safe.
In you we see that we are loved.
We offer you our lives,
for we have chosen to follow you.
We offer you our praise,
for your love is great.
Use our gifts, our money, and our hearts
to establish your realm of love upon the earth. Amen.

Invitation to Communion (Matthew 5, 1 Corinthians 3)

This is Christ’s table, where all are welcome. Here we are fed in abundance. Here we gather as Christ’s body. Reconciled to one another, we are God’s people. We are God’s servants, working together. We are God’s field, where love is sown. We are God’s building, a house of love. The feast is prepared; the table is ready. Come! Rejoice and be fed.

SENDING FORTH

Benediction (Deuteronomy 30)

Go forth to walk in God’s ways.
May our ways be blameless.
Hold fast to God in all you do.
Our hearts belong to God.
May the love of God be yours.
God’s blessings rest upon us.

CONTEMPORARY OPTIONS

Gathering Words (Deuteronomy 30)

Choose life!
We will love the Lord our God.
Choose life!
We will obey God in all we do.
Choose life!
We will hold fast to our God.
Choose life!
We choose life in God’s love!

Praise Sentences (Deuteronomy 30)

Choose life! Choose God!
Live in God’s love!
God’s way is good!
Hold fast to God!

About the Author

Mary Petrina Boyd

Mary Petrina Boyd is pastor of Langley United Methodist Church on Whidbey Island. She spends alternating summers read more…
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