Worship Elements: August 2, 2020

June 24th, 2020

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

Color: Green
Scripture Readings: Genesis 32:22-31; Psalm 17:1-7, 15; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:13-21

Theme Ideas

God's blessing and provision for us are common threads in these scriptures. God's blessing comes to those who cry aloud to God (Psalm 17:6); Jacob wrestles, and is rewarded with God's blessing for his perseverance (Genesis 32:29). The hungry will be fed, and the sick will be healed (Matthew 14:14, 19-20). God's blessing is so abundant that there is more than enough to go around.

Invitation and Gathering

Call to Worship (Psalm 17)

Call upon the Lord, and God will answer.
Show us your steadfast love, gracious God,
this day and always.

Opening Prayer (Genesis 32, Psalm 17, Matthew 14)

Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him
until daybreak.
As you came to Jacob in the night, come to us,
that we may be satisfied when we awake.
Jacob said, "I will not let you go until you bless me."
The man said, "You shall no longer be called Jacob,
but Israel, for you have striven with God
and with humans, and have prevailed."
And there God blessed him.
As you blessed Jacob, bless us,
that we may behold your face.
Jesus saw a great crowd, had compassion for them,
and cured their sick.
As you healed the sick, heal us,
that we may tell of your wondrous love.
Jesus ordered the crowd to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish,
he looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves,
and gave them to the crowd. All ate and were filled.
As you blessed the bread, bless us,
that we may be bread for the world.
Come to us, heal us, and bless us,
everlasting and merciful God. Amen.

Proclamation and Response

Prayers of the People (Genesis 32, Psalm 17, Matthew 14)

O God, hear our cries:
for those who hunger,
and those who are full;
for those who need you desperately,
and those who feel no need for you;
for those who wrestle with the impact
of being your blessed children;
for those who are unaware of your offered blessing;
and for concerns that are too difficult to express.
Hear our cries,
O God of our salvation. Amen.

Prayer of Confession (Genesis 32, Romans 9, Matthew 14)

Gracious God,
provider of all we need,
we are often content to rely on our own devices,
our creativity, our cleverness.
We congratulate ourselves for our accomplishments,
yet we find that these achievements and acquisitions
do not fill the deep hunger inside of us.
We long for the Spirit bread you alone can provide.
Forgive us, merciful God.
Help us receive the blessings you offer,
that we may be your bread for the world—
blessed, broken for all.

Words of Assurance (Psalm 17, Matthew 14)

Hear the good news.
God's mercy is plentiful, and God's grace is abundant.
Receive the bread of forgiveness and steadfast love.

Thanksgiving and Communion

Offering Prayer (Matthew 14)

Receive these gifts we offer, gracious God,
and multiply them to meet the needs in your world.


You have been fed with the bread of heaven,
and blessed by the presence and peace of God.
Now go into the world in the peace of Christ
to be bread for the world.
We go in Christ's name. Amen.

Contemporary Options

Contemporary Gathering Words (Genesis 32, Psalm 17, Matthew 14)

We come to this place with different needs:
some of us wrestling with problems
that threaten to overwhelm us;
some of us crying out for healing,
for relevance, for refuge;
some of us hungering
for what God alone can provide.
In this time and in this place,
God is here and meets us face to face.

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

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