Worship Elements: February 17, 2019

January 4th, 2019

This is a free selection from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2019. This title is available in paperback or through a digital subscription.

Color

Green

Scripture Readings

Jeremiah 17:5-10; Psalm 1; 1 Corinthians 15:12-20; Luke 6:17-26

Theme Ideas

The blessings and woes of Jesus’ sermon on the plain capture the tone and theme of today’s scriptures. Jeremiah and the psalmist contrast the blessing of the righteous, who are like trees planted by streams of water, with the curse of the wicked, who are like shrubs that wither and in the desert. Likewise, Jesus contrasts the blessings in store for those who are poor and who suffer now with the woes in store for those who are rich and comfortable. These scriptures describe both the blessings of God’s kingdom and the consequences of putting earthly rewards above heavenly blessings. They highlight the blessings gained from trusting God, and the loss incurred when we turn away from God. The epistle argues for belief in the resurrection and does not fit these themes.

 

Invitation and Gathering

Centering Words (Jer 17)

Those who place their trust in God are like trees planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in due season and with leaves that are ever green.

 

Call to Worship (Jer 17)

Blessed are those who trust God, whose trust is the Lord.

They are like trees planted by water, sending out roots by the stream.

They have no fear of summer’s heat, nor do they wither in the sun.

In the year of drought they are not anxious, for their lives bear the fruit of righteousness.

Come to the waters of life

all you who trust in the Lord. We have come to worship

and to send forth our roots

into streams of God’s living water!

 

Opening Prayer (Luke 6)

God of blessings and woes,
bless us this day with lives filled with love, caring, generosity, and deep, abiding hope.
We pray that your kingdom will dwell among all people, and that we may be instruments of your love
and your grace.
Open our hearts with the joy
of healing a world filled with brokenness
and pain.
In the name of the one
who taught us the ways of light and love,
be in our worship and in our very lives. Amen.

 

Proclamation and Response

Prayer of Confession or Prayer of Yearning (Jer 17, Ps 1)

Gentle guide, loving guardian,
heal our foolish ways.
We long to forsake the advice of the wicked
and the slow seduction of sinful paths,
but our speech and actions often belie us.
We yearn to be like trees planted beside living waters,
bearing the fruit of righteousness in due season,
but the seat of scoffers calls to us
and the temptation to return evil for evil
withers our souls like shrubs in the desert.
Our hearts seek the ways of your Spirit
and the waters of life,
but our footsteps lead us into arid, desert sands.
This is not your hope and plan for us.
Forgive us.
Turn us again to the healing you so freely offer,
and mend the brokenness in our lives
and in our world. Amen.

 

Words of Assurance (Luke 6)

God looks at us in our brokenness,
and offers blessings to all who turn to the Lord.
With the assurance of God’s faithful love,
choose this day to be people of blessing.

 

Passing the Peace of Christ (Jer 17, Ps 1)

Those who place their faith in the Lord are blessed. Let us share this blessing with those around us as we pass the peace of Christ.

 

Invitation to the Word (Ps 1)

Let us delight on the law of God, and meditate on God’s teachings, day and night.

 

Response to the Word (Ps 1)

Those who delight in the law of God,

and who meditate on God’s teachings, day and night, are like trees planted by streams of water.

Hearing God’s word, we send our roots into streams of living waters.

Those who heed the words of God bear the fruit of righteousness.

Living God’s word, our leaves are ever green.

 

Thanksgiving and Communion

Invitation to the Offering (Jer 17, Ps 1, Luke 6)

God has blessed us with lives that bear much fruit. Let us share the blessings we have received from God with those in need as we collect today’s offering.

 

Offering Prayer (Jer 17, Ps 1, Luke 6)

Source of every blessing,
you have planted us beside living waters
and nourished our souls with your ways of life. In gratitude and thanks
for the fruit we have born in due season, we return these gifts to you.
Bless them with your manifold grace, and multiply them in your mercy,
that they may go forth to heal a world trapped in loneliness and isolation.
In the name of the one who leads us into life, we pray.

Amen.


Invitation to Communion (Luke 6)

Blessed are you who hunger,

for you will be filled at Christ’s table.

We come to Christ’s table with a hunger for justice

and a thirst for righteousness.

Blessed are you who weep,

for you will be comforted at Christ’s table.

We come to Christ’s table

with hearts seeking joy and laughter.

Blessed are you who suffer for your faith, for you will find solace at Christ’s table.

We come to Christ’s table

with spirits yearning for healing and strength.

Come to the table, for all are welcome here.

 

Sending Forth

Benediction (Jer 17)

Go from this place as those who are blessed.

We will live in God’s love.

Go from this place as trees planted beside living waters.

We will drink of Christ’s mercy.

Go from this place to bear the fruit of righteousness.

We will share the Spirit’s strength with everyone we meet.


Copyright © B.J. Beu. Used by permission.

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