Worship Elements: February 24, 2019

January 11th, 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

Genesis 45:3-11, 15; Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40; 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50; Luke 6:27-38

Theme Ideas

Today’s scriptures address questions relevant to our time: “How are we supposed to treat others?” and “Does God’s love extends to all?” In Genesis, God sends Joseph into Egypt to save the world from famine. The psalmist warns us not to grow angry because the wicked are prospering, for God will soon set everything right and give sinners their just desserts. As we saw last week, Jesus’ sermon on the plain begins with blessings for the poor and suffering, and woes to the rich and comfortable. But today’s continuation of that sermon moves beyond crime and punishment. The Golden Rule teaches us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us—regardless of whether they are friend or foe, saint or sinner. Indeed, God is kind to even ungrateful sinners. How we choose to focus these scriptures determines how we answer the questions asked above. But Jesus makes clear that the crime and punishment paradigm has been replaced with the Golden Rule—no matter how annoyed and angry people make us.

 

Invitation and Gathering

Centering Words (Luke 6)

Love is an all or nothing proposition. Only by loving your enemies as well as your friends do you live as children of the Most High.

 

Call to Worship (Luke 6)

Come and learn the ways of life.

We have come to follow Jesus.

Love your enemies, and do good to those who hate you.

We have come to follow Jesus.

Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who persecute you.

We have come to follow Jesus.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

We have come to follow Jesus.

Come and learn the ways of life.

 

Opening Prayer (Luke 6)

Inexhaustible source of love and life, be with us in our time of worship
as we seek the love it takes to walk in the ways of your Son.
Help us love our enemies
and bless those who wrong us, for we cannot do so alone.
Teach us the joy of treating others
with all the same respect and goodness with which we hope to be treated.
May our every word and deed make known that we are your beloved children
and vessels of your love. Amen.

 

Proclamation and Response

Prayer of Confession or Prayer of Yearning (Ps 37, Luke 6)

Teacher of hard truths,
it is difficult to let go of our anger
toward those who prosper through deceit and unscrupulous ways;
it is not easy to make ourselves believe that the meek will inherit the earth,
when they are being crushed by the unjust systems
stacked against them.
We long to see the vindication of the righteous
and the prosperity of those who work selflessly to bring your realm here on earth.
We yearn for the day
when all people will treat one another as they wish to be treated.
Help us live into that day, Holy One, even when it is difficult,
that your love might shine like the sun
through our lives and our ministries. Amen.

 

Words of Assurance (Luke 6)

When we treat others as we would have them treat us, Jesus calls us beloved children of the Most High.

If God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked, how much more will God be kind to those who love the Lord and seek to live the Golden Rule? Rest in this assurance and be at peace.

 

Passing the Peace of Christ (Luke 6)

Let us be known as children of the Most High by sharing our love with all as we pass the peace of Christ.

 

Invitation to the Word (Ps 1)

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

 

Response to the Word (Luke 6)

Let us be known as children of the Most High.

We will love our enemies,

and do good to those who hate us.

Let us be known as disciples of Christ.

We will bless those who curse us, and pray for those who wrong us.

Let us be known as heirs of the Spirit.

We will be merciful,

even as our God is merciful.

 

Thanksgiving and Communion

Invitation to the Offering (Luke 6:38 NRSV)

Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure...running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

 

Offering Prayer (Gen 45, Luke 6)

Source of every blessing,
as you sent Joseph into Egypt
to save the world from famine, you sent Jesus into our lives
to save us from selfishness and greed. For teaching us to treat others
as we would have them treat us,
we give you our thanks and praise. Bless these gifts,
that we have received from your bounty, and send them forth to those in need.
whether they be friend or foe. For all are your beloved children
and our sisters and brothers. Amen.

 

Sending Forth

Benediction (Luke 6)

Go with God’s blessings.

As followers of Jesus,

we will love our enemies

and do good to those who hate us.

Go with God’s blessings.

As followers of Jesus,

we will bless those who curse us

and pray for those who persecute us.

Go with God’s blessings.

As followers of Jesus, we will do unto others

as we would have them do unto us.

Go with God’s blessings.


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

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