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Narrative Lectionary

Worship Words: April 18, 2021

Psalm 4 Paraphrase by Barb Hedges-Goettl                                                                                                                                                      

God, you are right and just and true.

When I call with a loud cry,

    You answer me.

You widen the straits of distress

   that bind and besiege me.

When my world is small, narrow, and cramped,

  You give me room to breathe.

When I am stuck between a rock and hard place,

   You let me loose in your broad, wide pasture.

You bend to me in kindness and mercy,

    understanding my prayer.

How long will people hurt God’s reputation

     and damage God’s honor and glory?

How long will we love empty words,

     seeking lies and requiring falsehoods,

     and yearning after worthless things?

Set us aside for yourself, O Lord.

     Make us your good and faithful ones,

     Your kind and godly ones,

     Your saints by Your mercy.

O Lord, hear me when I call to you.

When I am trembling and quivering,

       Agitated and disturbed,

       Angry and disquieted,

       Worried and anxious,

             Keep me from sin.

Inspire me to meditate on you at night.

    Put me to bed and tuck me in with your comfort.

    Whisper to the ears of my heart, that I may hear you.

    Quiet and calm me in my whole being.

I confess my dependence on you.

    Enable me to wait upon you

    With confidence and patience.

I offer myself in thanksgiving;

    I give myself to you because of your mercy.

    I respond to your love with love of my own.

    I respond to the all you give me

        With my all.

I put my trust in you.

    I hold out my hand for your hand.

    I offer my heart to your heart.

    I offer my mind to your purposes.

    I offer my body to your body.

Be my hope,

      my boldness,

      my security,

      my confidence,

             my God.

There are many who say:

       “Oh, that we might perceive some good!”

Shine your light upon us, O God!

        Make your presence dawn upon us.

Give us joy and gladness

        at our deepest heart of hearts–

Joy greater than a bountiful harvest

         or material riches.

Bestow gladness in our very being,

         A share in your joy.

We will lie down and sleep;

         We will be stilled and remain at peace,

         dwelling in God’s house,

         where we can safely lie down.

Thanks be to God.

Opening Prayer(adapted from Psalm 4) by Barb Hedges-Goettl

My God,

Be my hope,

      my boldness,

      my security,

      my confidence,

My God.

Call to Worship (adapted from Psalm 4) by Barb Hedges-Goettl

There are many who say:

       “Oh, that we might perceive some good!”

Shine your light upon us, O God!

        Make your presence dawn upon us.

Give us joy and gladness

        at our deepest heart of hearts–

Joy greater than a bountiful harvest

         or material riches.

Bestow gladness in our very being,

         A share in your joy.

Confession of Faith in the Good News cf. Acts 3 (RCL) and Acts 6-7 (NL) by Barb Hedges-Goettl                                                                                                                         

We believe and receive the Good News. We experience God’s confounding of the evil of crucifixion with the grace of resurrection.  We participate in God’s conversion of mourning into dancing. We are dressed in grave clothes made over into glad rags. We are lifted up from the grave and given new life. God lifts us up from down-and-out to up-and-at-‘em. For this Good News, we give thanks to God. Amen.

Prayer of thanks for a witness by Barb Hedges-Goettl

God, we thank you that we have a witness. You bear witness to yourself:  You proclaim that we are made in your image, and that image is very good.Jesus proclaims love for all people, the sacrificial love of a Shepherd for the sheep.The Spirit proclaims you with sighs too deep for words.

O God, we thank you that we have a witness. Witnesses have come before us: Prophets proclaim your justice for all people, rolling down like waters. The women at the tomb proclaim your confounding of evil and death through the resurrection. Astounding the crowd by healing the lame, Peter witnesses to forgiveness and resurrection. Condemned by false witnesses, Stephen witnesses to the Son of Man and forgiveness.

O God, we thank you that we have a witness. Witnesses are all around us:Give us ears to hear voices long silenced, peoples whose experiences challenge and correct our own. Fill our hearts with love for the diverse ways in which you speak, that we know and hear your word through each person’s own experience, and so honor your image and your presence in each one we meet.

O God, we thank you that we have a witness. Make us witnesses going forward, sharing what we have known, what we have heard:  your love, your hope, and the Good News of the resurrected life  redeemed from evil, death and all that would separate us from you and from one another.

In Jesus’ name and by the power of the Spirit we pray, Amen.

The below are from Rev. Katy Stenta, see https://katyandtheword.com/2021/04/13/prayers-for-acts-6-stoning-of-stephen/?fbclid=IwAR3hB6dxy9lTay-hhKQB1fNNGEWd6t6qPogFHHIt7j1lFjfox1L8VT5vaUw

Prayers for Acts 6: Stoning of Stephen

Acts 6:1-7:2, 44-60

Suggest Pairing Isaiah 66:1-2, 22-23

Call to Worship (based on Isaiah 66:13-14, ) 

God promises, asa  mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you

We shall see, and our hearts shall rejoice. 

Come let us pray for the Lord, for God is Good. 

Come let all flesh give God Thanks and Praise. 

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that we find comfort in tradition. We have struggled throughout this year as so many things have had to change. Walk with us this spring and we try to understand what it is we need to keep, and what it is we can leave behind. Help us to choose, always and forever, the ways that lead us closer to your kingdom. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen 

Assurance of Pardon: God’s promises to remake heaven and earth in God’s forgiveness. Let us share the good news with one another: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of Dedication: (unison) Lord, let us go forth giving thanks for all that is good. Place praise for you on our lips and on our tongues, that others might see and know and understand your love. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Hymns: Morning Has Broken, Jesu Jesus Fill Us with Your Love, Called as Partners to Christ’s Service, Great is Thy Faithfulness, Amazing Grace,

Narrative Lectionary: Perplexed, Fearful, and Amazed (Luke 24:1-12)

Photo from https://www.amazon.com/Resurrection-Nativity-Figurine-Decorations-Centerpiece/dp/B08YFCDT36/ref=sr_1_19?dchild=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjw0oCDBhCPARIsAII3C_EF19XcTcQKo4G7mhusxVF9HFL2ISFOvprbpctHEFwKKT8Y-Y38h0saAijsEALw_wcB&hvadid=504000939082&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9007519&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=b&hvrand=12245487440315522146&hvtargid=kwd-1194120751851&hydadcr=8758_10371787&keywords=wooden+easter+nativity+set&qid=1616977447&sr=8-19

Link to the text:  https://classic.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke24%3A1-12&version=NRSV;NIV;NLT;GNT;MSG

While most versions title this pericope “Jesus’ Resurrection,” this is a Monday-morning quarterback viewpoint. The Message more accuratelycalls this “Looking for the Living One in a Cemetery.”The women are looking for Jesus’ body to finish what they couldn’t before the Sabbath. They find the body gone and they are “perplexed” (NRSV). This sounds like a puzzle that leads to reasoned consideration in an easy chair with your pointer finger by your mouth, but the Greek means they are thoroughly perplexed and at a complete loss.

While in this state, the women are confronted by two men in blindingly white, glowing clothing. Like all meetings between humans and God’s messengers, the encounter makes them afraid. They bow down, and the two messengers remind them how Jesus spoke of his resurrection. And the women remember Jesus’ words. The women then tell those words to the disciples. The term for the “words” of Jesus and the “words” of the women about their encounter is the same (rhema, v.8 and v.11). Thus, the Greek appears to indicate that the women used the same words as the two messengers did–that they spoke as Jesus spoke and they tell what Jesus had said.

The reactions of the women and the disciples are, of course, quite different. The women appear to believe the messengers, going forward to share this nascent Good News. The text specifically reports that the disciples do not believe the women, thinking their words (rhema) an idle tale. This disbelief is in accord with the legal and cultural norms of biblical times when women were not accepted as witnesses in court and life.

In this part of Luke 24, there are not as yet any eyewitnesses to the risen Christ himself.  Jesus does not appear to anyone. The eyewitnesses have only, as of now, beheld the absence of Jesus’ body. The women find that the body missing and are perplexed. Peter finds the graveclothes empty and is amazed. What we have are eyewitnesses to the sharing of the news. We have messengers (the two men and the women). We have the word of the two messengers reminding the women of Jesus’ words. We have the word of the women telling the disciples what happened. What we have is words about the Word.

This is in some ways just the beginning of the story. The Word is told, it is shared, before it is experienced. It is heard before it is understood. Jesus’ followers have been told the Good News; and shortly they will see and experience the resurrected Jesus themselves. They have been telling Good News and soon they will be living into (but not solving) the mystery of the resurrected life, of new life. But in this passage, the words predicting and proclaiming the resurrection and the absence of the body are what they have.  

Since the Resurrection, we too are witnesses who share words about the Word. Since the Ascension, while believing in the Resurrection, we too are witnesses to an “absent” Jesus with regard to his body.  In the Church, we live out the words about the Word through the preaching of the Word. In the Church, we participate in the absent, ascended, resurrected Jesus through sharing in the body of Christ in the Lord’s Supper.  And, in the world, we live out our witness to the Word and to the resurrected Christ by speaking of God’s selfless love and by acting in selfless love as the body of Christ.

Links

This year’s Working Preacher commentary is at https://www.workingpreacher.org/commentaries/narrative-lectionary/resurrection-3/commentary-on-luke-241-12-7. Further WP commentaries on this text can be found at https://www.workingpreacher.org/?s=Luke+24%3A1-12+E

For other ways of looking/thinking about this passage (themes with links expounding on them), see https://bjhlog.wordpress.com/2021/03/25/narrative-lectionary-themes-and-resources-for-easter-luke-24-1-12/

Questions

  1. What does it mean to look for the living among the dead?
  2. How do we use Jesus’ words when we tell the Good News?
  3. Where do we see legal and cultural disbelief of groups of people today?
  4. What does it mean that Jesus’ body is absent but present?
  5. What are the next steps in our own journey to knowing the resurrected Jesus?
  6. How can the church more fully witness to that journey?

Also published on RevGalBlogPals, which encourages you to share blog posts via email or social media. RevGalBlogPals do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back to the specific post. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

_____________________________________________________________________

Barb Hedges-Goettl is a Presbyterian pastor and liturgical scholar recently moved to Rehoboth Beach, DE. She works with middle school special ed students in between writing liturgy, spending time with her husband Len, and training their new puppy, Cocoa.

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Narrative Lectionary Themes and Resources for Easter: Luke 24: 1-12

Photo https://www.amazon.com/Resurrection-Nativity-Figurine-Decorations-Centerpiece/dp/B08YFCDT36/ref=sr_1_19?dchild=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjw0oCDBhCPARIsAII3C_EF19XcTcQKo4G7mhusxVF9HFL2ISFOvprbpctHEFwKKT8Y-Y38h0saAijsEALw_wcB&hvadid=504000939082&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9007519&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=b&hvrand=12245487440315522146&hvtargid=kwd-1194120751851&hydadcr=8758_10371787&keywords=wooden+easter+nativity+set&qid=1616977447&sr=8-19

An overview from pulpfiction.com addressing some of the aspects of meaning of Luke 24 can be found at  https://www.pulpitfiction.com/notes/easterc where the passage is part of the lectionary texts addressed there.

Another intro is found in a Working Preacher podcast* on the text, see https://www.workingpreacher.org/podcasts/narrative-lectionary-078-empty-tomb.

The arresting aspect of the text for me is that it stops short of where we usually go on Easter. The aspect of the incredulity of the resurrection and what they have to go on in these first verses from Luke 24 is taken up at minute 3 of the NL podcast listed above.  What is it that the disciples and Peter have in this pericope?  They are given an empty space into which a testimony/the word comes. Circling back to the tomb and finding nothing, they are called to go and tell others. This is also what we have—testimony to share.  Doubt on Easter (and not just by Doubting Thomas!), with an emphasis on the Greek is addressed at http://lectionarygreek.blogspot.com/2013/03/luke-241-12.html  For more on this, see my separate post “Perplexed, Afraid and Amazed.”

Taking this in a slightly different direction is “How can we believe the unbelievable?” by Eric Barreto https://www.workingpreacher.org/commentaries/narrative-lectionary/resurrection-3/commentary-on-luke-241-12.

Preaching professor Tom Long also takes up the theme of the resurrection as unbelievable, too good to be true, at https://www.christiancentury.org/article//empty-tomb-empty-talk

Another take on this is to think of ourselves as entering, vs. solving, the mystery. See  http://caitlintrussell.org/2019/04/21/entering-the-easter-mystery-or-life-joy-and-suffering-luke-241-12/    or as improv and surprise (by Homer Henderson), see                                                                                               https://day1.org/weekly-broadcast/5d9b820ef71918cdf200241c/sunday_morning_at_the_improv   

Giving death its due (which might be appropriate these days) provides fodder for “We are all terminal, but… “ by Princeton Seminary President Craig Barnes at                                  https://www.christiancentury.org/article/2004-04/we-re-all-terminal 

The resurrection as an unnatural event, presenting a similar theme, w/ emphasis on the but, is Theodore J. Wardlaw at   https://www.christiancentury.org/article/2007-03/unnatural-event                                                    

The above WP podcast* (minute 7:30) also unfolds the question, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” We tend to look for the dead among the dead, but the dead are no longer dead. Sin has been forgiven; we no longer reside in brokenness and imperfection and despair. See also Joseph S. Pagano https://www.episcopalchurch.org/sermon/the-angels-question-the-great-vigil-of-easter-2019/

This year’s written Working Preacher commentary** lifts up the theme of the relationship between Jesus’ absence/the empty tomb and Jesus’ presence and also the related theme of remembrance. The theme of remembrance is also found in https://www.progressiveinvolvement.com/progressive_involvement/2010/03/lectionary-blogging-easter-luke-24-112.html

The podcast* also addresses the role of the women (beginning and end of the podcast) and “on the first day of the week,” echoing Genesis to talk about a new creation, in which the future re-creation breaks into the now. (minute 6)

Worship Words for Sunday, March 14 for Narrative Lectionary: Luke 16:19-31 (Psalm 41:1-3) and Revised Common Lectionary (Numbers 21:4-17, Ephesians 2:1-10)

Khor Virap, Armenia with Mount Ararat in the background. Barb Hedges-Goettl, 2018.

Opening Prayer (or Intercession) inspired by Luke 16:19-31 by Barb Hedges-Goettl

O God, send us your messenger from the dead

In the name of the finely dressed man

Who feasts sumptuously every day

Whose crumbs could satisfy the hungry

Whose dogs tend the wounds of the needy.

O God, send us your messenger from the dead

Send Lazarus, recipient of evil things,

Who was carried by angels to Abraham

Who has comforting water–and cool

Who can call the living back from their hell

O God, send us your messenger from the dead

The One who received evil things

The One who brings Living Water

The One who brings the living back from their hell

O God, send us your messenger from the dead

That we, who receive and do evil things,

May share living water, comforting and cool,

And bring back the living from their hell.

Amen.

Call to Worship (or Prayer of Thanksgiving)based on Psalm 107 by Barb Hedges-Goettl

Redeemed by the Lord from trouble, let us say so.                                                                       We give thanks to the Lord, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.                                                                                                                                                                  

Gathered in from all lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south, We give thanks to the Lord, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.    

As we cry to the Lord in our trouble, God saves us from our distress.                                                            We give thanks to the Lord, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.

God sends out God’s word and heals us, delivering us from destruction.                                                We give thanks to the Lord, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.

We give thanks for the Lord’s steadfast love, For God’s wonderful works to humankind.                     We give thanks to the Lord, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Offer thanksgiving sacrifice, and tell of God’s deed with songs of joy.                                                  We give thanks to the Lord, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Prayer of Confession inspired by Numbers 21:4-9 by Barb Hedges-Goettl

O God, forgive us.

We are impatient.

We forget that you made us and that you call us.

You lead us–and you provide for us.

O God, forgive us.

We want what we want.

We act like we know ourselves better than you know us.

We pretend that we can take care of ourselves.

O God, forgive us.

We close our eyes to all that needs healing.

We do not recognize the powers of death and dying that need transformation.

We pretend there are no wrongs for you to overcome.

O God, forgive us.

We doubt your ability to transform.

We do not trust you to take that which is deadly

and turn it into the deliverer of salvation and hope.

O God, forgive us.

Silent Confession

Assurance: Even when we do not believe it, God brings about transformation, exchanging sin for forgiveness, trading wounds for healing, replacing fear with courage, converting falling down into rising up, and overcoming death with life. Thanks be to God

Prayer of Intercession (or Confession) by Barb Hedges-Goettl

A Sort of Anti-Confession, naming what we seek to do instead of what we have failed to do (or done wrongly). The categories are from Psalm 41:1-3 and represent the ways that God blesses those who remember the poor, recognizing them as ways that we can also bless others.

Lord, have mercy. Show us how to help those who are in trouble as you help us.

Lord, have mercy. Empower us to protect others, and preserve their lives, as you protect and preserve us.

Lord, have mercy. Enable us to bless others, sharing the blessings and joy you grant us.

Lord, have mercy.  Embolden us to accompany people in the presence of their enemies, as you accompany us even in the valley of the shadow of death.

Lord, have mercy. Inspire us to serve and heal, as you are the servant and healer of all.

Lord, have mercy. Make us more and more your people, serving all as created in your image.

Amen.

Prayer of Intercession Trauma Prayer by Katy Stenta

Here is a prayer for the survivors, who were left by those who got sick and died.

A prayer for the workers who were deemed essential–and never got a break from the work, the breath, the spit, the talk, the-show-up-to-get-your-paycheck

Its a plea for those who were “let go” told that they weren’t important enough to keep getting paid

Its a recycled prayer for the homeless and the hungry, who are the same as ever, only worse

A love note for the queer fam, whose barriers only increase when people become stressed

Here’s a prayer for the black and brown people the Native Americans, the Asians, the Immigrants…the ignored and forgotten. The “inaccessible” for healthcare, the ones who always have to sit on the bottom, except for deaths in the pandemic where they ride high.

Here’s a chant for Black Lives Matter–words that start, but don’t do enough to create a structure for reparations

Here’s a prayer for the abused, alone and trapped.

A prayer for the addict, who is living the days, and the nights trying to figure out treatment in tough times.

This is a Cry for the lonely: the elderly, the singles, the handicapped, the sick. Lord, you know there are too many ways for us to feel lonely in ordinary times. Here’s an extra cry for them.

Here’s a prayer for a moment–for all those who are caretaking or parenting, those who have had not respite and no relief, for whom the to do list has lengthened and the how to list no longer exists.

This is a prayer for the children, who know in their bones what they are missing, even when they don’t know what they are missing.

We are praying for all of the world together–because this is our traumaversary–a moment when we look at the world that has ended, and has not yet a world to look towards.

We have to relive the trauma of the loss, and we still haven’t learned how to Cope with it Lord.

This is a prayer for me Lord,

Because I’m tired and lonely, and I don’t even know if I’m hungry or bored or just dealing with depression. This is a prayer for my family, because ok is all we can go for right now.

This is a prayer for the traumatized. Help us, we pray, Save us, we pray.

Amen.

Feel free to share/use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Trauma Anniversary Info: https://www.mentalhelp.net/ptsd/anniversary-reactions-to-a-traumatic-event/

katyandtheword | March 8, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Hymn Dives and Lazarus British folk song

https://hymnary.org/hymn/CCNO1871/39  (public domain in the US)

To hear it, go to Maddy Prior performing ‘Dives & Lazarus’ from Nettlebed Folk Club on the ‘Seven For Old England’ tour. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl3xFnoDZ  (not for use in worship due to copyright)

Hymn; Tell me, Dear Tree(Ephesians 2:1-10)  A Lenten hymn of sacrifice

https://revlisad.com/2015/04/03/tell-me-dear-tree-a-lenten-hymn-of-sacrifice-2/t t

 

Meter- 86.86 double (CMD)
Suggested tune: KINGSFOLD (United Methodist Hymnal #179)

Kingsfold is in the public domain in the US

See https://hymnary.org/tune/kingsfold_english

Worship Resources for Transfiguration Sunday (2/14) and Ash Wednesday (2/17)

TRANSFIGURATION SUNDAY

IMAGE

Photo by Tamar Dolev.
Sunset from Norfolk Island. Feel free to use it. If you want to know more about this beautiful island, then visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norfolk_Island

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER

by Barb Hedges-Goettl
‘God Almighty, we give you thanks for your creation and care,
for the words and witness of those who have gone before us,
and of those who live the Christian life alongside us.
We thank you for your steadfast, eternal presence,
even when we do not see, hear or follow you.

You sent your son Jesus to reveal you love.
Through his birth, life, death, and resurrection,
you reveal to us the way, the truth and the life–
not just at the Transfiguration on the mountain,
but in this very time and place
through the bread and cup you give us to share.
And so we praise and thank you
with these people in this place,
and with all your people across every time and place.

By the work of your Holy Spirit,
reveal to us that we eat together at the very table of Christ Jesus.
Make us one with you and with each other.

Through this holy meal,
teach us to know and follow your way.
Ground and settle us in your truth,
and make us sharers of your abundant and eternal life.

[Confirm what we know.
Reveal to us what we do not know.
Fill us up with whatever we lack.
Keep us faithfully in your service
until we feast together in your eternal kingdom.]

Following Christ Jesus, himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
we do what he commanded us to do:

Like him, we take bread, and having given thanks,
we break it and give it to the disciples, saying, as Christ Jesus did,
“Take, eat, this is my body broken for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

And, also like Jesus, we take the cup, saying
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Prayer of Confession

(from Psalm 51:1-4, New Living Translation adapted by Barb Hedges-Goettl)
 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Forgive me, O God.
In your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Forgive me, O God
Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. Forgive me, O God
For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Forgive me, O God
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned. Forgive me, O God
I have done what is evil in your sight. Forgive me, O God

=

Opening Prayer/Confession of Faith

by Barb Hedges-Goettl

We gather together as the church

When we can’t summon our “Jesus-loves-me” smiles

When we are not feeling happy or better

When traditions don’t seem to suffice

When we know all too well that we are ashes and dust

                    Then God calls us to return to God.

We gather together as the church

When we are not sure how to come before God

When we miss being in our building

When we miss being with our community

When all seems strange and uncertain           

          Then God calls us to return to God.

We gather together as the church

When we need to lament

When we are a grieving people, a weeping people,

When we are dependent on God for help and healing

When we seek God’s Kingdom until that Kingdom comes

          Then God calls us to return to God.

We gather together as the church

Because God creates in us a clean heart, a new and right spirit within us

Because God restores to us the joy of salvation, sustaining in us a willing spirit

Because God does not cast us away, or take God’s holy spirit from us

Because God restores to us the joy of God’s salvation, sustaining in us a willing spirit

 we gather together as the church. THANKS BE TO GOD!

Children’s sermon (good for grownups too!)

Found at https://katyandtheword.com/2021/01/12/lent-ideas-with-children-narrative-lectionary-luke/

JANUARY 12, 2021 BY KATYANDTHEWORD.COM
Lent Ideas with Children: Narrative Lectionary Luke

Children Ideas: Meditate on Dirt together (Ideally with dirt): What is dirt? 
Discuss God as creator and make clay/playdo people together, Bury the Alleluias: http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2014/01/burying-alleluia-for-lent.html
(Post includes an image of Pigpen from Peanuts, with his quote about where his dirt has been before it landed on him!)

See also https://worshipwords.co.uk/transfiguration and https://worshipwords.co.uk/ash-wednesday and nfleshed,  a non profit creating and facilitating resources or spiritual nourishment for collective liberation, which can be found at https://enfleshed.com/pages/ash-wednesday

Commentary by Daniella Zsupan-Jerome on Rafael’s painting Transfiguration on the possessed boy and the female figure depicted there! https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical-year/lent/arts-and-faith-for-lent/cycle-a/arts-and-faith-week-2-of-lent-cycle-a/ in text or https://youtu.be/GYo5VyNv7fg in video

Ignatian prayer exercise to match the above art commentary exercise/https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/arts-faith-lent-second-sunday-imaginative-prayer-exercise/

Narrative Lectionary: A bulletin, some hymns & liturgical resources for 1 Corinthians 13

Bulletin at https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcRDOTDCk1ldf4oVdg

SONGS

+13.1–14.1  (chapter 13:1-14:1)

126.4 (PCUSA hymnal number.verse) Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove

136.2 Sovereign Lord of All Creation 318 Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost * 350R Fill My Cup 367 Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love 372.2 Lord, I Want to Be a Christian 374 Lord, Make Us Servants of Your Peace 386.5 O for a World 398 There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit 405 What Does the Lord Require 407.2 When a Poor One 433 There’s a Spirit in the Air 531 Not for Tongues of Heaven’s Angels * 533 O Perfect Love 534 The Grace of Life Is Theirs 536.2 Lord, Make Us More Holy

13.1-3 335 Though I May Speak *

13.4-7 9.3 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel 76.4 My Song Is Love Unknown 85 What Wondrous Love Is This 347 Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive 357.2+3 O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee 366.3 Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me 457.4 I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art

13.12 49.4 Once in Royal David’s City 139.4 Come, Thou Almighty King 278.2+4 Our God, to Whom We Turn 301.4 Lord Jesus, Think on Me 310.1 Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

327.3 O Word of God Incarnate 340.3 Eternal Light, Shine in My Heart 376.4 Love Divine, All Loves Excelling 399.4 We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight 426.5 Lord, Speak to Me, That I May Speak 442.4 The Church’s One Foundation 485.2 To God Be the Glory 519.4 Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior, Thee

13.13 545.4 Now, on Land and Sea Descending

Liturgical Resources:

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/07/prayer-index-acts-through-revelation.html

includes
Prayer Reflection: Which Three

(based on 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13)

“…Now faith, hope and live abide, these three…”


doubt moves in
and props its feet
at the hearth of my soul,
warming them
on the coals of my unbelief;
while faith 
rents space
for a few days
in the summers of my life.

despair is the frayed,
soft corduroy jacket
that fits comfortably
on my shoulders
while hope
is a hair shirt
i resist wearing.

impatience is the face
i put on
each morning
in order to greet the world,
while love
is that mask
i wear occasionally,
removing it
when i look in the mirror,
not recognizing myself.

which three will abide in me, O God?

which three?

Amen.

~ Copyright © Thom M. Shuman. Posted on Prayers4Today.  http://prayersfortoday.blogspot.ca/

Prayer

 

Our Father,

each day is a little life,

each night a tiny death;

help us to live with faith and hope and love.

Lift our duty above drudgery;

let not our strength fail, or the vision fade,

in the heat and burden of the day.

 

O God, make us patient and pitiful one with another

in the fret and jar of life,

remembering that each fights a hard fight

and walks a lonely way.

Forgive us, Lord, if we hurt our fellow souls;

teach us a gentler tone, a sweeter charity of words,

and a more healing touch.

Sustain us, O God, when we must face sorrow;

give us courage for the day and hope for the morrow.

Day unto day may we lay hold of thy hand and look up into thy face,

whatever befall,

until our work is finished and the day is done. Amen.

 

~ Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226.  Posted on thisischurch.com http://thisischurch.com/

From “Love” on worshipblogspot


Prayer of Commitment

Holy God, before time you named us
Through time you redeem us
You call us, precious in your sight
May we love as you love.

Holy One, through the turbulent waters
Make us steady, your hands
Holding strong the fragile and weak
May we love as you love.

Gracious God, may the fruits of our lives
be food for the hungry, bread
clothing, shelter, fire, water, Word
May we love as you love.

God of justice, remove the chaff
Of our lives that keep us from
Hearing, following, Your call
May we love as you love.

Loving God, take this day our fears our
Worries, distractions, and all
Turn them into wheat, heart food
May we love as you love. Amen

~ written by Terri and posted on RevGalBlogPals. http://revgalblogpals.blogspot.ca/

Our bulletin is at

SONGS

+13.1–14.1  (chapter 13:1-14:1)

126.4 (PCUSA hymnal number.verse) Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove

136.2 Sovereign Lord of All Creation 318 Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost * 350R Fill My Cup 367 Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love 372.2 Lord, I Want to Be a Christian 374 Lord, Make Us Servants of Your Peace 386.5 O for a World 398 There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit 405 What Does the Lord Require 407.2 When a Poor One 433 There’s a Spirit in the Air 531 Not for Tongues of Heaven’s Angels * 533 O Perfect Love 534 The Grace of Life Is Theirs 536.2 Lord, Make Us More Holy

13.1-3 335 Though I May Speak *

13.4-7 9.3 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel 76.4 My Song Is Love Unknown 85 What Wondrous Love Is This 347 Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive 357.2+3 O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee 366.3 Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me 457.4 I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art

13.12 49.4 Once in Royal David’s City 139.4 Come, Thou Almighty King 278.2+4 Our God, to Whom We Turn 301.4 Lord Jesus, Think on Me 310.1 Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

327.3 O Word of God Incarnate 340.3 Eternal Light, Shine in My Heart 376.4 Love Divine, All Loves Excelling 399.4 We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight 426.5 Lord, Speak to Me, That I May Speak 442.4 The Church’s One Foundation 485.2 To God Be the Glory 519.4 Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior, Thee

13.13 545.4 Now, on Land and Sea Descending

Liturgical Resources:

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/07/prayer-index-acts-through-revelation.html

includes
Prayer Reflection: Which Three

(based on 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13)

“…Now faith, hope and live abide, these three…”


doubt moves in
and props its feet
at the hearth of my soul,
warming them
on the coals of my unbelief;
while faith 
rents space
for a few days
in the summers of my life.

despair is the frayed,
soft corduroy jacket
that fits comfortably
on my shoulders
while hope
is a hair shirt
i resist wearing.

impatience is the face
i put on
each morning
in order to greet the world,
while love
is that mask
i wear occasionally,
removing it
when i look in the mirror,
not recognizing myself.

which three will abide in me, O God?

which three?

Amen.

~ Copyright © Thom M. Shuman. Posted on Prayers4Today.  http://prayersfortoday.blogspot.ca/

 

Prayer

Our Father,

each day is a little life,

each night a tiny death;

help us to live with faith and hope and love.

Lift our duty above drudgery;

let not our strength fail, or the vision fade,

in the heat and burden of the day.

 

O God, make us patient and pitiful one with another

in the fret and jar of life,

remembering that each fights a hard fight

and walks a lonely way.

Forgive us, Lord, if we hurt our fellow souls;

teach us a gentler tone, a sweeter charity of words,

and a more healing touch.

Sustain us, O God, when we must face sorrow;

give us courage for the day and hope for the morrow.

Day unto day may we lay hold of thy hand and look up into thy face,

whatever befall,

until our work is finished and the day is done. Amen.

 

~ Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226.  Posted on thisischurch.com http://thisischurch.com/

From “Love” on worshipblogspot


Prayer of Commitment

Holy God, before time you named us
Through time you redeem us
You call us, precious in your sight
May we love as you love.

Holy One, through the turbulent waters
Make us steady, your hands
Holding strong the fragile and weak
May we love as you love.

Gracious God, may the fruits of our lives
be food for the hungry, bread
clothing, shelter, fire, water, Word
May we love as you love.

God of justice, remove the chaff
Of our lives that keep us from
Hearing, following, Your call
May we love as you love.

Loving God, take this day our fears our
Worries, distractions, and all
Turn them into wheat, heart food
May we love as you love. Amen

~ written by Terri and posted on RevGalBlogPals. http://revgalblogpals.blogspot.ca/

Narrative Lectionary Resources/Bulletin/Sermon: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 & Acts 18:1-4

Image: Tabernacle Replica located at Timna Park in the region of Eliat in Israel. https://www.imb.org/image/tabernacle-replica-3/

If you use people’s stuff (mine included) please use their names as well!

Resources (images, exegetical, liturgical, song) h

My husband’s preaching this one; he’s choosing to focus on the image of tentmaking as what we all do from Acts 18:1-4; that we are vocationally called to be Christians fulltime and…well, sermon to follow. He’s adding v. 26 to the 1 Corinthians reading.

IMAGES

Mainly unity https://www.google.com/search?safe=strict&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS891US891&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=images+1+corinthians+1:10-18&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjzwsG7h5XpAhVcmHIEHbdxA8kQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1093&bih=500

Tentmaking

EXEGESIS

Both passages-unity but not based on who the leader is https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1337

Podcast on the two passages https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1337

Audio recorded sermon on Acts 18 https://commons.ptsem.edu/id/04586

Note: The Corinthian passage is the RCL for Epiphany 3A; these references are for it.

Several pastors discuss 1 Corinthians lectionary passages from RCL, incl. this one (focus on unity) and 19-28 (focusing on “call”) http://wordandworld.luthersem.edu/content/pdfs/15-4_Nations/15-4_Dinovo.pdf*

The speech-act of transferring listeners from false reality to the reality of having the mind of Christ http://wordandworld.luthersem.edu/content/pdfs/16-4_Corinthians/16-4_Brown.pdf

Unity as having more in common with Christians throughout the ages than with nonChristians from today https://cep.calvinseminary.edu/sermon-starters/epiphany-3a/?term=epiphany%203A

Unity http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=26

Focusing on Unity, this link provides further links to authors including Lillian Daniel, Kathleen Norris and Princeton Seminary presidents Gillespie & McCord. See https://preachingandworship.org/search/1%20corinthians%201%3A10-18 

Paul is addressing problem that the Corinthians do not understand that the cross of Christ was God’s way of upending their ways of defining and valuing themselves and one another->unity http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=3139

The Cross Creates Its Own Economy http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=796

Friends in Low Places: Status in Church and Work https://www.theologyofwork.org/new-testament/1-corinthians/friends-in-low-places-1-cor-118-31

Tentmaking https://www.theologyofwork.org/new-testament/acts/a-clash-of-kingdoms-community-and-powerbrokers-acts-13-19/tent-making-and-christian-life-acts-181-4

Also Tentmaking https://www.theologyofwork.org/key-topics/women-workers-in-the-new-testament/the-tentmaker-priscilla-acts-182

The concept of tentmaking as a missionary strategy https://worldwidetentmakers.com/education/what-is-a-tentmaker/ and the issues involved https://www.imb.org/2018/05/24/good-bad-tent-making-missions/

CHILDREN’S SERMON
He sent me to tell you the Good News without using big words        http://www.sundayschoollessons.com/epi3mtart.htm

LITURGICAL PIECES

Called by God

O God, giver of all good gifts,

you have given me life.

You have bestowed upon me your love

and that love includes your plans for me.

What am I to do?

All life is a call and a response.

I pray for grace to hear God’s voice

and a heart to respond.

I am ready to listen.

Help me to listen to the rhythm of each day, day by day,

so that I am not overwhelmed with thoughts of the future.

Yet guide me into that future so that I know who and whose I am.

I shall listen.

I shall listen to the voices of those witnesses who have lived before me.

I shall listen to those who are here to give me guidance and encouragement,

for it is clear that whatever plans you have for me,

I will never journey alone.

I will listen to my feelings as I grow and change,

processes that I know will be lifelong.

I shall listen to you.

And even though I want easy answers,

I know that what you want is a relationship.

So when I answer you,

may my response be to my potential

and to your love of all creatures on your good earth.

Let me serve with the gifts you give me.

O God, I know that vocation is truly a gift of your love.

What am I to do?

I am ready to listen.

~ posted on Consider Your Call. http://www.consideryourcall.org/sites/default/files/CYC-Media/Toolbox/Materials/Worship-Toolbox.pdf

Prayer of Brokenness/Confession

Holy Christ,

we come to You knowing that we have fallen away

from Your intentions for us.

We have followed the paths of greed and envy,

turned away from our brothers and sisters in need

in order to satisfy our own desires.

You gave Your life for us,

and yet we are willing to give so little at times.

Forgive us for not understanding that You laid down Your life for us.

Forgive us for not recognizing the sacrifice of love,

to live for others instead of ourselves.

Call us back, to repent, and return to the kingdom of God.

In Your precious Name we pray. Amen.

Blessing/Assurance of Pardon

Christ continues to lay down his life for us,

so that we might have life.

Christ continues to show us the way,

so that we might live into the truth and the life.

Christ continues to love us,

so that we might love God and love our neighbors as ourselves.

Know that you are forgiven, loved, and given new life. Amen.

~ written by Rev. Mindi, and posted on Rev-o-lution. http://rev-o-lution.org/

 

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Labels: confessionEpiphany 3 A

JAN 6, 2014

Pastoral Prayer: Looking for Light

Here’s a prayer of intercession for the season of Epiphany from Rev. Abigail Carlisle-Wilke.

Prayer of Intercession

(inspired by passages like Isaiah 9:2,

Matthew 4:14-16, Isaiah 60:1-3, Matthew 5:14-16)

Lord,
We come to you in a time of coldness and darkness,
Looking for warmth and light.
There are those whose homes are physically freezing,
And there are those whose lives are spiritually chilly
We know that we can help warm people’s homes.
We also know you can warm people’s lives.

We pray that there will be no more gloom for those who were in anguish
We pray that you lift away people’s burdens.
We pray you remove the things that oppress from people’s lives.
We pray you give courage to those who fear.

Lord your light calls us forth to follow and serve you.
Your light still shines for all to see in this world.
May we continue to reflect your light in our lives,
in our service, in our words and in our deeds.

~ written by Rev. Abigail Carlisle-Wilke, and posted on Rev Abi’s Long and Winding Road. http://vicarofwadley.blogspot.ca/2011/01/prayer-for-epiphany-3a.html

 

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Labels: ChristmasEpiphanyEpiphany 3 AEpiphany 5 AintercessionLent 4 A

JAN 15, 2012

Prayer of Confession: God, You Call Us

Here’s a prayer of confession written by Rev. Scott Cervas, of the Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church in Lexington, KY.  It would be suitable for use on Epiphany 3A or 3B, or on any other occasion when the subject of God’s call is being explored.

Prayer of Confession

(inspired by Jonah; Mark 1:14-20)

God…you call us…and sometimes…we duck under the table…
hoping you didn’t notice us when you walked into the room.
You call us…and sometimes…we grab a stapler and a stack of papers…
trying to look too busy to be bothered at the moment.
You call us…and sometimes we just say, “No!”
We know that we aren’t expected to do everything…
but we often forget that you call us to be our selves
in the places where our very self is what is most needed.
So give us the grace to say “Yes” to your call…
even now…as we offer our silent confessions…

— written by Rev. Scott Cervas, and posted on the LiturgyLink website. 


Benediction

(inspired by John 17:21, 1 Corinthians 1:10-18)

My fellow servants, we are one.

The bread we share makes us one.

The cup we pour makes us one.

Even as our dearest sisters and brothers

     come and go from us, we are one. 

Even as we scatter from this place

     to so many diverse pursuits

     throughout this city, this state, this globe,

     we are one. 

With gratitude we share the Table.

With gratitude we depart. 

With gratitude we release one another,

     trusting in the One

     Who makes us one.

  Go in peace.

Benediction for November 25, 2012, written by Paul Randall, and posted on Ecclesia.  http://www.ecclesiahouston.org/

HYMNS

Presbyterian Hymnal

1.10-17

120.6 Hail Thee, Festival Day!

136.3 Sovereign Lord of All Creation

235.5 With Joy I Heard My Friends Exclaim

241 Behold the Goodness of Our Lord

285.2 God, You Spin the Whirling Planets

314.3 Like the Murmur of the Dove’s Song

346.3 Christ, You Are the Fullness

380.3-5 O Christ, the Healer

429.2 Lord, You Give the Great Commission

436.4 We Are Your People

438 Blest Be the Tie That Binds

442 The Church’s One Foundation

443.1+2 O Christ, the Great Foundation

457.4 I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art

465 Here, O Lord, Your Servants Gather

471R O Praise the Gracious Power

500.3 Become to Us the Living Bread

503.3+4 Come, Risen Lord

507.3 I Come with Joy

517.3 We Come as Guests Invited

 518 Sheaves of Summer

521.3 You Satisfy the Hungry Heart

Hymns relating to the cross https://hymnary.org/texts?qu=1+corinthians+1%3A10-18&media=text&page=0

SOURCESSONGSWRITERS
ATW 466I am awareMcBride
DMACThat we’d be onescore lyrics
SIS 185/SOF 43/ATA 174Bind us togetherGillman

From http://www.hymntime.com/tch/sca/1%20Corinthians.htm (links there are live)

1:8

1:10

1:18

BULLETIN

Trinity United Presbyterian Church                 May 10, 202

Worship Without Walls                                              610-626-3143  

Facebook Trinity United Presbyterian Church           Clifton Heights

Prelude Together                                                                      King and Country   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RClrQg7DhV8&fbclid=IwAR2ua5DlZiM0elWKzKUjGxHMz1LKi6O7fCSYeLb0dK2prD1geNySmQMtjeg

This is for the busted heart
This is for the question mark
This is for the outcast soul
Lost control, no one knows
Sing it for the can’t-go-backs
Sing it for the broken past
Sing it for the just found out
Life is now upside down

If you’re looking for hope tonight, raise your hand
If you feel alone and don’t understand
If you’re fighting in the fight of your life, then stand
We’re going to make it through this hand in hand

And if we fall, we will fall together
Together



This is for the second chance
This is for the new romance
Sing it for the loved in vain, overcame
It’s not too late

If you’re looking for hope tonight, raise your hand
If you feel alone and don’t understand
If you’re fighting in the fight of your life, then stand
We’re going to make it through this hand in hand

And if we fall, we will fall together
Together
When we rise, we will rise together
Together
(We will rise together)

(Listen)
If you’re looking for hope tonight
(And you’re all alone)
If you’re feeling alone tonight
(Can you feel)
If you’re in the fight of your life
(I can promise)
We’re gonna make it happen, yeah
I will be by your side
(By your side)
Cause love’s in the air tonight
(Can you feel it)
Come up and see the light
whenever ever ever
Just as long as we’re together, say

If we fall, we will fall together
(I got you my brother)
Together
(I see you my sister)
When we rise, we will rise together
Together

If we fall, we will fall together
(Take my hand)
Together
(Help me stand)
When we rise, we will rise together
(We will rise together)
Together

Together we are dangerous
Together with our differences
Together we are bolder, braver, stronger

Opening Prayer1

O God, giver of all good gifts, you have given us life. You have bestowed upon us your love and that love includes your plans for us.

What are we to do? All life is a call and a response.

Give us grace to hear your voice and a heart to respond. In Christ we pray, Amen.

Call to Worship1                                                                                                                  

In the rhythm—and chaos—of each day, day by day,

open my ears that I may hear.

Without being overwhelmed by the future

Instead knowing who I am and whose I am,

open my ears that I may hear.

Given the voices of those who have lived before me,

open my ears that I may hear.

Gifted with those who provide guidance and encouragement,

open my ears that I may hear.

Provided with ways to grow and change,

open my ears that I may hear.

Given a relationship with you instead of just a set of rules,

open my ears that I may hear.

Given your love and everlasting presence,

open my ears that I may hear.

*Opening Hymn  Open My Eyes That I May See

Open my ears, that I may hear Voices of truth thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on my ear, Everything false will disappear.

Chorus: Silently now I wait for thee, Ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Open my eyes, that I may see Glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key That shall unclasp and set me free. Chorus

Open my mind that I may read More of Thy love in word and deed;
What shall I fear while yet Thou dost lead? Only for light from Thee I plead. Chorus

Open my mouth, and let me bear Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare Love with thy children thus to share.
Chorus

Call to Confession: As we sing our desire to be instruments of God’s peace, we are reminded of the ways we fall short. Let us ask God’s forgiveness.

Prayer of Confession2

God, you call us…and sometime…we duck under the table,
hoping you didn’t notice us when you walked into the room.

Forgive us, Lord.
You call us…and sometimes…we grab a stapler and a stack of papers,
trying to look too busy to be bothered at the moment.

Forgive us, Lord.
You call us…and sometimes we just say, “No!”

Forgive us, Lord.
We know that we aren’t expected to do everything…
but we often forget that you call us to be our selves
in the places where our very self is what is most needed.

Forgive us, Lord.
So give us the grace to say “Yes” to your call…
even now…as we offer our [silent confession]…. 

Thanks be to God for the Good News:  In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Gloria Patri: (Blue #579) “Glory Be to the Father”

Sharing of the Peace: The peace of Christ be with you.    And also with you.

Prayers of the People/Lord’s Prayer (traditional)                      Blue Hymnal, p. 14

Celebration of Birthdays and Anniversaries                              

Offering Hymn The Old Rugged Cross

1On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross The emblem of suff’ring and shame,
And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best For a world of lost sinners was slain.
 Chorus: So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross, And exchange it some day for a crown.
2Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above To bear it to dark Calvary. Chorus
3To the old rugged cross I will ever be true, Its shame and reproach gladly bear Then He’ll call me someday to my home far away, Where His glory forever I’ll share   Chorus (repeated two times) ending with a final repeat of the line “And exchange it some day for a crown”

* Doxology (Blue, #592)   Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivaDXu27_IY

* Prayer of Dedication (adapted from Pentecost Offering resources)                              Good and gracious God, pour out your power upon all the gifts we offer:                our time, our talents, and our lives, so that all of your children everywhere may know your love. Strengthen our resolve to act especially on behalf                       of your children. Enable us to support whatever enables them to be who you create them to be. In the name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Prayer for Illumination  Wonderful Words of Life https://youtu.be/Pi8EGVzV758

Sweetly echo the gospel call, Wonderful words of Life;

Offer pardon and peace to all, Wonderful words of Life,

Jesus, only Savior, Sanctify forever,

Beautiful words, wonderful words, Wonderful words of Life,

Beautiful words, wonderful words, Wonderful words of Life,

Message Together                                                                                   Pastor Len

Confession of Faith from the Belhar Confession3  

We confess that God unites us in faith together.

We come to know the height, and the breadth,

and the depth of the love of Christ together.

We are built up to the full stature of Christ together.

We know and bear one another’s burdens together

We admonish one another. We comfort one another.

We suffer with one another. We need one another.

We build up one another.

We pray together. We serve God in this world together.

We fight against all which may threaten or hinder this unity together.

Thanks be to God for drawing and keeping us together.  Amen.

 *Closing Hymn They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love

1-
We are One in The Spirit, We are One in The Lord.
We are One in The Spirit, We are One in The Lord.
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.


Chorus
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, By our Love,
Yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love.


-2-
We will work with each other, We will work side by side.
We will work with each other, We will work side by side.
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity And save each one’s pride.


Chorus


-3-
We will walk with each other, We will walk hand in hand.
We will walk with each other, We will walk hand in hand.
And together we’ll spread the News that God is in our land.


Chorus


-4-

All praise to the Spirit, From whom all things come

And all praise to Christ Jesus, His only Son

And all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one


Chorus


*Charge and Benediction                                                Pastors Barb and Len

Postlude The Lord Bless You and Keep You                        written by John Rutter

Sung by Batavia Madrigal Singers (Virtual Choir)

1Opening prayer adapted from post on Consider Your Call http://www.consideryourcall.org/sites/default/files/CYC-Media/Toolbox/Materials/Worship-Toolbox.pdf. Call to Worship by Barb Hedges-Goettl uses the themes and categories of that post/prayer.

2 Written by Rev. Scott Cervas, and posted on the LiturgyLink website

3 Original resource written in the themes/words of the South African Belhar Confession by Barb Hedges-Goettl

SERMON

How do you identify? It’s a question that gets a lot of attention these days. On Mother’s Day, we pay special attention to those who identify as a Mother, either because they are biological or adoptive mothers or because they function in the formative years of a child as a mother.

We identify by so many different characteristics: I am male, I am female, I am gender fluid. I am straight or gay or bi or trans or queer. I am a child or an adult, a son, daughter or sister, brother, cousin, Aunt, Uncle. I am a doctor, lawyer, Indian chief… or I am a retiree.

Some ways we identify draw us together like I am the member of the Hedges-Goettl clan, or I am a Navy veteran, or I am the member of a teacher’s union.  In the passage from Acts today, Paul was staying with Pricilla and Aquilla “because he was of the same trade – by trade they were tentmakers.” Their shared work drew them together. They related to each other through their shared identification as tentmakers.

Sadly, some of the ways we identify tend to separate us. I am a Republican or Democrat, or Libertarian, or Independent.  I am employed or unemployed. I am a citizen or an immigrant. I am Black or Latinx, or Asian, or White. I identify as right so you are wrong.

The Corinthians passage is all about how folks are divided by how they identify. I was baptized by Paul or by Apollos or by Cephas. The funny part of the passage is that Paul can’t even remember exactly who he baptized: He know he baptized Crispus and Gaius… oh yeah, also the household of Stephanus… eventually he admits “I don’t know if I baptized anyone else.” This doesn’t mean that Paul doesn’t care about baptism, on the contrary he cares immensely that the faithful are baptized into the family of Christians and have received the Holy Spirit to empower them when they were baptized. He just doesn’t care a wit about WHO baptized the faithful Christian.

Christ is not, never was and never will be divided. Whether we agree in our politics, whether we agree about what we enjoy or what occupation employs us, whether we are powerful or of noble birth or not…  Christ cannot be kept from the poor and the powerless. In the community of faith, I am not a follower of this famous philosopher or that famous entrepreneur.

In the community of faith, I am not a follower of this musician or that artist or this preacher or that healer. In the community of faith, I am not a follower of any of the myriad ways that I identify myself except that in the community of faith we are ALL followers of Christ crucified and saved by the power of God.

We don’t need what Paul calls “eloquent wisdom.” We need to lay bare the cross of Christ so that its power is not obscured by fancy words or lofty sayings.

This is a time when many in Delaware County (over 4000 diagnosed with Covid), and many in this state and many in this nation and in many nations…when the people of the world understand something about suffering. How foolish then to hold up to others the folly of the cross, an ultimate symbol of suffering!

But as Paul says “The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the POWER OF GOD.”

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God.

We have a chance, and opportunity, A CALLING. To a world, a nation, a state, a county… to our own neighborhood right now that may be struggling to make any sense of the evil of disease and the grief of loss… to hear again the words of Romans 6:5 and to share Paul’s ridiculous, miraculous, truthful hope: For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his

We are being saved by the POWER OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST.

This is for the busted heart
This is for the question mark
This is for the outcast soul
Lost control, no one knows
Sing it for the can’t-go-backs
Sing it for the broken past
Sing it for the just found out
Life is now upside down

If you’re looking for hope tonight, raise your hand
If you feel alone and don’t understand
If you’re fighting in the fight of your life, then stand
We’re going to make it through this hand in hand


And if we fall, we will fall together

When we rise, we will rise together

For Christ never was, never is, never will be divided. We are followers of Christ crucified and saved by the POWER OF GOD.

AMEN

Acts 3:1-10 bulletin and sermon

Bulletin: https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcMSG-DLOlNhpocklg

Sermon: https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcMJCaCfbGyjdhB7Mw

Cover photo: https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/dramatized/niv/Acts.3

Apocalypse Now? Narrative Lectionary: Mark 13:1-8, 24-37 (March 29, 2020?) Resources

Note: The apocalyptic nature of this reading gave me pause! Some exegetes (esp NL Podcast) see this as referring to Jesus’ Passion as the space/place when God draws near to us. Our current times raise largely unanswerable questions about theodicy (why). While why is fascinating, more often what we really have to answer is “Given the situation, now what? What are we called to be and do?” I do have to confess to having a list of questions for God for when I get there. Don’t know if I’ll just know the answers; won’t feel the need to know anymore; or will have them answered. But I definitely have a list!

HYMNS

Presbyterian Hymnal

Mark chapter 13

77.5 Forty Days and Forty Nights  (means 5th verse esp. relevant)

86 When We Are Tempted to Deny Your Son

87.4 The Glory of These Forty Days

272.2 God of the Sparrow

282 If Thou but Trust in God to Guide Thee

301 Lord Jesus, Think on Me

307 Fight the Good Fight

342 By Gracious Powers

360.5 Hope of the World

361 How Firm a Foundation

388 O Jesus, I Have Promised

389 O Jesus, I Have Promised

401.2 When Will People Cease Their Fighting?

410.3 When I Had Not Yet Learned of Jesus

419 How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord

420 God of Grace and God of Glory

442 The Church’s One Foundation

443.1 O Christ, the Great Foundation

447 Lead On, O King Eternal

448 Lead On, O King Eternal

461.4 God is Here!

538.2 Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing

559.3 We Gather Together

13.1-2,14-20

7.2 Lord Christ, When First You Came to Earth

13.24-27

5 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

6 Jesus Comes with Clouds Descending

9 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

153.1 He Is King of Kings

293.2 This Is My Father’s World

379.4 My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less ELW 596/597, GG 353, NCH 403, UMH 368, TFF 192Link

449 My Lord! What a Morning

467.4 How Great Thou Art

13.28-37

15 Rejoice! Rejoice, Believers

17 “Sleepers, Wake!” A Voice Astounds Us

341.3 Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine!

379.4 My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less

456 Awake, My Soul, and with the Son

+14–15

83.3 O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High

My Lord, what a morning   ELW 438, GG 352, UMH 719, TFF 40

Link to contemporary songs appropriate for Mark 13

https://wordtoworship.com/search/node/Mark%2013

See also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohvLfqf8rUs These are the days of Elijah coming with line about him coming riding on the clouds at the trumpet blast

Link for Hymnary.org for this text

IMAGES

Both of these include Agnus Day and other cartoons
Mark 13:1-8 https://www.google.com/search?q=images+mark+13%3A1-8&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwj6obiag6roAhXbHd8KHb_WDwcQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=images+mark+13%3A1-8&gs_l=img.3…41904.41904..42272…0.0..0.72.72.1……0….1..gws-wiz-img.PRHG9Ft3uy4&ei=aTl1XrrJLtu7_Aa_rb84&bih=576&biw=1366&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS891US891

Mark 13:24-37 https://www.google.com/search?q=images+mark+13%3A24-37&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwiHw8evg6roAhXIHt8KHcANAQsQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=images+mark+13%3A24-37&gs_l=img.3…223984.226104..227297…0.0..0.87.616.8……0….1..gws-wiz-img…….35i39j0i8i30.kld4u3pJeTQ&ei=ljl1XoegA8i9_AbAm4RY&bih=576&biw=1366&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS891US891

Images of church of St. Peter in Gallicantu (cock-crow) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Saint_Peter_in_Gallicantu

See exegesis below re the places to “stay awake” including at the time of cockcrow

CHILDREN”S MESSAGE

When things fall apart (good for preaching to grownups too!) https://rfour.org/childrensmessage_b_51.html

Carolyn Brown on children and the apocalypse http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2012/10/year-b-proper-28-33rd-sunday-in.html

LITURGICAL PIECES/RESOURCES

Link to our bulletin including youtube music & Scripture links. linkshttps://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcFAoraAggfvHmcIJg

Will add sermon link to that site when it is written.

Reader’s Theater Mark 13:1-8 https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/10/readers-theatre-mark-13-1-8.html

Prepare a Way

(referencing Isaiah 40:3-5, Mark 1:3, Matthew 3:3, Luke 3:4)

In the lonely places
The wilderness
Where we stand forlorn
Windswept and alone
Your voice calls out
Prepare a way for the Lord


In the dark places
The shadows
Where we hide our fears
Embrace our tears
Your voice calls out
Prepare a way for the Lord

— written by John Birch and posted on the Faith and Worship website.  http://www.faithandworship.com/prayers_Christmas.htm

God of hope, we come to you in the midst of a world fraught with troubles. Although the darkness is powerful, open our eyes, Lord, to the light of your presence. Give us faith to stand against the voices of division and violence. Through your Spirit remake us into hope-filled disciples, discovering lives attune to your wonder, and sparking in others a desire to know you more. In the name of the One who comes to us, we pray, Amen.

— Rev. Nancy J, on her blog, wonderings through life and other such nonsense

\

ere’s a prayer from Walter Brueggemann.  It references Romans 8:18-25.

Waiting and Longing

God of the seasons,
God of the years,
God of the eons,
Alpha and Omega,
before us and after us.

You promise and we wait:
we wait with eager longing,
we wait amid doubt and anxiety,
we wait with patience thin
and then doubt,
and then we take life into our own hands.

We wait because you are the one and the only one.
We wait for your peace and your mercy,
for your justice and your good rule.

Give us your spirit that we may wait
obediently and with discernment,
caringly and without passivity,
trustingly and without cynicism
honestly and without utopianism,

Grant that our wait may be appropriate to your coming
soon and very soon,
soon and not late,
late but not too late.

We wait while the world groans in eager longing.

~ written by Walter Brueggemann, in Prayers for a Privileged People.  http://www.amazon.com/Prayers-Privileged-People-Walter-Brueggemann/dp/0687650194 Posted on the Prayers and Creeds website.  http://prayersandcreeds.wordpress.com/

Call to Worship

Pecking away at our computers, sitting in a knot of traffic:
we wait for you, God of all words, to speak to us.
Pacing the halls of a hospital, sitting outside the principal’s office:
we wait for you, God of comfort, to fill us with hope.
In the silence of each night, beginning each day’s new journey:
we wait for you, Steadfast Love, for you are our safe place.

Prayer of the Day

Keeper of every moment in eternity:
we come, not only to hear
those words which can transform us,
but to be filled with your grace and hope.
We have come, not out of habit,
but to respond to your call,
willing to be called away
from the familiar ways of our lives.

Walker of our journeys,
in the midst of our harried lives,
you call us to lay aside all that entangles us,
to follow you into service to others.
You invite us to step into
the waters of life and hope,
reaching out to draw others
to our side so, that together,
we might enter your kingdom
of laughter and joy.

When uncertainty fills every block
in our daily planners,
you come, Grace’s Companion,
to offer that hope which anchors
us in God’s heart;
to place our feet firmly
on that rock called peace;
to bring us safely to that haven
filled with God’s steadfast love
.

God in Community, Holy in One,
Rock of every age,
we offer the prayer Jesus has taught us,
Our Father . . .

— written by Thom Shuman, and posted on his Lectionary Liturgies website.  

Call to Worship Litany: Psalm 62: 5-12

Our salvation and honour come from God alone.

He is our refuge, and a Rock of safety.

We wait quietly before God, for our hope is in him,

our Rock and our Salvation.

O my people, trust him at all times.

Pour out your heart to him, for he is our refuge.

We wait quietly before God, for our hope is in him,

our Rock and our Salvation.

From the greatest to the lowliest—all are nothing in his sight.

If you weigh them on the scales, they are lighter than a puff of air.

We wait quietly before God, for our hope is in him,

our Rock and our Salvation.

Don’t try to get rich by extortion or robbery.

And if your wealth increases, don’t make it the centre of your life.

We wait quietly before God, for our hope is in him,

our Rock and our Salvation.

God has spoken plainly—we have heard it many times.

Power, O God, belongs to you; unfailing love, O Lord, is yours.

We wait quietly before God, for our hope is in him,

our Rock and our Salvation.

— based on the New Living Translation.

Call to Worship Litany

(based on Isaiah 40:21-31)

Have you not known?

Even youths will faint and be weary,

and the young will fall exhausted;

but we who wait for the Lord shall renew our strength.

Have you not heard?

We shall mount up with wings like eagles.

Has it not been told you from the beginning?

We shall run and not be weary.

Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

We shall walk and not be faint.

They who wait for the Lord.

We who wait for the Lord.

— written by Katherine Hawker, and posted on her Liturgies Outside website. 

Sending Out: Good Friday

Here is a responsive closing for a Good Friday service.  It was written by Rev. Gord and posted on Worship Offerings.

Good Friday Sending

The story has been told,

and now we return to the world where we live and wait.

The worship is over?

No, the worship continues while we wait and watch.

Our worship will close after the stone has been removed

and the flame of hope has been re-lit.

So we go out to wait,

we watch for the hope that defies despair,

the life that defies death,

the beginning that defies the end.

While we wait,

while darkness covers the land of faith,

remember that no matter how abandoned we may feel

we are not alone.

God has not and will not abandon us.

Thanks be to God. Amen.

~ posted by Rev Gord on his blog, Worship Offerings. http://worshipofferings.blogspot.ca/


Prayer of Intercession

(Luke 21, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, Psalm 25:1-10)

Our Lord Jesus calls us to watch and pray, so let’s do that now,

responding to Lord, in your mercy with come and save your people.

Lord Jesus, thank you for coming in the flesh at Bethlehem, and for coming to us whenever we gather in your name. Keep us alert and watchful through the dark night of this world, and give us confidence as we wait for your coming in glory.

Lord, in your mercy… come and save your people.

We pray for your church—its people and pastors. Keep us alert and watchful in support of one another, guard us from everything false and untrue, and shine on us with the light of your holy word.

Lord, in your mercy… come and save your people.

We pray for the people of the world. Wake all people up to your just judgment and to your saving blood.  Keep us alert and watchful as your witnesses in the world.

Lord, in your mercy… come and save your people.

We pray for the nations. Lift the eyes of those in authority to their duty to govern wisely and well, for the good of all. Curb all terror and replace it with peace.  Keep us alert and watchful to serve you by giving good service to others on our daily lives.

Lord, in your mercy… come and save your people.

Thank you for providing us with everything we need for daily living. Bring relief to all those affected by drought, and poverty. Keep us alert and watchful to the needs of others, and move us to give generously to appeals at Christmas time.

Lord, in your mercy… come and save your people.

Lord, stand by those who wake or watch or weep. Rest those who are weary. Soothe those who suffer.  Shield those who prosper. And come to those we know in particular need and whom we now name silently in our hearts… (brief silence)

Lord, in your mercy… come and save your people.

Lord Jesus, we do not know the day or the hour that you will come with great power and glory. Keep us always alert and watchful so we may welcome you with joy. For you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever.  Amen.

~ posted on the Lutheran Church of Australia’s Worship Planning Page. http://www.lca.org.au/

Here’s a call to worship and opening prayer based on the scripture readings for Proper 8 B (Ordinary 13 B).  They come from the Ministry Matters website.

Call to Worship

(based on Psalm 130)

Wait for the Lord, like those who hope in God’s mercy.
God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Watch for God, like those who eagerly await the morning.
We watch for God, whose power redeems us.
Hear God’s hopeful word, like those who long for pardon.
Sing praise to God and rejoice in God’s love.

Opening Prayer

(inspired by Mark 5:21-43)

Loving God,
we are yours.
We come as we are,
with our cares and concerns.
We long to touch you
and find healing in your embrace.
Strengthen our faith
and heal our brokenness,
that we may worship you with joy. Amen.

— adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2009, © 2008 Abingdon Press.  Posted on the Ministry Matters website. http://www.ministrymatters.com/


Pastoral Prayer for Lent 2 B

(inspired by Mark 8:31-38)

God of compassion, the way of the cross is as much a mystery to us as it was to the immediate followers of Jesus. But we have heard how your grace is exercised in the journey of suffering and rejection experienced by Jesus. Help us to hear with ears inspired, to see with eyes opened to your ways, and to respond with lives committed to your service.

God of our Lenten journey, we watch and walk with Jesus.

We repent O God. We cannot name our own cross even though we try. You must show us the cross you give us. Help us see. Give us the faith to respond and follow Jesus. We have heard that it is in losing our life for the sake of Gospel of Jesus that we find our life.

God of our Lenten journey, we watch and walk with Jesus.

— from The Prayers of Our Church, written by Bishop Telmor Sartison.  Posted on the Worship website of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. 


The Path Ahead

(based on Mark 13: 24-37)

Watch out! Be alert!

Christ comes when you least expect it.

     In the beggar on the street,

     In the loved one at our table,

     In the stranger in our pew,

     In the refugee on our shores,

     In the hour of birth.

     In the hour of death.

With judgement and mercy, Christ comes.

Watch out! Be alert!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

     will

be with you now and always.

Amen!

— written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s HomepageVisit his site for other wonderful lectionary-based worship resources.

 

Call to Confession:

Nothing makes our lack of control more obvious than our current situation; let us confess our reliance on God.

Confession:

Lord, we had the best laid plans. The teacher were teaching, the doctors were healing, the calendars were full. And we had everything set. But plans are ephemeral, the illusion of control. Now all our best laid plans fail. We cobble together new ones, but they are ragged and imperfect. We have no best laid plans. All we have is you, O God. Be with us we pray. (Silent confession) Amen.

Adapted from Best Laid Plans Prayer by Barb & Len’s daughter, Rev. Katy Stenta. https://katyandtheword.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/best-laid-plans-prayer/

EXEGESIS

Exegetical excerpts from my faves among the links below can be found at https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcFWlDPYFyomsajWcw

Greek lectionary for vv. 1-8 What is the foundation of your life?  And second, what is the destiny of life? Jesus as the cornerstone (cf. 12:10) and the days of fulfillment. The disciples actually ask, “Where are these stones from/What kind of stones are these?” (no adjective) http://lectionarygreek.blogspot.com/2012/11/mark-131-8.html

Greek lectionary for vv.24-37 Power and suffering/tribulations in the passage http://lectionarygreek.blogspot.com/2011/11/mark-1324-37.html

NL links re this passage: https://www.workingpreacher.org/search/Default.aspx?cx=001947499050786061073:fplx-aun2rq&q=mark%2013:1-8,%2024-37&cof=FORID:10&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&search_domain=WWW

Includes these individual links:

A take on the apocalyptic power of the God https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2586

The birthpangs of deliverance—and remaining ready. Parallels between the times Jesus says the master may return and the upcoming betrayals related to his Passion. Yet there is still hope even for the faithless disciples. http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=4239

What about the apocalyptic Jesus? it may be an important reminder to hear an ancient prophet cry out about the fragile nature of the world.  https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2663

NL Holy Week context. How is Jesus near? In the Passion, the night, the darkness.** http://download.luthersem.edu/media/working_preacher/narrative/216WPNarrative.mp3

Mark 3:1-8 as apocalyptic https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=442

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