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Narrative Lectionary

The Pastoral is Political: Who’s in Charge?

Last Sunday I preached on the Narrative Lectionary, which took up the large swatch of Mark 12:1-17 with the stories of the wicked tenants (who kept beating & killing the vineyard owner’s representatives) and the paying of taxes to Caesar.

There are a lot of battles in our country right now about who is in charge.

Who is in charge the coronavirus response: Trump? Pence? The CDC? Johns Hopkins? Who is charge of the Democratic party: Sanders? Biden? The voters? Fear? Who is in charge of the government: the legislature? the judiciary? the executive?

The wicked tenants forgot who it all belonged to. They tried to deny access and participation to the one who planned, planted, cared for–and owned–the vineyard. They didn’t understand where the real power was. Sometimes we don’t understand that either. Those looking at the denarius with Jesus are asked whose image is on that coin. In their concern for what to do with their money, they neglect the question of what to do with themselves. When we look at human beings and ask whose image we are in,  we are reminded whose we are. There is no compartment of our lives where being made in the image of God doesn’t count. All parts of our lives our part of the transformative work of God. In all areas, we are called upon to put God first.

There are big issues in our country right now that I really care about. But I have a hard time figuring out how to take action on things like the coronavirus and the election. As I seek to find how and where I am called to take action (as well as pray!), I renew my remembrance that I am made in God’s image. And so are all the people in the world-even those where that image seems very blunted. All parts of me, and all people including me, belong to God in all that we do–when we pray and act; when we serve; when we self-quarantine or not; when we work or not; when and where we contribute; when we vote or not; when we buy or sell or both; when we help; when we speak and listen; when we share–when God works in and through us and we and the world are transformed.

NL: The Greatest Commandment and the Widow’s Mite: Mark 12:28-44 (March 22, 2020/Fourth Sunday of Lent)

Note: This passage raises questions about what Jesus means by noting the widow’s contribution. It is not clear whether he is commending her, condemning the authorities and/or both. We serve a congregation where we have many people living on fixed incomes in homes that are already paid for and who have very little, if any, “expendable” income, so caution and prayer are in order!  For a discussion of the pitfalls of the passage, see

http://www.ekklesiaproject.org/blog/2012/11/the-lord-upholds-the-orphan-and-the-widow/ devouring the widows as primary to understanding “the widow’s mite”

EXEGESIS

From Working Preacher from the NL perspective: http://www.workingpreacher.org/search/Default.aspx?cx=001947499050786061073:fplx-aun2rq&q=:Mark%2012:28-44%20&cof=FORID:10&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&search_domain=WWW

Includes https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2585 addressing the horizontal/neighbor dimension as the necessary corollary to the vertical/Godward directive to love God and the widow’s mite as admirable due to her motivation.

Includes https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2585 which notes this is (for a change) a friendly scribe. Only addresses vv. 28-34.

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1272 also addresses only vv.28-34 from the perspective of a communal (rather than individual) identity.

Includes https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2662, which notes that widow’s mite is tied to what comes before and, in addition to being about giving one’s all, it exposed the religious leaders for their hypocrisy. And, it may just expose us all!

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2585 Podcast: If you can’t remember all the commandments, can you at least do two?  Simple—but not easy. vv. 28-34

https://www.workingpreacher.org/narrative_podcast.aspx?podcast_id=730 Podcast addressing the status of the poor widow and the most vulnerable and her living out the loving of neighbor of the great commandment in the context of the temple & Jesus’ interactions with the religious leaders of the day. vv. 35-44.

Other exegetical resources

https://www.epriest.com/reflections/view/1071/en Catholic resource addressing love beyond formalism, love at the heart of our perfection.

https://episcopalchurch.org/library/sermon/there-are-times-proper-26-b-1997 This sermon includes an illustration and a poem; only addresses vv. 28-34.

http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/ref/collection/uni_sermons/id/3110 Sermon addressing loving God in the different ways of the passage (only vv. 28-34).

https://blog.reformedjournal.com/2016/03/07/love-your-neighbor-as-yourself/ What keeps you from loving your neighbor? Busyness? Not wanting to see need? Uses Bob Dylan’s quote:  “May you always do for others and let others do for you” and has a story illustrating letting others do for you.

https://www.thebanner.org/columns/2018/08/serving-while-living-with-disabilities  “Serving while living with disabilities” Every person is called to serve as they are able. Everybody belongs. Everybody serves. Addresses vv. 35-44.

https://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/1871/whole-personed-spirituality Pastor’s Bible study addressing the synoptic versions of the Great Commandment. Addresses vv. 28-34.

https://www.theologyofwork.org/the-high-calling/management-self-management-deuteronomy-6-sermon-notes Sermon series on loving God and loving neighbor.

Liturgical Resources

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/10/readers-theatre-mark-12-28-34.html  Reader’s theater version of Mark 12:28-34

Here’s the link to my bulletin https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcEOBjQ3Twy3sqAMzQ

Prayer Reflection: Mark 12: 28-34

“Love the Lord, your God
with all your heart
with all your soul
and with all
your mind.”


Lord,
let this be.
Show us how.

“And love your neighbor as yourself.”

Lord
let this be
Take us where
we surely need to go.

Let
your love be
the lens that lets us see,
the power that enlivens our lives,
light that points to the path,
and the very grace
that saves
us.

Kindly fill us with your love.

— A. Osdieck. Copyright © 2011, The Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University. Visit that site for other lectionary-based prayers.

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/06/call-to-worship-index-new-testament.html

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/06/prayer-index-new-testament.html

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2017/03/confession-assurance-index-new-testament.html

Benediction: The Lord is One

Here’s a closing commission and benediction based on Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Matthew 12:28-34.  It was written by Nathan Nettleton.

Commission & Benediction

(inspired by Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Matthew 12:28-34)


Hear this: the Lord our God is the one and only Lord.
Therefore go out into the world
and love the Lord your God 
with all your heart, soul, mind and strength,
and love others as you love yourself.

And may God give you justice and freedom;
May Christ Jesus set you free for love;
and may the Holy Spirit go where you go
……..and protect you on your way.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
In the name of Christ. Amen.

~ Copyright © 2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Children’s message (includes hymn & prayer of confession, see below)

http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2015/10/year-b-proper-26-31st-sunday-in.html

 Sing one song with which to love God and one about loving each other.  Introduce each identifying its purpose.  Two possibilities:

“For the Beauty of the Earth” for loving God

“Lord Help Us Accept Each Other” for loving each other

>  Base the Prayer of Confession on the two great commandments.  As you do, remember that children respond more to specifics than to generalities.  So you may want to name the currently “in” sport rather than simply “our sports.”  Read the commandments just before the congregation prays as follows

Lord God, we know that you are ONE and that you are the center of the whole universe

but we treat all sorts of things as if

they were more important than the one true God.

We say we give our hearts to you

but often our hearts are more devoted to

what we wear, to our sports, and to our friends.

We pour out our souls to you when we need you

but not when life is smooth and easy.

We mean to love you with all our minds

but our minds stray to what we want

and what others are saying.

We are more likely to use our strength to get what we need and want

than to get what you want for us and those around us.

We love the neighbors we choose to love

and only when they love us back.

Forgive us.  Write your commands on our hearts and souls and in our minds.  Work it into our muscles so that we may truly be your people.

We pray in the name of Jesus who poured out his heart and soul and mind and strength for us and forgives us when we turn on him.  Amen.

SONGS:

HYMNS
Christ is made the sure foundation   ELW 645, H82 518, NCH 400, UMH 559
Blessing and Honor   ELW 854

Hymnary.org: https://hymnary.org/texts?qu=Mark+12%3A28-34&media=text&page=0

A new source I just found for contemporary Christian songs that includes the NL passages can be found at:

https://wordtoworship.com/search/node/%7BMark%2012:28-44;%20Psalm%2089:1-4%7D

For this pericope, they list:

No Other Gods

By David Moffitt. As performed by ZOE Group.

Related to verse(s): Mark 12:28-34
Related to tags(s): Reign (via Mark 12:36);

 

Love the Lord

By Lincoln Brewster.

Related to verse(s): Mark 12:30; Mark 12:33
Related to tags(s): Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

Hear Our Song

By Jadon Lavik, Marc Byrd, et al.

Related to verse(s): Psalm 89:1-2

 

Pour My Love On You

By Dan Dean, Gary Sadler.

Related to verse(s): Psalm 89:1
Related to tags(s): Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42); Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

Sing Of Your Great Love

By Darlene Zschech.

Related to verse(s): Psalm 89:1
Related to tags(s): Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

Look To You

By Marty Sampson.

Related to verse(s): Mark 12:32
Related to tags(s): Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

While We Still Have Time

By Ted Wortham, Cynthia Biggs. As performed by Cindy & Roy.

Related to verse(s): Mark 12:38
Related to tags(s): Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

You Are The One

By Keith Green, Melody Green-Sievright.

Related to verse(s): Psalm 89:2
Related to tags(s): Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

More Love More Power

By Jude Del Hierro.

Related to verse(s): Mark 12:30
Related to tags(s): Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever

By Martin Smith. As performed by Delirious?, SONICFLOOd, Encounter Worship Band.

Related to verse(s): Psalm 89:1
Related to tags(s): Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

You Are Mine

By Brad Avery, David Carr, et al. As performed by Third Day.

Related to tags(s): Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42); Faithfulness (via Psalm 89:1; Mark 12:30); Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

Come Now is the Time to Worship

By Brian Doerksen.

Related to verse(s): Mark 12:30

 

Beautiful Saviour

By Stuart Townend.

Related to verse(s): Psalm 89:1

 

Winter Snow

By Audrey Assad.

Related to verse(s): Mark 12:33

 

Back where i belong

As performed by Life Worship.

Related to verse(s): Psalm 89:4

 

To Know Your Name

By Matt Crocker. As performed by Hillsong.

Related to tags(s): Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42); Mercy (via Psalm 89:1); Love (via Mark 12:30); Name of Jesus (via Mark 12:35);

 

Concrete Castle King

By Lloyd Oliver Willis Sr.. As performed by Dennis Brown.

Related to verse(s): Mark 12:38

 

No Greater Love

By Audrey Assad, Chris Tomlin, et al.

Related to tags(s): Poverty (via Mark 12:41); Love (via Mark 12:30); Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42);

 

Kings & Queens

By Chuck Butler, Joel Parisien, et al. As performed by Audio Adrenaline.

Related to tags(s): Poverty (via Mark 12:41); Social Justice (via Mark 12:31; Mark 12:40); Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

If We Are The Body

By Mark Hall.

Related to tags(s): Social Justice (via Mark 12:31; Mark 12:40); Mercy (via Psalm 89:1); Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

Compassion Hymn

By Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, et al.

Related to tags(s): Social Justice (via Mark 12:31; Mark 12:40); Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42);

 

God Of Justice

By Tim Hughes.

Related to tags(s): Social Justice (via Mark 12:31; Mark 12:40); Poverty (via Mark 12:41); Justice (via Mark 12:31);

 

The Lost are Found

By Ben Fielding, Sam Knock.

Related to tags(s): Social Justice (via Mark 12:31; Mark 12:40); Mercy (via Psalm 89:1); Justice (via Mark 12:31);

 

One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)

By Brian Johnson, Christa Black, et al. As performed by Kristian Stanfill, Jesus Culture, Bethel Live.

Related to tags(s): Love (via Mark 12:30); Faithfulness (via Psalm 89:1; Mark 12:30);

 

Lead Me

By Chris Rohman, Jason Ingram, et al.

Related to tags(s): Love (via Mark 12:30); Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42);

 

The Power Of The Cross

By Keith Getty, Stuart Townend.

Related to tags(s): Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42); Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

Emmanuel

By Vicky Beeching.

Related to tags(s): Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42); Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

Oh, Great Love Of God

By David Crowder, Mark Waldrop, et al. As performed by David Crowder Band.

Related to tags(s): Love (via Mark 12:30); Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42);

 

My Hope

By Edward Mote, Matt Redman, et al.

Related to tags(s): Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42); Name of Jesus (via Mark 12:35);

 

This Is How We Know

By Beth Redman, Matt Redman.

Related to tags(s): Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42); Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

Ancient Skies

By Michael Gungor, Michael Rossback. As performed by Gungor.

Related to tags(s): Faithfulness (via Psalm 89:1; Mark 12:30); Mercy (via Psalm 89:1);

 

I Will Go

By Allen Salmon, Jon Neufeld, et al. As performed by Starfield.

Related to tags(s): Social Justice (via Mark 12:31; Mark 12:40); Poverty (via Mark 12:41);

 

Rock Of Ages You Will Stand

By Brenton Brown, Paul Baloche.

Related to tags(s): Love (via Mark 12:30); Faithfulness (via Psalm 89:1; Mark 12:30);

 

Micah 6:8

By Charlie Hall.

Related to tags(s): Justice (via Mark 12:31); Mercy (via Psalm 89:1); Witness (via Mark 12:33);

 

Jesus You Are Worthy

By Brenton Brown, Don Williams.

Related to tags(s): Mercy (via Psalm 89:1); Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42);

 

Jesus Messiah

By Chris Tomlin, Daniel Carson, et al.

Related to tags(s): Messiah (via Mark 12:36); Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42);

 

How Beautiful

By Twila Paris.

Related to tags(s): Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42); Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

Offering

By Brad Avery, David Carr, et al.

Related to tags(s): Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42); Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

I Will Always Love Your Name

By Paul Oakley.

Related to tags(s): Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42); Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

Obsession

By Martin Smith.

Related to tags(s): Faithfulness (via Psalm 89:1; Mark 12:30); Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

There Is A Redeemer

By Melody Green-Sievright.

Related to tags(s): Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42); Messiah (via Mark 12:36);

 

How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

By Stuart Townend. As performed by Instrumental Worship.

Related to tags(s): Love (via Mark 12:30); Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42);

 

Good To Me

By Craig Musseau.

Related to tags(s): Faithfulness (via Psalm 89:1; Mark 12:30); Mercy (via Psalm 89:1);

 

You Never Let Go

By Beth Redman, Matt Redman.

Related to tags(s): Faithfulness (via Psalm 89:1; Mark 12:30); Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

Almighty

By Brenton Brown, Paul Baloche.

Related to tags(s): Judgment (via Mark 12:40); Kingdom (via Psalm 89:4); Mercy (via Psalm 89:1);

 

Forever

By Chris Tomlin. As performed by Encounter Worship Band, Robin Mark.

Related to tags(s): Love (via Mark 12:30); Faithfulness (via Psalm 89:1; Mark 12:30);

 

Amazing Love

By Graham Kendrick.

Related to tags(s): Love (via Mark 12:30); Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42);

 

You Are Good

By Israel Houghton.

Related to tags(s): Faithfulness (via Psalm 89:1; Mark 12:30); Mercy (via Psalm 89:1);

 

Sweetly Broken

By Jeremy Riddle.

Related to tags(s): Justice (via Mark 12:31); Mercy (via Psalm 89:1); Love (via Mark 12:30);

 

You Bled

By Rend Collective Experiment.

Related to tags(s): Sacrifice (via Mark 12:33; Mark 12:42); Love (via Mark 12:30);

NL: Mark 10:17-31 “The Rich Young Man” (March 1, 2020?)

https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcAKyY5pnXsGsK8Axw

Narrative Lectionary: Advent 4 Luke 1:5-25, 57-80 (Psalm 113)

NEWLY ADDED: Word study (from Blue Letter Bible site):

https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgbxn81cx4nLTOazOfA

 

Luke 1:5-25, 57-80

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=4222

Stresses the parallels between Abraham/Sarai and John/Elizabeth and the long history leading to salvation.

https://clergystuff.com/daily-devotions/luke-15-13-57-80-zechariahs-song

Devotional on Zechariah’s song and John as the last prophet of the Messiah (newly discovered NL site)

http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2305-08532013000100035

This dramatic, scholarly monologue, examines the events that Luke 1 recounts, retelling them from the eyewitness viewpoint of Elizabeth, from a female and gynocentric perspective.

https://www.preceptaustin.org/luke-1-commentary

Multiple translations & commentaries of Luke 1 presented in interlinear fashion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benedictus_(Song_of_Zechariah)

Wikipedia on Song of Zechariah

https://zenit.org/articles/reflection-on-canticle-of-zechariah/

Pope John Paul II on the Song of Zechariah

https://www.efca.org/blog/understanding-scripture/advent-devotional-zechariah%E2%80%99s-song-benedictus-luke-167-79-cf-15-25-57

Exegetical commentary on Song of Zechariah from the Evangelical Free Church tradition

https://www.truthforlife.org/resources/sermon/zechariahs-song/

https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/truth-for-life/

Sermons on Zechariah’s Song by Alistair Begg (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alistair_Begg)

https://www.lifeway.com/en/articles/sermon-christmas-zecharaiah-song-benedictus-luke-1   Sermon: What did Zechariah sing? Includes retelling of story in Buechner-style fashion

https://spaciousfaith.com/new-testament-texts/luke-15-25/

Another one that reminds me of Buechner, but more pointed at the listeners than the last

https://www.salvationarmy.org.nz/zechariah%E2%80%99s-song

Sermon Zechariah’s song of salvation focusing on the salvation of the listeners

For Psalm 113 resources, see https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTrw8s7zJwjvREBpy8

For Psalm 113 bulletin, see https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTry3rylKpfkNxFuf6

For a sermon (in two voices) on Psalm 113 focusing on word study, see https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTry4vtnRwmk5Lx4b1

For bulletin on Song of Zechariah/Fourth Sunday of Advent which we are treating as joy:    Includes opening prayer, call to worship, rite of confession, hymns, offering prayer, Advent candle lighting (but we are calling this Sunday “joy.”)  https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgbxGz2NX22aFtG-eCA

Images

Newly discovered site for NL bulletin covers and other NL resources!! https://clergystuff.com/free-stuff#narrative-lectionary-2019-20-bulletin-covers  Look for Zechariah’s song

Music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwavglPhNGA

James Beuaregard’s song is based on Luke 1:67-79; request chords/lyrics/notation from jamesbeauregardmusic@gmail.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rYw41Tkk_c

Chant of Canticle of Zechariah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feBexmmxpjo

Vaughn-Williams version of Song of Zechariah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne9DOokin9s

A contemporary take with Powerpoint including lyrics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm-2aEZKh4k

An animated musical theater-style version of Zechariah’s song (likely entitled “His name is John!”)

Luke 1:57-80 hymns (Presbyterian Hymnal)

1.68-79

1 Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

2 Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

186 Thy Mercy and Thy Truth, O Lord

204 Psalm 72

205 All Hail to God’s Anointed

230 This Is the Day the Lord Hath Made

236 Now Israel May Say

423 Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun

601 Song of Zechariah (Benedictus) *

602 Song of Zechariah (Benedictus) *

1.78-79

4 Creator of the Stars of Night

5.3 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

9.2 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

20 Watchman, Tell Us of the Night

30.2 Born in the Night, Mary’s Child

31.3 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

32 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

68.3 What Star Is This, with Beams So Bright

69 O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright

141.2 A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing

301.3 Lord Jesus, Think on Me

454.2+3 Blessed Jesus, at Your Word

462 Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies

463 Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies

506.1+2 Deck Yourself, My Soul, with Gladness

510.1+5 Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts

511.1+5 Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts

548.1+2 O Radiant Light, O Sun Divine

549.1 O Gladsome Light

550.1 O Light Whose Splendor Thrills

 

Psalm 113 PH

113

204 Psalm 72

205 All Hail to God’s Anointed

225 Praise the Lord! *

226 Sing Praise Unto the Name of God *

253 I’ll Praise My Maker

254 Psalm 146

600 Song of Mary (Magnificat)

113.1-4

185 Psalm 33

213 God, Our Lord, a King Remaining

214 O Come and Sing Unto the Lord

215 Come, Sing with Joy to God

220 All People That on Earth Do Dwell

227 Not Unto Us, O Lord of Heaven

423 Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun

477 Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim

491 Stand Up and Bless the Lord

113.3

205.3 All Hail to God’s Anointed

229.3 From All That Dwell Below the Skies

423.1 Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun

473.5 For the Beauty of the Earth

546 The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended

113.4-6

148 At the Name of Jesus

155 Rejoice, the Lord Is King

185.10 Psalm 33

191.3 God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength

194 Peoples, Clap Your Hands!

204.8-11 Psalm 72

205.3+4 All Hail to God’s Anointed

213 God, Our Lord, a King Remaining

227.1 Not Unto Us, O Lord of Heaven

259.1 A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

113.5-9

49.2 Once in Royal David’s City

67.4 Brightest and Best of the Stars of the Morning

253.2+3 I’ll Praise My Maker

254.9 Psalm 146

332 Live Into Hope

600.4 Song of Mary (Magnificat)

 

Narrative Lectionary Advent 2: Isaiah 40:1-11 (December 8, 2019)

Image from https://www.facebook.com/IVCF2100/photos/a.270824899621445/602942626409669/?type=3&theater

This one is less mature/developed than some I have done, but there is a lot out there since this is also RCL.

EXEGESIS

https://www.ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhc4.Is.xli.html

As if it were designed for a prophetic summary of the New Testament, it begins with that which begins the gospels, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness” (ch. xl. 3), and concludes with that which concludes the book of the Revelation, “The new heavens and the new earth,” (ch. lxvi. 22).

 

Speak to the heart of Jerusalem (v. 2); speak that which will revive her heart, and be a cordial to her and to all that belong to her and wish her well. Do not whisper it, but cry unto her: cry aloud, to show saints their comforts as well as to show sinners their transgressions; make her hear it:”

 

We must get into such a frame of spirit as will dispose us to receive Christ and his gospel: “Prepare you the way of the Lord; prepare yourselves for him, and let all that be suppressed which would be an obstruction to his entrance. Make room for Christ: Make straight a highway for him.

 

http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=3491

(RCL context) Images, juxtapositions and sudden, surprising comfort

 

http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2254 (RCL context) Three proclamations build on the imperative to comfort God’s people in verse 1: highway in the desert; the Words; heralding good tidings.

 

http://www.textweek.com/prophets/isaiah40a.htm “Voices Crying Out: Comfort and Transformation in an Age of Mass Incarceration,”

“How might Christians raise awareness of different forms of exile in our nation and world?”

 

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1099 (NL context)

Double imperative: Comfort! Comfort! The people of Jerusalem are not “deserving” of comfort according to the norms of retributive justice, but God insists — no, commands — that they be comforted.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0H4DcY7g3R8&feature=youtu.be

Two minute Youtube video on “The people are like grass.”

 

See complete list of Isaiah 40:1-11 Working Preacher commentaries at https://www.workingpreacher.org/search/Default.aspx?cx=001947499050786061073:fplx-aun2rq&q=Isaiah%2040&cof=FORID:10&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&search_domain=WWW

 

Preaching and Worship resources from Calvin College’s curated resources

https://preachingandworship.org/search/Isaiah%2040%3A1-11?per_page=5&utm_expid=.L5KxfuTYSbqP5Sj9IZIYNA.1&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fpreachingandworship.org%2F

 

 

TEXT

Jewish Bible translation

https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15971/jewish/Chapter-40.htm

Paraphrase

http://laughingbird.net/ScriptureParaphrases.html   Go to site: Prophets: Isaiah 40

Word study

 

Comfort

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5162&t=KJV

 

speaking comfortably

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H3820&t=KJV

 

bringing good tidings

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1319&t=KJV

 

 

LITURGY RESOURCES

 

BULLETIN

Advent candlelighting; opening prayer; call to worship; rite of confession; hymns; offering prayer; and a confession of faith. Please note **/*** at the end indicating sources and give appropriate credit. If not **/*** then from Barb Hedges-Goettl, please give credit if using/adapting these as well. Thank you.

https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgbczUlfR4L9bVY0YzQ

 

LITURGICAL PIECES

Prayers

http://laughingbird.net/ScriptureParaphrases.html  Under Prophets: Isaiah: 40

 

Call to worship

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2011/11/call-to-worship-isaiah-40-1-11.html

 

Opening liturgy

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2011/11/opening-liturgy-isaiah-40-1-11.html

 

More from worship.blogspot.com at

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/search?q=+Isaiah+40

Scroll down to see the Isaiah 40 links

 

In the context of Blue Christmas/Longest Night; if you’re not doing a separate service, you could provide for folks in need of this kind of a service this week. See

https://cmbs.mennonitebrethren.ca/worship_resources/blue-christmas-longest-night/

 

MUSIC
Hymns

https://sermonwriter.com/hymn-list/isaiah-401-11-hymns/

 

https://hymnary.org/browse/scripture/Isaiah/40

 

Handel’s “Messiah”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_dfK-LGFNw

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAw-sRbnU34

 

IMAGES

https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ACYBGNSEa08Vqn48U-athg6nxl2LirYBaA:1575413346344&q=images+isaiah+40:1-11&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiL-oeHyJrmAhWxTt8KHaWsCVQQsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=1242&bih=597

 

https://janrichardsonimages.com/search.php?search=isaiah+40&match_type=all

Note: these are copyrighted and available for a fee or if you pay to be a member.

A Chrismons Worship Service

The underlined numbers indicate that a (numbered so they know which is which) Chrismon ornament is to be hung by congregants.

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming (#1 – Flower ornament)

Opening Prayer

Creator of the stars of night, Your people’s everlasting light,O Christ, Redeemer of us all, We pray you, Hear us when we call.

Amen. (#2 Star ornament)

 

Advent Candle Lighting: Hope                                                                          Jeremiah 33:14-18

We light this candle as a sign of the hope found in Christ. Advent means coming.                  We are preparing ourselves for the days which are surely coming. In those days, says the Lord, “I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.” Our Hope, our Lord, Emmanuel is coming. Thanks be to God! Amen.

Call to Worship: Go Tell It on the Mountain  (#3 – Horn ornament)    Blue Hymnal, 29, v. 1

Go, tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere;                                                      Go, tell it on the mountain That Jesus Christ is born!                                                                    While shepherds kept their watching O’er silent flocks by night,                                            Behold throughout the heavens There shone a holy light

Go, tell it on the mountain O’er the hills and everywhere;                                                        Go, tell it on the mountain That Jesus Christ is born!                                                                 (#4 – Lamp and torch ornaments)

Jesus is the Light                                                                                                           John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was  in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Jesus is the Word (#5 – Bible ornament)

Song: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!                                                    Blue Hymnal, 31 v. 1 & 3

Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King.                                                     Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!”                                            Joyful all ye nations, rise, Join the triumph of the skies;                                                              With th’angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!”                                           Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King.

Hail the heav’nborn Prince of Peace! Hail the sun of righteousness!                                    Light and life to all He brings, ris’n with healing in His wings.                                                    Mild He lays His glory by, Born that we no more may die,                                                       Born to raise us from the earth, Born to give us second birth.                                           Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King.

We are joined to Jesus in baptism                                                                              Romans 6:3-5

 3All of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 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.     (#6 – Seashell ornament)

Song: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling             Blue Hymnal, 376, v. 1-2                                 Love divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heav’n, to earth come down,                                     Fix in us Thy humble dwelling, All Thy faithful mercies crown!                                       Jesus, Thou art all compassion, Pure, unbounded love Thou art;                                         Visit us with Thy salvation, Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit Into every troubled breast.                                          Let us all in Thee inherit, Let us find Thy promised rest;                                                      Take away the love of sinning: Alpha and Omega be;                                                             End of faith as its beginning, Set our hearts at liberty.

Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega (#7 -Alpha and omega ornament)    Revelation 21:5, 6-7 And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Then he said to me,…“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.            To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

Invitation to Confession                                                                                                                        As we await the coming of Jesus, we know that our lives are in need of his healing touch. Let us join together in confessing our sins and shortcomings.

Prayer of Confession (unison)

God of grace and truth, in Jesus Christ you come among us as light shining in darkness. We confess that we do not always welcome the light, or trust the news to be good.  We do not see your glory in our midst. We expect little, and hope for less.   Forgive our doubt. Renew our hope so that we may receive the fullness of your grace, and live in the truth of Christ the Lord.  (Silent confession.)

Assurance of Pardon (Rom. 8:34)                                                                         Pastor Barb

Hear the good news! Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us.

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

Christ died and rose for us (#8 – Cross and Butterfly ornaments)             

*Response: O Come, All Ye Faithful                                                                      Blue Hymnal, 41

Sing, choirs of angels, Sing in exultation! Sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above!

Glory to God, all Glory in the highest! O Come let us adore him,

O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him, Christ, the Lord!

Christ Jesus brings us peace (# 9 – Dove and Chi-Rho ornaments)

Passing 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

Christ came as a baby (# 10 – Manger ornament)

Offering Hymn What Child is This                                                    Blue Hymnal, 53, v. 1 & 3

What child is this, who, laid to rest, On Mary’s lap is sleeping?                                        Whom angels greet with anthems sweet While shepherds watch are keeping?                  This, this is Christ the King, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:                             Haste, haste to bring him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary!

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh; Come, one and all to own Him.                              The King of Kings salvation brings; Let loving hearts enthrone Him.                                    This, this is Christ the King, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:                                      Haste, haste to bring him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary!

* Hymn of Praise and Dedication O Little Town of Bethlehem      Blue Hymnal, 44, v.2 & 3

How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given!                                                              So God imparts to human hearts The blessings of His heav’n                                                      No ear may hear his coming, But in this world of sin,                                                        Where meek souls may receive him still, The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem, Descend to us, we pray;                                                                      Cast out our sin and enter in, Be born in us today.                                                                          We hear the Christmas angels their great glad tidings tell;                                                           O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.

* Prayer of Dedication (unison)                                                                   Pastor Barb

O God, fill us with gratitude overflowing that we may share life and love. Bless these gifts of money, of food and of ourselves. Inspire us to praise you in all that we do, this day and throughout all our lives. In the name of Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit we pray, Amen.                                                                                                                                         

Meditation: The Christmas Feast (#11-Cup ornament)

https://books.google.com/books?id=98JtDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT58&lpg=PT58&dq=christmas+manna+in+the+wilderness&source=bl&ots=4Zq1DQ8aqB&sig=ACfU3U0KeFut1yYlhw2qnu4VroNl685FUw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj8vsrmg4TmAhWDl-AKHbqUCFcQ6AEwG3oECA0QAQ#v=onepage&q=christmas%20manna%20in%20the%20wilderness&f=false

Special Music: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence                               (Blue Hymnal, 5)                                       

*Confession of Faith – Nicene Creed (ecumenical)                     Blue Hymnal, p.15

Christ is One with the Trinity (#12-Trinity ornaments)

The Lord’s Supper (from the Book of Common Worship, PCUSA, 1993)

One: The Lord be with you Many: And also with you.                                                                  Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord.                                                                    Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.                                                                                          It is right to give out thanks and praise.

Prayer of Great Thanksgiving

It is truly right and our greatest joy
to give you thanks and praise,
O Lord our God, creator and ruler of the universe.
You formed us in your image
and breathed into us the breath of life.
You set us in this world to love and serve you,
and to live in peace with all that you have made.
When we turned from you,
you did not turn from us.
When we were captives in slavery,
you delivered us to freedom,
and made covenant to be our sovereign God.
When we were stubborn and stiff-necked,
you spoke to us through prophets
who looked for that day
when justice shall triumph
and peace shall reign over all the earth.
Therefore we praise you,
joining our voices with the celestial choirs
and with all the faithful of every time and place,
who forever sing to the glory of your name:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,                                                                            heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

You are holy, O God of majesty,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
You sent him into this world
to satisfy the longings of your people for a Savior,
to bring freedom to the captives of sin,
and to establish justice for the oppressed.
He came among us as one of us,
taking the lot of the poor,
sharing human suffering.
We rejoice that in his death and rising again,
you set before us the sure promise of new life,
the certain hope of a heavenly home
where we will sit at table with Christ our host.

Remembering your gracious acts in Jesus Christ,                                                                       we take from your creation this bread and this wine
and joyfully celebrate his dying and rising,
as we await the day of his coming.
With thanksgiving we offer our very selves to you
to be a living and holy sacrifice,
dedicated to your service.

Gracious God,
pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon these your gifts of bread and wine,
that the bread we break
and the cup we bless
may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ.

By your Spirit make us one with Christ,
that we may be one with all who share this feast,
united in ministry in every place.
As this bread is Christ’s body for us,
send us out to be the body of Christ in the world.

The Bread and the Cup

Prayer after Communion

Faithful God,
your promises stand unshaken through all generations.
Renew us in hope,
that we may be awake and alert
watching for the glorious return of Jesus Christ,
our judge and savior,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

*Closing Hymn Go Tell It on the Mountain   (verse from Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers, PH #15 v. 3)

Go, tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere;                                                        Go, tell it on the mountain That Jesus Christ is born!                                                                The marriage feast is waiting, the gates wide open stand,                                                  Arise, O heirs of glory, The Bridegroom is at hand!

Go, tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere;                                                        Go, tell it on the mountain That Jesus Christ is born!                                                            With hearts and hands uplifted, We plead, O Lord to see,                                                      The day of earth’s redemption, And ever be with Thee,

Go, tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere;                                                    Go, tell it on the mountain That Jesus Christ is born!

*Charge and Benediction                                                             Pastors Barb and Len

Postlude

*Stand in body and/or spirit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                              

 

 

 

 

 

                          

 

 

To reach the pastors, leave a message on church voicemail, text 262/308-2501 or email or Facebook the2revs@aol.com. See our Facebook page: Trinity United Presbyterian Church-Clifton Heights. Webpage at trinityuchurch.org under reconstruction.

 

Our Advent Calendar

Sunday, Dec. 8th-Second Sunday of Advent

Sunday, Dec. 15th-Third Sunday of Advent

Sunday, Dec. 22nd-Fourth Sunday of Advent – Christmas Coffee hour after worship

Tuesday, Dec. 24th-3:30 PM Christmas Eve worship service

 

 

Announcements

Donations for Media Abuse Shelter collected through December 15th.

 

Monday                                                                                                                                           

7:00 Narcotics Anonymous, Runner Hall

Tuesday

7:00 Alcoholics Anonymous, Runner Hall

Wednesday

7:00 Boy Scouts, Runner Hall

 

Next Sunday: Second Sunday of Advent. Pastor Barb at church by 9. Narrative Lectionary:

Isaiah 40:1-11. Pastor Barb preaching.

 

To reach the pastors, leave a message on church voicemail, text 262/308-2501

or email or Facebook the2revs@aol.com. See our Facebook page: Trinity United Presbyterian Church-Clifton Heights. Webpage at trinityuchurch.org under reconstruction.

 

 

Our Advent Calendar

Sunday, Dec. 8th-Second Sunday of Advent

Sunday, Dec. 15th-Third Sunday of Advent

Sunday, Dec. 22nd-Fourth Sunday of Advent – Christmas Coffee hour after worship

Tuesday, Dec. 24th-3:30 PM Christmas Eve worship service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Narrative Lectionary: Isaiah 5:1-7 & 11:1-5 (11/17/19?)

Narrative Lectionary: Isaiah 5:1-7; 11:1-5 (November 17, 2019?) Peaceable kingdom is 11;6-9; some resource below focus more on these additional verses. For another take on God as the vintner, see Psalm 80.

https://thebibleproject.com/videos/isaiah-1-39/

Overview of Isaiah focusing on judgement and hope; doesn’t deal directly with Isaiah 5 but applicable nonetheless; does deal with Isaiah 11’s burned stump’s new branch.

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=4217 The triangle of the poet, the vintner and the vineyard; what one expects vs. what one gets; word plays and metaphors.

http://download.luthersem.edu/media/working_preacher/narrative/197WPNarrative.mp3   Podcast on the two passages.

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2948

Isaiah 5:1-7 suggests that the establishment of a just society in which people do right by those in need was the single desired outcome of God’s relationship with Israel and Judah. By failing to achieve this, they have both angered and grieved God.

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=646

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=3437

Crying out in the face of injustice; for me these two raise the question of how the relationship between God and government/country should be understood in light of the judgment of Isaiah 5–not an easy question in these polarized days.

https://cep.calvinseminary.edu/sermon-starters/proper-15c/?type=old_testament_lectionary

Maybe one way to deal with the God/government question is to take up the passage’s cry to help the underdog and then talk about who that might be. (I’m thinking of starting with a Phils/Cubs illustration!) This exegetical take on the passage is from the Lutheran Seminary folks but from the RCL context. It deals with word play, justice for the underdogs, and God singing the blues.(The peaceable kingdom from Isaiah 11:6-9 could help with this too—who are unlikely companions/friends? How can we make these friendships happen?)

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=832 Answering the fear of Assyria with the fear of God.

RCL context on Isaiah 5 https://episcopalchurch.org/library/sermon/when-we-read-contemporary-proper-15-c-2004 The call to do justice is rooted in God’s love and Christians’ mission to the world.

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2567  Peaceable Kingdom 11: 6-9  God as gardener and what the Isaiah 11 prophecy means in relationship to Jesus

https://biologos.org/articles/o-radix Peaceable Kingdom 11: 6-9 Reflection on Isaiah 11’s root of Jesse/stump image in light of (upcoming) Advent

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=3117 Peaceable Kingdom 11: 6-9

Leading and living with lions (Isaiah 11 incl. 6-9 from NL folks but from RCL context)

https://day1.org/weekly-broadcast/5d9b820ef71918cdf2002b98/not_much_but_enough_for_me  Sermon proclaiming the word of Isaiah: Even though the world has become a living nightmare and even though there is no sign anywhere that peace will ever come, the promise of God is more powerful than the destructiveness of humanity.

http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/ref/collection/uni_sermons/id/620 Sermon (c. 1993) on Isaiah 11:1-10 addressing what it can mean to “set things right.” Lots of illustrations.

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=3 The Peaceable Kingdom

https://day1.org/articles/5d9b820ef71918cdf20037bf/lillian_daniel_a_savior_in_work_boots Repentance (Isaiah 11) in Advent

https://www.americamagazine.org/content/the-word/gods-vineyard Vineyard texts in the Bible

LITURGICAL RESOURCES

Call to Worship from Isaiah 11 (from The Message translation)

Original resource by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting

God send your life-giving Spirit over us–

the Spirit that brings wisdom and understanding.

God send your life-giving Spirit over us–

the Spirit that gives direction and builds strength.

God send your life-giving Spirit over us–

The Spirit that instills knowledge and Fear-of-God.

God send your life-giving Spirit over us—

this day and throughout our lives.

Call to Worship: Advent 2A

Here’s a responsive call to worship inspired by the suggested scripture readings for the second Sunday of Advent, Year A (Isaiah 11: 1-10, Psalm 72: 1-7, 18-19 and Matthew 3: 1-12).  It comes from the Ministry Matters website.

Call to Worship for Advent 2 A

(inspired by Isaiah 11:1-10, Psalm 72, Matthew 3:1-12)

In this season of prophecy, promise, and preparation,

we come to be renewed and refreshed.
We come to be inspired by stories of a messiah
who will change the world—and change us.
We come to listen for words of hope and joy,
promise and challenge.
We come with open ears, open minds, and open hearts.

We come to receive the blessings God has in store for us
in this season of waiting.
Come! Let us worship our God—
the One who brings all things to fulfillment.

~ posted on the Ministry Matters website. http://www.ministrymatters.com/worship/article/entry/4431/worship-elements-december-8-2013 reposted on https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/11/call-to-worship-advent-2a.html

Rite of Confession

Original resource by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

*Call to Confession***                                                                                  Reader
Faith rooted deeply in God reflect God’s justice and righteousness—but we know that this is not always how we live. Let us ask for God’s forgiveness and renewal.

*Prayer of Confession-unison***                                                                  Reader

O God, sometimes we are led more by what we hear and see than by your ways.                     We get caught up in how someone looks, or what we have heard.                                      We forget that appearances can be deceiving and that some voices are silenced.                   Help us to look deep within your word and deep within ourselves.                                 Reveal to us the places where our judgments are faulty and our hands are dirty,                       so that we may repent and be made clean. [Silent Confession]
                                                                                                                                      Assurance of Forgiveness While all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, God continues to re-make us. God brings new life out of the death. Thanks be to God for God’s continual righteousness and faithfulness: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Confession: Advent 2A

Here’s a prayer of confession inspired by the suggested scripture readings for the second Sunday of Advent, Year A.  It was written by Jane Stranz.

Prayer of Confession

(inspired by Isaiah 11: 1-10, Psalm 72, Matthew 3:1-12)
When our faith is rooted deeply in you, O God,

our lives reflect your kingdom values of justice and righteousness,

but sometimes our lives become so entangled with the values of the world,

that your values take second place.

Forgive us, O God,
and reconnect us to the Holy Spirit,

source of power and life.

Merciful God, strip our hearts and minds

of all that prevents our lives being firmly rooted in you.
May our lives bear fruit worthy of our faith in you,

as we watch and wait for your breaking into our world once more,

in the person of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
Amen

Assurance of Forgiveness 

Blessed be the Lord our God, who does wondrous things. (Psalm 72: 8)
The most wondrous of all being God’s entry into our world in Jesus Christ,
“not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”
“Those who believe in him are not condemned.”
 (John 3:17,18)
Thanks be to God!

 

Isaiah 11 prayer (Advent context)

https://day1.org/weekly-broadcast/5d9b820ef71918cdf2002b98/not_much_but_enough_for_me  Lord, you know all too well that to be human–to be able to feel joy and delight–is also to be able to feel pain and sadness.  So come to us all this Advent, O God, bringing glad tidings and good cheer, comfort and hope, for we celebrate that marvelous mystery we call incarnation–when you became one of us, born a baby, who grew up and lived and breathed, seated and cried, ate and drank, lived and died.

Through him, bring us hope, bring us joy, bring us healing and wholeness, bring us a sure refuge in the darkness as we await for something new to be born in us, something small and bright, a tiny flame that will carry us into the future.  In the name of that light which sure came to save us, even Jesus the Christ, Amen.

 

Isaiah 11 offering prayer

https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/offertory-prayers-and-invitation-for-december-2016 Gracious God, we lift our voices to glorify you! You sent your Son Jesus to lead us in wisdom and mercy. His kindness to the poor and meek reveals the harmony of your heavenly kingdom. Help our church’s ministries to demonstrate your love for the world. We dedicate our tithes and offerings to bless people in our community who are searching for Christ’s abiding peace. We pray in his name. Amen. From Discipleship Ministries, an agency of The United Methodist Church

Opening Litany: Return of the King

Here’s an opening litany for Advent from the Wellsprings website.  It is inspired by verses from Psalm 72 and Isaiah 11.

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/11/opening-litany-return-of-king.htmlOpening Litany: The Return of the King

(inspired by Psalm 72 and Isaiah 11)

In his days justice shall flourish and peace till the moon fails

In his days, justice shall flourish

and the voice of those who are oppressed will be heard.

The poor will receive enough on which to live

and the rich will share gladly

the abundance they have received at the hand of God.

In his days justice shall flourish and peace till the moon fails.

The wolf lies down with the lamb:

the fierce gives way to the tame,

the weak protect the strong,

the powerless contain the power of the mighty.

In his day justice shall flourish and peace till the moon fades.

God will give judgment to the King,

to the One who comes in the name of the Lord,

to establish peace and justice

with integrity and with mercy.

~ from the Wellsprings website. http://wellsprings.org.uk/

Call to Worship Based on Isaiah 11:1-10

We come to worship the coming King. The One who was and is and is to come!
Robed in Justice, carrying equity in his heart,
Righteousness is a belt around his waist, faithfulness in the clasps of his sandals.

We have prepared ourselves for worship.
We intend to do no harm; to love our neighbors and to stay in love with God!

We look forward to the Reign of the coming King!
The wolves will walk with the lambs; the leopards skip with the kids;
and the calves will be friends with the lion cubs.
Peace will come through the root of Jesse, and we will abide with the King!

The Rev. Nathan Decker is the pastor of the South Sussex Charge of the Petersburg District of the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Nathan has great love for the diversity and inspiration of God’s creative nature in worship. https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/call-to-worship-based-on-isaiah-111-10

Prayer of Intercession: Advent 2A

Here’s a prayer of petition and intercession inspired by Isaiah 11:2 and Matthew 3: 1-12, two of the suggested scripture readings for Advent 2, Year A.  It was written by Terri.

Prayer of Intercession

(inspired by Isaiah 11: 1-10, Matthew 3: 1-12)

Let us pray for the Spirit of Wisdom to rest upon us

A spirit of understanding and knowledge

Grant us to live in harmony

God’s mercy prevail

Let us pray for God’s steadfastness to gird our spirit

May peace prevail like lamb and wolf

Grant us to live in harmony

God’s mercy prevail

Let us pray, for voices crying out in the wilderness

Women living in fear, children hiding

Grant all a place of harmony

God’s mercy prevail

Let us pray, repent of harm done to the innocent

Clear the chaff of abuse and hurt

Bear the Spirit of harmony

God’s mercy prevail

Let us pray for the God of hope, joy and peace to fill

All hearts, one voice glorify

God, prepare the way

God’s mercy prevail

~ written by Terri, and posted on RevGalPrayerPals. http://revgalblogpals.org/2010/12/05/sunday-prayer-advent-2a-sixteen-days-of-prayer-advocating-for-the-end-of-domestic-violence/  Reposted at

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/11/prayer-of-intercession-advent-2a.html

Gathering Words for Advent

Here’s a gathering rite or opening litany inspired by Isaiah 11:1-10: “Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot….”  It was written by Roddy Hamilton, and posted on Mucky Paws.

Gathering Words

(inspired by Isaiah 11: 1-10)

From the bulb there comes a flower
from the desert rock a flow of water
from the rainbow there come the hope of life
from the bible there comes the word of truth
from the cross there comes the love of God
from the tomb there comes the resurrection
from the prophet comes the vision of new earth

but from the stump
from this dried out log
from a family tree that has lost all integrity…

…there comes the shoot of David
the lifeline of salvation
the promise of justice
the longing for transformation
the word of life
the expectation of Messiah

from the stump of Jesse
comes a covenant
reborn

~ written by Roddy Hamilton, copyright © Mucky Paws. http://www.nkchurch.org.uk/index.php/mucky-paw Reposted at https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2015/11/gathering-words-for-advent.html

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/11/isaiah-11-creed.html

Isaiah 11: A Creed

Here’s an affirmation of faith inspired by Isaiah 11: 1-10, the suggested scripture reading for the second Sunday of Advent, Year A.

We Believe

(inspired by Isaiah 11: 1-10)

In that day, the wolf and lamb will live together….  Isaiah 11:6

Jesus has taught us to speak of hope as the coming of God’s Kingdom.

We believe that God is at work in our world

turning hopeless and evil situations into good.

We believe that goodness and justice and love will triumph in the end,

and that tyranny and oppression cannot fast forever.

One day ‘all tears will be wiped away’

and ‘the lamb will lie down with the lion.’

True peace and true reconciliation are not only desirable,

they are assured and guaranteed.

This is our faith, and our hope.

~ from Third World Solidarity Day, from the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, 1987.  Posted in Liturgy, Justice and the Reign of God Integrating Vision and Practice http://www.jfrankhenderson.com/pdf/LJRG.pdf

Prayer: Isaiah 11: 1-10

Here’s a prayer inspired by Isaiah 11: 1-10. It comes from the Vanderbilt Divinity Library website.

Clear a Holy Space

(inspired by Isaiah 11: 1-10)

Laboring God,

with axe and winnowing fork

you clear a holy space

where hurt and destruction have no place,

and a little child holds sway.

Clear our lives of hatred and despair,

sow seeds of joy and peace,

that shoots of hope may spring forth

and we may live in harmony

with one another. Amen.

~ from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress.  Posted on Thematic, Intercessory and Scripture Prayers for the RCL, Vanderbilt Divinity Library. http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/

HYMNS

Isaiah 5.1-7

6.2 Jesus Comes with Clouds Descending

7 Lord Christ, When First You Came to Earth

76.2-4 My Song Is Love Unknown

158 The One Is Blest

161.2 As Morning Dawns

400.2 When We Are Living

409 Wild and Lone the Prophet’s Voice

418.2 God, Bless Your Church with Strength!frankh

538.2 Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing

551.3 Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Isaiah 5.7

405 What Does the Lord Require

421 The Church of Christ in Every Age

Isaiah 11:1-10

1 Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

2 Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

9.3 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

13 Prepare the Way

40 Joy to the World!

204 Psalm 72

205 All Hail to God’s Anointed

230 This Is the Day the Lord Hath Made

332 Live Into Hope

337 Isaiah the Prophet Has Written of Old *

386 O for a World

423 Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun

431 O Lord, You Gave Your Servant John

452 O Day of God, Draw Nigh

453 O Holy City, Seen of John

601 Song of Zechariah (Benedictus)

602 Song of Zechariah (Benedictus)

Isaiah 11.1,10

Isaiah 11:1-10

1 Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

2 Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

9.3 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

13 Prepare the Way

40 Joy to the World!

204 Psalm 72

205 All Hail to God’s Anointed

230 This Is the Day the Lord Hath Made

332 Live Into Hope

337 Isaiah the Prophet Has Written of Old *

386 O for a World

423 Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun

431 O Lord, You Gave Your Servant John

452 O Day of God, Draw Nigh

453 O Holy City, Seen of John

601 Song of Zechariah (Benedictus)

602 Song of Zechariah (Benedictus)

Isaiah 11.1,10

48 Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming *

58 While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

59 While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

69 O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright

95.2 He Never Said a Mumbalin’ Word

99 Throned Upon the Awful Tree

102.2 Were You There?

104.1 Christ is Risen! Shout Hosanna!

Isaiah 11.2-3a

70 Christ, When for Us You Were Baptized

Isaiah 11.3b-5

3 Comfort, Comfort You My People

5 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

10 On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry

14 Savior of the Nations, Come

161.2 As Morning Dawns

194 Peoples, Clap Your Hands!

202 Psalm 67

217.6 O Sing a New Song

219.6 To God Compose a Song of Joy

222.6 Psalm 103

225.3 Praise the Lord!

254 Psalm 146

409 Wild and Lone the Prophet’s Voice

413 All Who Love and Serve Your City

442.3+4 The Church’s One Foundation

449 My Lord! What a Morning

483.2 Sing Praise to God, Who Reigns Above

551 Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Isaiah 11.4b

159.4 Why Are Nations Raging

260.3 A Mighty Fortress is Our God

 

“O God Among Us, Come” is on pp. 64-65 of Advent Ethics. A version with the melody only is available online at http://www.ChristianEthics.ws.

https://globalworship.tumblr.com/post/154791963485/advent-oracles-from-isaiah-steve-bells-song

ORACLES
music and lyric by Steve Bell
lyrics adapted from the four advent oracles of Isaiah:
2:1-5, 7:10-16, 11:1-10, 35:1-10

Isaiah 11 verse: And it will surely come to pass
Justice will reign on earth at last
The wolf will lie down with the lamb
No beast destroy, no serpant strike the child’s hand

https://youtu.be/RXKSeZAX4Z4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MRmnzOvxNg

The Vineyard of the Lord, two versions of the same contemporary setting of Psalm 80

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOFGZLUVbEI

Another setting of Psalm 80

O come, green shoot of Jesse, free

your people from despair and apathy;

Forge justice for the poor and the meek,

Grant safety for the young ones and the weak.

Rejoice, rejoice! Take heart and do not fear,

God’s chosen one, Immanuel, draws near.

A verse for/from O Come, O Come Emmauel

Barbara Lundblad https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1940

Narrative Lectionary: 1 Kings 12:1-7, 25-29 (October 27, 2019)

 

A Question/Crisis of Servanthood: 1 Kings 12:1-17; 25-29; (Mark 10:42-44)

 

CROSS REFERENCES

The labor protested by the people is depicted in 1 Kings 5

Two golden calves cf Exodus 32

Comparison of Aaron (Ex. 32) and Jeroboam https://www.jstor.org/stable/3263268?read-now=1&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

God’s response to Israel’s request for a king 1 Samuel 8:11-17

The king as the helper of the needy Psalm 72:12-14

Bethel (where Jeroboam puts a golden calf): Genesis 12:8; 28:10-19 and 35:9-15.

Ahijah info: https://globalchristiancenter.com/christian-living/lesser-known-bible-people/31919-ahijah-the-shilonite

 

POTENTIAL THEME:

Servant leadership means that the leaders serve the people rather than vice versa

This means that Christians are called to serve the world, and also to let others help/serve them. (While some help too little, others do not accept help enough.)

Of course there is a whole field in and outside of Christian circles dealing with servant leadership For a general overview, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Servant_leadership (not very well-written)

See also noblesse oblige-the duty of the nobility to take care of and serve the people https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noblesse_oblige

 

For a Christian overview, see https://faithandleadership.com/programs/spe/articles/200706/servant.html

This articles focus on learning servant leadership through suffering is an interesting juxtaposition to the response of Rehoboam’s subjects to his inability to hear their cries & respond appropriately to their suffering. Sometimes Christians seem to call one another to suffering as though all suffering is good–some suffering requires protest, leaving, or refusing to participate.

 

Patheos has numerous articles on Christian servant leadership; see https://www.google.com/search?q=patheos+servant+leadership&oq=patheos+servant+leadership&aqs=chrome..69i57j33.10598j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

Theology of Work has a five day devotional on servant leadership

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/2931

and an article dealing directly with the story of Rehoboam https://www.theologyofwork.org/old-testament/samuel-kings-chronicles-and-work/from-failed-monarchies-to-exile-1-kings-11-2-kings-25-2-chronicles-10-36/rehoboams-failure-to-tell-good-advice-from-bad-2-chronicles-101-19

Other articles by Theology of Work at https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ACYBGNSX4mrWVe7FGx5_8ficOXGl_wsj4Q:1571017107630&q=theology+of+work+servant+leadership&spell=1&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQmIvlzprlAhXhlOAKHcUVBV4QBQguKAA&biw=1821&bih=876

 

Institute of Faith, Work and Economics offers this take

https://tifwe.org/a-biblical-mandate-for-servant-leadership/

 

ILLUSTRATIONS

The servants (and lords!) at Downton Abbey, who see service as honorable and rewarding

 

Public servants today: Marie Yovanovitch (could be contrasted with others!)

 

IMAGES

Engravings https://preachingandworship.org/search/1%20kings%2012

Children’s illustration http://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/rehoboam-jeroboam/

Servant leadership images https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ACYBGNTZfGKwA5ChwdT7BtQobd5aj4lYhg:1571016590950&q=images+servant+leadership&tbm=isch&source=univ&sxsrf=ACYBGNTZfGKwA5ChwdT7BtQobd5aj4lYhg:1571016590950&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj60tvuzJrlAhWCY98KHdu7DKAQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1821&bih=876#imgrc=E4oR051DF6aJvM

 

PRAYERS

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Mighty God, your servant Rehoboam divided your kingdom with his tyranny, yet you remained faithful to both kingdoms, even in the midst of conflict. Show us your presence in conflict, and help us to resolve our differences, uniting this world in your name. Amen. https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2564

HYMNS

Built on a rock   ELW 652
God of tempest, God of whirlwind ELW 400

CITY (Presbyterian Hymnal)

348 Christian Women, Christian Men

408 Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life

413 All Who Love and Serve Your City

424 O Jesus Christ, May Grateful Hymns Be Rising

431 O Lord, You Gave Your Servant John

437 Our Cities Cry to You, O God

 

Also PH 477 Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim

COMMITMENT: PLEDGE OF

100.2 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

101.2 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

157 Our King and Our Sovereign, Lord Jesus

183.4 In You, Lord, I Have Put My Trust

227.3 Not Unto Us, O Lord of Heaven

252.1 O Lord, You Are My God and King

339 Be Thou My Vision

342.4 By Gracious Powers

343 Called as Partners in Christ’s Service

350 Fill My Cup

364 I Sing a Song of the Saints of God

365 Jesus, Priceless Treasure

369 I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me

370.4 Just as I Am, Without One Plea

372 Lord, I Want to Be a Christian

375 Lord of All Good

384 O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go

388 O Jesus, I Have Promised

389 O Jesus, I Have Promised

391 Take My Life

392 Take Thou Our Minds, Dear Lord

398 There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit

410 When I Had Not Yet Learned of Jesus

354 Index of Topics and Categories

414 As Those of Old Their Firstfruits Brought

427 Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service

447 Lead On, O King Eternal

448 Lead On, O King Eternal

461.4 God is Here!

516 Lord, We Have Come at Your Own Invitation

522 Lord, When I Came Into This Life

525 Here I Am, Lord

 

COMMITMENT: PRAYER FOR

132.1 Come, Great God of All the Ages

316.3 Breathe on Me, Breath of God

321 Holy Spirit, Truth Divine

339 Be Thou My Vision

351 Give to Me, Lord, a Thankful Heart

357 O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee

360 Hope of the World

366 Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me

378 Make Me a Captive, Lord

387 Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

396 O for a Closer Walk with God

397 O for a Closer Walk with God

425 Lord of Light, Your Name Outshining

456 Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun

461.4 God is Here!

516 Lord, We Have Come at Your Own Invitation

522 Lord, When I Came Into This Life

535 Go with Us, Lord

COMMITMENT: URGED

333.1 Seek Ye First

398.2 There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit

490.4 With Glad, Exuberant Carolings

 

EXEGESIS

Brueggemann on the results of oppressive leadership (last 3 paragraphs deal with this passage): http://www.jmm.org.au/articles/2620.htm

 

Working Preacher’s commentaries and podcasts:

https://www.workingpreacher.org/search/Default.aspx?cx=001947499050786061073:fplx-aun2rq&q=1%20kings%2012:1-17,%2025-29&cof=FORID:10&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&search_domain=WWW

 

Working Preacher podcast addressing servant leadership, faithfulness of God, Reformation Sunday setting, and Jeroboam’s actions https://www.workingpreacher.org/narrative_podcast.aspx?podcast_id=1186

Another entry on leadership

http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=4214

 

Working Preacher podcast addressing bully leadership and how to understand power & God’s power  https://www.workingpreacher.org/narrative_podcast.aspx?podcast_id=677

 

Working Preacher: The yoke amid the rivalry https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2564

 

America, Trump and the Two Golden Calves. Written right after Trump’s election, this Israel-based evangelical/conservative author proposes the two golden calves, placed by Jeroboam in two very different geographic/socio-political settings could represent the Democrats and Republicans (neither one actually being God!)

https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/78807/america-trump-two-golden-calves-opinion/

 

Blogging the Bible: Two golden calves. Actually. So, why doesn’t God get angrier about them?  Asks lots of questions about God’s actions in this time period; addresses broader context of chapters 12-16. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2006/11/two-golden-calves-actually-so-why-doesn-t-god-get-angrier-about-them.html

 

PRAYERS, ETC.

Except the Sarasota Statement, these are all by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

 

Opening Prayer (Psalm 72:12-14 The Message)

God, our Parent and Creator, you are worthy to rule over us.

You rescue the poor and the destitute.

You open a place in your heart for the down-and-out.

You restore the wretched of the earth.

You free them from tyranny and torture.

You bleed with those who bleed.

You die with those who die.

Teach us, your people, to be more like you.                                                                                  In the name of Jesus, our best example,                                                                                          and in the power of the Spirit, we pray. Amen.

 

 

Call to Worship

One: O God, you have served us from eternity.

Many You made us. You provide for us. You watch over us.

You rescue us. You stay with us. You save us.

You have compassion on us. You love us.

And so, O Lord, this day and forevermore

we love and serve you.

.

*Opening Hymn  O Worship the King, O Glorious Above               Blue Hymnal, 476

*Call to Confession                                                                                             Reader

We are called to serve one another and to serve the Lord. This call is not easy,                      and we do not do it consistently or well. Let us ask for—and receive–God’s forgiveness.

*Prayer of Confession (unison)                                                                           Reader

God, sometimes we are all too human.                                                                                          We hedge our bets by not giving you our all.                                                                            We like to be needed, serving others to feel important.                                                    We like to be in charge, refusing the help offered by others. 

(Silent confession)

Forgive us and cleanse our motives.                                                                              Empower us to serve you fully.                                                                                              Enable us to treat those we help as the important ones.                                          Humble us so that we accept the help of others.

*Assurance of Pardon (Matthew 20:28)                                                                                              The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,                                                                 and to give his life as a ransom for many.                                                                                Thanks be to God for the Good News: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Offering Hymn Lord of Light, Your Name Outshining                             Blue Hymnal, 425

* Prayer of Dedication (unison)                                                                           Pastor Barb

O God, make us servants of your grace. Use our talents in your service.                       Commission us to fulfill your purpose. Invest these gifts with your love. Amen.                                         

Prayer for Illumination (sung )                                                         Blue Hymnal, #129 v. 3

Come, O spirit, dwell among us; Give us words of fire and flame.

Help our feeble lips to praise You, Glorify Your Holy name.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Three in one: what mystery!

We would sing our loud hosannas Now and through eternity.

 

Hebrew Scripture Reading: I Kings 12:1-19                                                               Reader

Message Are You Being Served?                                                                   Pastor Barb

*Confession of Faith (Preamble to the Sarasota Statement**)

      We are people of hope who confess Jesus Christ is Lord over a Kingdom                     in which no one is hungry, violence is no more, and all suffering is gone.                     All sit together around a shared table, wolves and lambs enjoy each other’s company, and every tear is wiped away from every eye.

    Our hope is not simply that we will experience this Kingdom in the future,         but that, as Christ’s prayer demands, this Kingdom comes “to earth as it is                    in heaven.” So, we lament any and all instances of its absence. When we witness hunger, injustice, discrimination, violence, or suffering, we grieve deeply and repent of our sins that have enabled such brokenness to persist – knowing that these things should not be.

     Furthermore, we are incited to act and to be vehicles of change through          which God’s Kingdom breaks into the world and our earthly lives.                                    Our commitment is to acts that feed, clothe, instruct, reconcile, admonish, heal,   and comfort – reflecting the power of God’s hope and an eagerness to see  the Kingdom made manifest.

     We believe God’s Kingdom comes not because we are confident in our own capacities, but because we trust in God, who can do more than we can ask                  or imagine. We are humbled and amazed that, in and through the life, death,              and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God includes us in the work of redeeming all creation and reconciling the whole world. And so we thank and praise God. Amen.

 

*Closing Hymn  Lord, You Give the Great Commission                   Blue Hymnal, 429

 

 

 

 

Narrative Lectionary: Ruth 1:1-17 (10/13/19)

Ruth was present with Naomi; see Pooh parable below about presence. Here’s a blow-up from part of picture at https://weheartit.com/entry/331438744 as an illustration to go with the presence of Pooh with Eeyore. Need to change “Piglet” in the story to “Tigger” if using the picture. (Couldn’t find one of Pooh, Piglet & Eeyore, which actually illustrates how this is a Pooh parable rather than originally being from the AA Milne Pooh stories.)

It occurred to Pooh and Piglet that they hadn’t heard from Eeyore for several days, so they put on their hats and coats and trotted across the Hundred Acre Wood to Eeyore’s stick house. Inside the house was Eeyore.

“Hello Eeyore,” said Pooh.

“Hello Pooh. Hello Piglet,” said Eeyore, in a Glum Sounding Voice.

“We just thought we’d check in on you,” said Piglet, “because we hadn’t heard from you, and so we wanted to know if you were okay.”

Eeyore was silent for a moment. “Am I okay?” he asked, eventually. “Well, I don’t know, to be honest. Are any of us really okay? That’s what I ask myself. All I can tell you, Pooh and Piglet, is that right now I feel really rather Sad, and Alone, and Not Much Fun To Be Around At All. Which is why I haven’t bothered you. Because you wouldn’t want to waste your time hanging out with someone who is Sad, and Alone, and Not Much Fun To Be Around At All, would you now.”

Pooh looked and Piglet, and Piglet looked at Pooh, and they both sat down, one on either side of Eeyore in his stick house.

Eeyore looked at them in surprise. “What are you doing?”

“We’re sitting here with you,” said Pooh, “because we are your friends. And true friends don’t care if someone is feeling Sad, or Alone, or Not Much Fun To Be Around At All. True friends are there for you anyway. And so here we are.”

“Oh,” said Eeyore. “Oh.” And the three of them sat there in silence, and while Pooh and Piglet said nothing at all; somehow, almost imperceptibly, Eeyore started to feel a very tiny little bit better.

Because Pooh and Piglet were There. No more; no less. https://www.facebook.com/themaddieproject/photos/a.698470016946959/1794783897315560/?type=3&theater

ART/IMAGES

Ruth: http://www.textweek.com/art/ruth.htm

World Communion Sundayhttps://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ACYBGNTPFo4ZKfSRGq0EijuChdMiVfKPJA:1569283351663&q=images+world+communion+sunday&tbm=isch&source=univ&sxsrf=ACYBGNTPFo4ZKfSRGq0EijuChdMiVfKPJA:1569283351663&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiN4uiFlOjkAhVlneAKHcMFDj0QsAR6BAgHEAE&biw=1821&bih=876#imgrc=ZZw9lbZojHRjFM:

RETELLING

Storyteller gives the whole story of Ruth. Recommends CEV. http://www.storydivine.com/?p=343\

EXEGESIS/THEMES

Podcast: Ruth is from Moab but Boaz is from Bethlehem—is Ruth a humble servant approaching Boaz? Or a feisty woman taking action? https://5minutebible.com/ruth-is-from-moab-but-boaz-is-from-bethlehem-2/

Ruth and Star Wars—is Naomi deserted by God? Or is Ruth evidence otherwise? Naomi’s complaints are not rhetorical flourish. They are the author’s explicit means of establishing the book’s central crisis: Is Naomi right? Has Yahweh forsaken her and shamed her household? If Naomi’s plight were indeed the thrust of the story, then one would expect the rest of the book to resolve this crisis, particularly at the end. This is precisely what happens.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/walkandword/2019/09/ruth-star-wars/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Living+the+Christian+Life&utm_content=870

Who is the main character in Ruth (follow-on to Star Wars article above) https://www.patheos.com/blogs/walkandword/2019/09/interpreting-ruth-part-1/

More academic take on hesed in Ruth (follow on to main character question) https://www.cbeinternational.org/resources/article/priscilla-papers/book-ruth-exemplar-faith-communities

Working Preacher commentaries on Ruth 1:1-17

http://www.workingpreacher.org/search/Default.aspx?cx=001947499050786061073:fplx-aun2rq&q=Ruth%201&cof=FORID:10&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&search_domain=WWW

Ruth refuses to be left out/leave the focus on Naomi. Ruth emerges as an acting agent in verse 14: she clings to Naomi, a term used in contexts of profound love, inalienable possession, unshakable commitment (see, e.g., Genesis 2:24; Numbers 36:7, 9; Deuteronomy 4:4; 10:20; 11:22). As Naomi remains convinced that her bitterness is solitary, she makes another appeal, urging Ruth to follow Orpah.

(Word study on “cling” https://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/rth/1/1/t_conc_233014)

At that moment, Ruth adds speech to her action. Indeed, she utters what might be a speech-act, in which she actually does something in and by saying something (cf. “I do” in weddings or “I believe” in the Creed). What she says-does is powerful and it is poetic, lining out in nicely parallel lines like the best of Hebrew poetry. https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=413

Four-part sermon series on Ruth https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=2123

The book of Judges, which comes right before Ruth, ends with inter-tribal conflict and these ominous words: “In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25)…In this context, we get the book of Ruth, which is a tale about belonging, about blessing, about faithful love (in Hebrew, hesed), God’s faithfulness, incarnated in human beings.

Ruth, a woman, and a foreigner at that, chooses to join her story to the story we’ve been hearing the last several weeks; she chooses to enter into Israel’s covenant with God. She chooses thereby the life of being a stranger in a foreign land. She chooses to leave all that she has known and to go to a place she’s never been, with no assurance of security. A childless widow in ancient Israel had to rely on the kindness of those around her. In this story, Naomi relies on Ruth, and Ruth herself has to rely on the kindness of strangers.

One of the beautiful themes in the book is that hesed meets hesed; that is, faithfulness engenders faithfulness, kindness meets kindness. Ruth goes above and beyond the minimum requirements of the Law out of love for Naomi. And when Boaz learns of Ruth’s loyalty to her mother-in-law, he blesses her:

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1108

Whatever Ruth’s circumstances may be, her clinging to her mother-in-law is a gift of grace that Naomi cannot at first see.  Naomi says God has turned against her (verse 13), and later she tells the women of Bethlehem, “The Almighty has dealt bitterly with me … brought me back empty … dealt harshly with me, and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me” (verses 20-21).  This is Naomi’s theology, and at first it is all she can see.

But the narrator sees things differently, attributing none of Naomi’s tragedies to God, not even the famine.  Rather it is God who has given the people food (verse 6).  This point is underscored at the end of the chapter: “They came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest” (verse 22).  Near the end of the book, the Bethlehemite women will articulate to Naomi what has been evident all along, that Ruth’s love is worth more than seven sons.  Grace is walking right beside Naomi, unseen, yet refusing to leave her.

Ruth holds a thoroughly action-oriented, thoroughly pragmatic theology.  She does not argue with Naomi’s perception of events, nor does she assert her own.  She simply communicates presence.  She refuses to leave.  It’s not about God’s actions or intents, but her own.  Ruth will worship the God that Naomi believes abandoned her.  And she swears to do what four other people — Elimelech, Mahlon, Chilion, and Orpah — couldn’t do: to stay.  Not even death, the chief resident of their household, will get in her way.

https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1335

Ruth and immigration from Bruce Epperly https://www.patheos.com/blogs/livingaholyadventure/2018/10/the-adventurous-lectionary-twenty-fourth-sunday-after-pentecost-november-4-2018/

Ruth.  She comes closer to God and God’s ways through her deep love for her mother-in-law.  She leaves behind her own family and her own religion and traditions not for complex theological reasons, but out of the affection for someone who loved her first. http://www.sacraconversazione.org/?p=294

PRAYERS and other bulletin pieces

Opening Prayer:

Original resource by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

O God, wherever you go, we will go.                                                                                                Where you lodge, we will lodge.                                                                                                          Your people will be our people,                                                                                                          and you will be our God.                                                                                                                      We will serve you all our lives.                                                                                                          We will not be parted from you even in death.                                                                                In the name of Jesus, who joins us to you, Amen.

Call to Worship

Original resource by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting;                     (slightly adapted from prayer for Genesis 2 on companionship)

One: O God, we come one by one.                                                                                                      Many: O God, we come with each other.                                                                                    We come because it is not good to be alone.                                                                                  We come because we want to be companions on the journey.                                              We seek communion with you.                                                                                                      We seek communion with one another.                                                                                     Make us companions to one another,                                                                                                that we may walk faithfully and joyfully in your way.                                                         ALL: IN JESUS’ NAME, AMEN.

Rite of Confession

Original resource by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting;

*Call to Confession  (from Colossians 3:12-14, The Messsage)

Chosen by God for the new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God has picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, and quick to forgive. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

*Prayer of Confession (unison)

O God, at times we fail to act in love. Wrapped in our own concerns, we may not hear the cries of others. We can be slow to listen, but quick to give advice. Promising prayer, we may not add the power of being present with others. Uncomfortable with the pain and needs of others, we may want them to just get over it. Empower us with your love, that we may meet and hear others where they are.

*Assurance of Pardon (from Colossians 3:15-17 The Message)                                                 The peace of Christ keeps us in tune with each other. The power of the Spirit keeps us in step with one another. The grace of the Father grants forgiveness, making us grateful. Thanks be to God for the Good News: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

* Prayer of Dedication (unison)

Original resource by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting;   Maker of all things, you bless us with many gifts: our lives, our possessions, and our time and our talents. Use this food and money—and our very lives—to show the world your presence and your love. Amen.

Eucharist Prayer/Prayer of Great Thanksgiving

One: The Lord be with you.

Many: And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

O God, you create the vast universe and call it good. You make us in your image

and call us very good. Declaring that it is not good for us to be alone,

you make us companions on our journey.

And so we thank you, O God.

Throughout human history, you declare your presence with your people.

You speak to us through the law and the prophets, demonstrating your love and care.

You speak to us through your Son, Christ Jesus.

You speak to us through the Holy Spirit.

And so we thank you, O God.

Your Son proclaimed your reign and presence:                                                                           preaching good news to the poor and release to the captives,
teaching by word and deed, blessing the children,
healing the sick, binding up the brokenhearted,
eating with outcasts, forgiving sinners,

and demonstrating and proclaiming your love for all people.
And so we thank you, O God.
When your Son was crucified, giving his life for the sins of the world.
you raised him from the dead, breaking the power of sin and evil,

demonstrating your triumph and presence.

And so we thank you, O God.

Today we gather in your presence.

You are here in the support and love we offer each other.

You are here in our praying and singing, in our words and our silences.

You are here in your Supper.

And so we thank you, O God.

 

HYMNS I used

Not so much out there on human companioning. I used

Prelude: Faithful Friend                                                                                Twila Paris

*Opening Hymn I Come with Joy                               Presbyterian  Blue Hymnal,507

Offering Hymn  God is Here!                                                                    Blue Hymnal,461

Prayer for Illumination (sung )                                                   Blue Hymnal, #430 verse 3

This day God’s people meeting, The Holy Scripture hear                                                          Christ’s living presence greeting, Through bread and wine made near.                                    We journey on, believing, Renewed with heav’nly might,                                                             From grace more grace receiving, On this blest day of light.

 

Closing Hymn  Called as Partners                                                  Blue Hymnal, 343

Postlude He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother                                                The Hollies

Prayer for Illumination (sung )                                                   Blue Hymnal, #430 verse 3

This day God’s people meeting, The Holy Scripture hear

Christ’s living presence greeting, Through bread and wine made near.

We journey on, believing, Renewed with heav’nly might,

From grace more grace receiving, On this blest day of light.

 

Hebrew Scripture Reading: Ruth 1:1-17                                                                                           Reader

Message The Present of Presence                                                                Pastor Barb

 

*Confession of Faith: The Nicene Creed (Ecumenical version)      Blue Hymnal, p. 15

Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (see insert)

 

*Closing Hymn  Called as Partners                                                  Blue Hymnal, 343

*Charge and Benediction                                                             Pastors Barb and Len  Postlude He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother                                                      The Hollies

 

 

 

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