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Narrative Lectionary

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)

Narrative Lectionary for Pentecost: Acts 2:1-4 & 1 Corinthians 12:1-13 Resources: Bulletin (sermon to follow)

Worship Without Walls

Pentecost                                                                May 31, 2020  

Facebook:      Trinity United Presbyterian Church    Clifton Heights

Prelude   There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in This Place[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ae5pjIK8lM

Opening Prayer[2]

Pentecost us, God.

Inspire us to shed the comfortable accents of churchy insider talk.

Teach us to speak digital. Enable us to worship virtually.
Fit our mouths to something strange, speaking through a mask of love–.
Conjugate the Spirit in and through us. Empower our worry,                                                                                               like the worry of those who waited in the Upper Room so long ago,
to lead us to the active voice of love—mostly verbs, present tense,

not passive voice–and not many possessive pronouns.
Amen.

Call to Worship[3]

Come Spirit like rain, refresh, renew, revitalize.

Come Spirit like fire, embolden, enlighten, enable.

Come Spirit like a mighty wind, move, challenge, enkindle.

Come Spirit like a wave, move, tear down, lift up.

Come Spirit, come Breath, draw us close, make song, bring intimacy.

Come Spirit, come Love, make one, make justice, make peace.

Come Spirit, come Kingdom, come Love.

 

*Opening Hymn Come, O Spirit, Dwell Among Us[4]

First-Plymouth Church, Lincoln, Nebraska

Come, O Spirit, dwell among us, Come with Pentecostal fire;

Give the church a stronger vision, Help us face each crucial hour.

Built upon a firm foundation, Jesus Christ, the Cornerstone,

Still the church is called to mission That God’s love shall be made known.

We would raise our alleluias For the grace of yesteryears

For tomorrow’s unknown pathway, Hear, O Lord, our humble prayers.

In the church’s pilgrim journey You have led us all the way

Still in presence move before us, Fire by night and cloud by day.

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.

Call to Confession:  

Let us ask for God’s forgiveness for the ways we do not heed the Spirit.

Prayer of Confession:1  
O God, when we let the Spirit deflate, forgive us.

When we lose the Spirit of love or hope, of liveliness or adventure,

of tenderness or courage, forgive us.

When we do not breathe inspiration into all your people, or when we puncture joy,

forgive us.

When we let go of the church just because it isn’t exactly as we wish it,

forgive us.  (Silent confession)

Assurance of Pardon

God is merciful and gracious – a patch to our leaking faith,

the helium lifting us into joy —
the breath for all who are suffocating.

Thanks be to God for the Good News:

In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Gloria Patri: (Blue #579) Glory Be to the Father https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUBxpypSblw

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

Prayers of the People/Lord’s Prayer (traditional)                       

Celebration of Birthdays and Anniversaries                                       

Offering Hymn  Spirit[5]                                                                  Kristina Ahlstrom

REFRAIN: Spirit, Spirit of gentleness,

blow through the wilderness, calling and free.

Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, Wind, Wind on the sea.You moved on the waters, you called to the deep,
then you coaxed up the mountains from the valleys of sleep,
and over the eons you called to each thing:
Awake from your slumbers and rise on your wings. REFRAINYou swept through the desert, you stung with the sand,
and you goaded your people with a law and a land,
and when they were blinded with their idols and lies,
then you spoke through your prophets to open their eyes. REFRAIN


You sang in a stable, you cried from a hill,
then you whispered in silence when the whole world was still,
and down in the city you called once again,
when you blew through your people on the rush of the wind. REFRAINYou call from tomorrow, you break ancient schemes,
from the bondage of sorrow the captives dream dreams,
our women see visions, our men clear their eyes,
with bold new decisions your people arise. REFRAIN

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

* Prayer of Dedication

May the words of our mouths, the dedication of our hearts,

and the gifts of our time, talents and money be acceptable

and pleasing in your sight, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer. Amen.

Prayer for Illumination Though I May Speak[6]

Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control, Our spirits long to be made whole,

Let inward love guide ev’ry deed; By this we worship and are freed.

Scripture Reading: Acts 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 12:1-13 (see end of bulletin)

Message Why the Spirit?                                                                    Pastor Barb                                  

Confession of Faith: The Brief Confession of Faith

We trust in God the Holy Spirit, everywhere the giver and renewer of life.
The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith,
sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor,
and binds us together with all believers in the one body of Christ, the Church.

The same Spirit who inspired the prophets and apostles
rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture,
engages us through the Word proclaimed, claims us in the waters of baptism,
feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation,
and calls women and men to all ministries of the church.

In a broken and fearful world, the Spirit gives us courage
to pray without ceasing,

to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior,
to unmask idolatries in Church and culture,

to hear the voices of peoples long silenced,
and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.

In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit,

we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks
and to live holy and joyful lives,

even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth,

praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

*Closing Hymn God, Bless Your Church with Strength![7]

  1. God bless your church with strength! Wherever we may be,
    upbuild your servants as we work in common ministry.
    Urge us from fledgling faith to venture and to soar
    through open skies to sing the praise of Christ whom we adore (interlude)

    2. God bless your church with life! May all our branches thrive,
    un blemished, wholesome, bearing fruit, abundantly alive.
    From you, one holy vine, in freedom may we grow;
    sustain us in our mission, Lord, your love and peace to show.

(Longer interlude)


3. God bless your church with hope! Despite chaotic days,
may we in darkness shine to light a pathway through life’s maze.
May justice be our aim, and kindness ours to share;
in humbleness oh may we walk, assured our God is there! (end)

*Charge and Benediction                                                Pastors Barb and Len

Postlude The Lord Bless You and Keep You                Julliard Christian Fellowship 


[1] Words and Music – ©1990 Manna Music

[2] Adapted from a prayer by Maren https://giftsinopenhands.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/some-pentecost-2020-prayers/

[3] By Martin Brown, posted on the CAFOD website. 

[4] Words: Doris Akers ©1979 Hope Publishing Company

[5] Words and Music: James K. Manley ©1978 J. Manley Publishing

[6] Words: Hal H. Hopson ©1972 Hope Publishing Company. y

[7] Words: John A. Dalles ©2000 GIA Publications, Inc. Music Diademata, George Elvey © OCP

All music reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-733426. All rights reserved.

Pandemic Gifts of the Spirit by Rev. Katy Stenta, from blog katyandtheword

Lord God Almighty, I am on my knees, with my arms outstretched to you,            because I am in need of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit

I need encouragement as a parent of a child                                                               who has been faking their online schooling for the last two weeks.

Patience as I wait for more information, so that my job can make the next decision about how we are running things this week.

Courage as I realize that every single person has their own idea about what is               and isn’t safe and we have to navigate relationships together.

Inspiration as I try to figure out how to connect with the people in my lives                           in new and not discouraging/draining ways.

Hope as death after death, sick after sick case comes in                                                   and the solution seems no closer than it was two months ago.

Breath as I am working too many hours of too many days                                                      and don’t know when it’s all going to end.

Love as all of my imperfections have been laid bare in this time                                  where self-examination is unavoidable                                                                       and all the things I’m carrying have been stuck in quarantine with me.

Lord remind me that I am more than my job or my role in my family                                      or my material worth.

Lord, remind me that I am God-breathed,                                                                      gifted by the Holy Spirit, and sibling of Jesus Christ.

In this time of crises–when every way I function is under a microscope                                 and every emotion I am having is magnified–allow me to fully discern                          and differentiate myself as a child of God.

And even if these aren’t exactly the things I need, and I am too mired to know what it is I really need.

Please grant me the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I pray.

And if I can’t pray to the Holy Spirit, help me to breathe:

in

out

and in

and out again

until the Holy Spirit prays me, instead.

In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

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

Narrative Lectionary: Acts 17:1-9 Resources

Preaching and Liturgical Resources: https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcMWqpKuBL00L5PwjQ

Bulletin at https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcMylW7bJSVRMksuTg

Sermon at https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcMwymVyiyIf2rE_FA

If you use my stuff, please use my name! (or the name of whoever’s stuff it is)

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

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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

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.

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