Be Always Ready
Here are worship materials for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost.
Call to Worship Psalm 100 Adapted
One: Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. All: Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.
One: Know that the Lord is God. All: It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
One: Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. All: Give thanks to him, bless his name.
One: For the Lord is good; All: his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
One: This is the promise we live into now, beginning with our greeting one another,
“The peace of the Lord be with you.”
All: And also with you.
Prayer of Invocation
Gracious God, bless our worship this morning with your reliable, yet surprising presence. Occur among us as light and love, insight and wisdom, hope and joy; and help us be ready for this occurrence, your arrival in our midst.
We are not always so ready. Often, we’re well prepared for our plans, but seldom are we so open as to what you might usher in. Often, we’re ready for what we anticipate, but seldom are we ready for what is beyond our anticipation—your mysterious, sustaining, transforming work among us.
Forgive us our need for control; bless us instead with a yearning for your spirited will. Forgive us our attempts at managing all things; free us instead to be responsive to your movement in our midst. Forgive us all the ways we’ve sinned against you—in thought, word and deed; in what we’ve done and what we’ve left undone. Grace us instead to live in and by your grace.
Open our hearts to your love and our lips to speaking of your truth. Help us to watch for your arrival among us not simply as a one-time event, but also as a spur of any given moment—you always abiding as the good we might choose, the grace we might receive, the opportunity ever-arriving that would have us live as in your realm.
Here, where we gather, we trim our wicks. Here, in this hour of worship, we receive oil by which our lamps stay lit. Here we wait and watch, and you arrive. Amen.
Scripture & sermon audio.