Here are worship materials for the 8th Sunday after Pentecost.
Call to Worship Philippians 4 adapted
One: Rejoice in the Lord always!
All: Again we say, Rejoice.
One: Let’s let our gentleness be known to everyone; the Lord is near.
All: We will not worry about anything.
One: But in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving we’ll let our requests be made known to God.
All: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.
One: Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
All: whatever is just, whatever is pure,
One: whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable,
All: if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise,
we will think about these things and speak often of these things—gratitude, appreciation.
One: Thus the grace and peace of the Lord will be with you—
All: and also with you.
Prayer of Invocation (in unison)
Transcendent and imminent God: you have dominion over all, and you enter into all; you brood over history like a hen brooding on her chicks, and you work amidst history in all things for good. Your going out and coming in means your judgment is true, your wisdom is deep, your compassion is for all of this creation, which otherwise groans as if laboring for birth.
We pray your presence on our worship that we might be enlightened by your Holy Spirit—made sound in judgment, deep with wisdom, filled with compassion for all in your creation. We pray your persistence that we might be what’s born as good.
We confess knowing that there is good, and there is evil. There’s an intertwining of your coming kingdom with the powers and principalities of this world, the machinations and calculations of all that seeks its own survival—and there is the persistent promise that this intertwining will at last become a consuming. Your kingdom consuming this sad and sorry world, redeeming it that nothing is lost or laid waste, nothing will be left as sad or sorry, but all will be fulfilled in love overflowing.
Meanwhile, we are left to try to figure out it—which is good and which is evil, what’s the right thing to do and what ought we leave undone. Forgive us our failure to figure this out rightly. Forgive us our willfulness, our blindness, our selfishness, our stubborn insistence and defensiveness and need to have the last word.
Soften our hearts, and sharpen our minds. Grant us a word of truth to speak, and help us to know when to hold our tongues. Fill us with your love that this might be ever on offer to others—first and last in all our dealings a word or act of love.
We pray this in Jesus’ name, he who insisted upon a complicated world—that he live amidst it, that he teach of it, that he encourage us about it, and that he walk in your way from life to Life. Help us to follow. Amen.