Hot and Cold
Here are worship materials for the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost, though with a gospel section from last week.
Call to Worship Psalm 138 adapted
One: O Lord, you have searched us and known us.
All: You know when we sit down and when we rise up;
you discern our thoughts from far away.
One: You search out our journeys and places of rest, and are acquainted with all our ways.
All: Even before a word is on our tongues, O Lord, you know it completely.
One: You hem us in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon us.
All: Such knowledge is too wonderful for us; it is so high that we cannot attain it.
One: Where can we go from your spirit? All: Or where can we flee from your presence? One: If we ascend to heaven, you are there. All: If we make our bed in Sheol, you are there. One: If we take the wings of the morning,
All: if we settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
One: even there your hand shall lead us,
All: and your right hand shall hold us fast. One: If we say, “Surely the darkness shall cover us, and the light around me become night,”
All: the darkness is not dark to you. One: The night is as bright as the day. All: Darkness is as light to you.
One: For it was you who formed our inward parts; All: It was you who knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. One: We praise you, for we are each fearfully and wonderfully made.
All: How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! One: How vast is the sum of them! All: We try to count them—they are more than the sand. One: We come to the end—we are still with you, where it is true,
What we say in greeting one another, “The peace of the Lord be with you.”
All: And also with you.
Prayer of Invocation (in unison)
God of all history and all creation, this wideness in your mercy calls us to stretch our own imaginations and to recognize ourselves as part of a grand story. Our actions have implications that outpace our understanding of them; unintended consequence seems to describe our existence, and this can overwhelm, even cause us to despair.
Grant us such faith that you are at work in all things for good, that your power to redeem even our recklessness is great; and forgive us all the ways we’ve sinned against you, whether on purpose or by accident, whether by willfulness or by a lack of will power. Forgive us that we have not loved you with our whole hearts and we’ve not loved our neighbors as ourselves. Forgive us and renew in us a right spirit for the sake of our own lives and for all life.
In this hope, we gather for your strength, your mercy, and above all your love—that it might be ours to hold to and ours to offer others that nothing, nowhere remains beyond your gracious reach. In Christ, amen.