Here are worship materials for the 14th Sunday after Pentecost.
Call to Worship Romans 13 Adapted
One: Paul implores members of the church that we no one anything,
except to love one another.
All: This, because the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
One: The commandments say, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder;
All: You shall not steal; You shall not covet’;
One: All these and any others are summed up in this word,
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
All: Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
One: Besides this, you know what time it is,
how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep.
All: For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers.
One: The night is far gone, the day is near.
All: Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
One Let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness,
All: not in debauchery and licentiousness,
One: not in quarrelling and jealousy.
All: Instead, we’ll put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for base impulses to gratify base desires.
One: No, instead we’ll cultivate higher living, that it might be true
as we say in greeting one another, “The peace of the Lord be with you.”
All: And also with you.
One: Please be seated. Let us pray.
Prayer of Invocation and Confession
Gracious God: bless our worship with your presence that the form it takes might serve the function of bringing us into communion with you; fill our minds and hearts and gathering that, together, in this place, we might manifest your mysterious realm, the transcendent made imminent.
So much of our lives seems mere pretense. So much that has occupied our time and attention comes to nothing when cast in the light of the real, the true. We accumulate things, but they don’t abide. We accumulate experience, but it fails to elevate us or transform us. We are as tourists in the world, keeping ourselves at a safe distance rather than risking true relationship, rather than risking love.
We do this even in church. We do this especially in church. We bring to your ekklesia a sense of how things should be, a suspicion that there’s a correct way to be your people—dressed just so, arranged just so. We confess a feebleness of faith, a shallowness of conviction, a willingness to perform but seldom to commit, an expectation for what‘s appropriate but seldom for what astounds.
Help us, instead, to be astounded. Help us to be boundless in our imagining you. Help us to be delighted by new insight, moved by fresh revelation, surprised by your Spirit whose unmasking of the world is yet ongoing, and deepened by what rituals might otherwise seem rote.
Grant that what we enact here might be touched by your eternity. Grant that what we practice here might prepare us for fullness in you. We pray this in the arrival among us, and the abiding with us, of your Christ, who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, fills with presence and fulfills of purpose the living of our days and the giving of our lives. Amen.