Call to Worship (People’s response in bold.)
Leader: People of God, let us gather to worship and praise God’s name.
People: I give thanks to you, O God, with my whole heart. I will glorify your name forever!
Leader: For great is your steadfast love for me.
People: You have delivered my soul from the depths.
Leader: God says, “Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go.”
Opening Hymn: “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
Invitation to Confession
All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. We did not receive a spirit of fear, but we have received a spirit of adoption. Let us then confess our sin with the freedom of children who know how deeply they are loved.
Prayer of Confession
Merciful God, your creatures cry - creation groans - but we turn away; we surround ourselves with noise. We are quick to excuse ourselves from responsibility: we are young; we are old; we are tired; we are busy. It is hard to imagine that we might make a difference. Life-giving God, wash us clean. Restore our imaginations and our hearts.Let your courage and compassion flow through our veins until we love with abandonand our hands reach out in blessing, for the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God. Amen.
Assurance of Forgiveness
Beloved, hear the word of the Lord: In the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God says unequivocally, irrevocably: you are my own; you are forgiven; and I need you to be about my business in the world. Friends, in the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!
People: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven! Glory to God! Amen
Prayer for Illumination
Holy One, you love with a father’s tenderness, a mother’s zeal. Move now in our hearts. Breathe through the words we hear, the songs we share, the burdens we carry, until we discover our purpose in your liberating love, for we long to join creation’s praise and to shine with the mercy of the Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Epistle Lesson: Romans 8:12-25
The Children’s Time to Lead Us
Gospel Lesson: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Leader: This is the Word of God for the People of God. People: Thanks be to God.
Affirmation of Faith: The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Prayers of the People
Gracious Creator, Sower of life, you know the complicated histories that have carried us to this moment. You know the names of all our generations, for you are there in each story: in stories of falling away and turning home, in our long years of wandering, and in the shining moments when we recognize your presence and find the grace to worship you. You are no stranger to the striving or the listlessness of humanity.
Incarnate One, all of creation is groaning, and so we dare to ask that you would come to us; be born again in this place. In the midst of our boredom, our self-congratulation, our closeted vision, startle us with the tearing, the cry, the first breath of life that will not be restrained. Strengthen in us the fruits of your Spirit, and teach us to pray:
We pray for all who flee from pasts by which they are haunted. [silence]
We lift up all who feel abandoned by a future for which they had hoped. [silence]
We plead for all who do not know that they are loved and chosen. [silence]
We intercede for our own divided souls. [silence]
Help us to trust that you are at work in every mingled heart, every conflicted community. [silence]
Nourish the life you plant within us, that we might keep seeding the world with your
truth and your grace; in the name of Jesus, who gave his life out of love for the world. Amen.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
Invitation to Generosity
Prayer of Dedication
God of mystery and grace, you have met us and blessed us with such abundant promise. In gratitude we offer what we carry in our hearts and in our pockets. As we bring these worn and freighted offerings, we pray that you would use these gifts and our lives, for we come in the name of Jesus and by the movement of your Spirit in this place. Amen
Closing Hymn: “And Can It Be that I Should Gain”
Thank you for joining us in worship today.
Today’s worship is compiled and adapted from Feasting on the Word Worship Companion: Year A, Volume 2, Proper 11.