Readings for August 19, 2012

(We will begin sharing any readings-- reflections, Call to Worship, prayers, etc.-- that occur in our worship service on our blog.  The sermons can be heard via podcast... .)


Reflection before the Call to Worship

At this point in our service we participate in the Call to Worship.  Before we do so, let’s get something out of the way—YES, worship is about more than what happens during this hour on Sunday morning.  YES, it is about our whole lives and YES worship can be a personal experience.  However, we also recognize that there is something distinctly special about this moment when we have all been called together to worship.

We are the people of God, in a particular time, at a particular place.  Throughout the week, we are the people of God scattered throughout various corners of this town—schools, law firms, restaurants, space transport companies,  social services agencies, just to name a few.  Today, however, we are the people of God gathered in one place for a common purpose—the worship of God, and there is a sense in which worship—though intimately personal—finds its FULLEST expression within the context of community.  The point here isn’t for you to have your own private experience with God, but for US to interact, as much as possible, with the fullness of God during this very important hour… together.

With that in mind, in our call to worship we make a proclamation to re-orient our focus on the God who has called us together.  We recite words that may resonate from deep within our hearts, but that we also may struggle deeply to connect with.  At UBC, you are welcome—if these words, and belief and faith in the risen Christ comes easy to you, you are welcome here.  If you are constantly eyeing the message and person of Jesus with more than a little suspicion and doubt, you are welcome here as well.   Regardless of where we stand, we say these words together in hopes that one day they will take root, change us and make us into the people God wants us to be.


Call to Worship

In the middle of our journeys we stop, stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow pilgrims, and proclaim to each other, to the world and to God…

We are Jesus People.  Captivated by his life, energized by His spirit and hopeful of his return we are walking in his footsteps, on a journey to God.

 We have stumbled and we have fallen.  We have run too far ahead Jesus and have lagged too far behind.  Occasionally we have been a stumbling block to our fellow travelers…

Yet we are here and there is grace.

 We have been called to pull away, to rest, to consider where we have been and where Jesus is taking us…

We are Jesus people.  Listening to his voice.  Proclaiming our allegiance.  Following Him wherever he leads.


Prayer (Adapted from the Book of Common Prayer)

Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.