This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies. If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call to Worship
Holy God, we have come to learn to trust in Your protection
Teach us to find rest
under Your wings
We have come to learn to have faith in Your promises
Teach us that fields
from which we will not reap
are not a sunk cost
We have come to learn to live in Your provision
Teach us to open our hands
so that we may take hold of the life
that really is life.
Hear this, you that trample on the needy,
and bring to ruin the poor of the land,
saying, "When will the new moon be over
so that we may sell grain;
and the sabbath,
so that we may offer wheat for sale?
We will make the ephah small and the shekel great,
and practice deceit with false balances,
buying the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
and selling the sweepings of the wheat."
The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
Jesus said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, `What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.' Then the manager said to himself, `What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.'
So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he asked the first, `How much do you owe my master?' He answered, `A hundred jugs of olive oil.' He said to him, `Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.' Then he asked another, `And how much do you owe?' He replied, `A hundred containers of wheat.' He said to him, `Take your bill and make it eighty.' And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.
"Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."
The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed him. So he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God.
This week's prayer was written by Val Fisk:
Lord God, you are Mother of our souls, Giver of our passions, Forgiver of our sins, Healer of our hurts.
Teach us to be dangerously vulnerable.
Forgive us for our refusal to show our brokenness to one another. Forgive us for our refusal to see the brokenness that lies behind the eyes of those across the table, across the aisle, and across the room from us. Forgive us for our refusal to acknowledge the brokenness that looks back at us from the mirror. Forgive us our failure to ask for help, and our failure to ask how we can be helping.
Mother God, teach us to be dangerously vulnerable with you and with your people. Teach us to admit our failings, our pain, and our fears, to you and to those in this community whom you have placed as vessels of your loving care. Teach us to shout, “I’m not okay!” so that someone else can catch us as we fall. Teach us to catch the weight of brokenness tenderly, with the willingness to sooth one another’s tears the way a parent soothes the cries of their young child.
Our souls are tired, Lord. Tired of pretending “No, really, I’m fine.” Tired of pretending that we have it all handled. Tired of the death, the destruction, and the insensitivity of the world surrounding us. Tired of hearing human lives compared to inanimate objects like poisoned candy, tired of seeing men murdered because of the color of their skin, tired of seeing children’s broken bodies in ambulances after bombs rip through their homes, tired of hearing women shout “I SAID NO” while others ask “But what were you wearing?” Teach us to lament for and with these people, breaking our hearts for each broken person, each made in your image.
My soul is tired, Lord. My heart is broken. I feel wobbly. On days when I feel wobbly, teach me to trust you. Show me your presence through your people – these people of UBC. Teach me to be dangerously vulnerable with my hurt, my anger, my frustration, my brokenness, and my sin. Teach me to stand for you by standing alongside of your community, shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm, holding one another up with tender care. If I stand, let me stand on the promise that you will pull me through. If I can’t, let me fall on the grace that first brought me to you. And teach me to give that grace to each person I meet, each soul I encounter, and each broken heart that is entrusted to me by you.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Teach us to embrace the beauty of brokenness today by embracing one another.